It’s been a few years since I have been a manager. I work in the IT industry and I managed groups consisting of tech support members, from help desk to desktop support to network and server techs.
I always got favorable reviews as a manager. I was hands on enough to be involved and know what was going on, yet not so much a micro manager that my team did not have the flexibility to put their own style into their work.
Two things that I always did. Always:
- Provide consistent feedback. Nothing infuriates me more as a manager that does not provide feedback on a regular basis, instead choosing to point out faults (or as I would call them, areas of opportunity) during a review. This blindsides employees and I refused to have any of it. I always made sure to provide feedback, both positive and negative, on a timely basis. With this, employees were able to improve or build on their strengths all the time, not just after a certain period. I’m also proud to say that I never had an employee once tell me during a performance review: “I’m surprised to hear that.”
- Stay in touch with employees. It’s important to have regular interaction with employees. I am less a fan of one-on-one meetings or weekly team meetings as I am chatting now and then to see how things are progressing, what’s being worked on, and to figure out anything else of importance.