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Cheat Sheet

Managing For Dummies

From Managing For Dummies, 3rd Edition by Bob Nelson, Peter Economy

Being a manager is tough. Your responsibilities include improving the morale and performance of your team (even in the worst of times), staying current on social media and new communications, and being the boss who does everything from delegating to playing office politics with success. Take care of yourself first, by maintaining a good work-life balance and supporting yourself with daily affirmations, and then you can concentrate on motivating your employees.

Management 101: Maintaining Your Work-Life Balance

To ensure your long-term success as a manager, you want to understand how to effectively balance your life at work with your life at home. Maintaining this balance is an ongoing task; here are some of the best ways of doing it:

  • Don’t let your job consume you. Get away from your office or desk for a little downtime during the day. Even walking around the building for a few minutes can give you perspective.

  • Spend more time with friends and family.

  • Banish the working vacation from your life.

  • Engage in a regular exercise routine.

  • Accept what you can’t change and move on to things you can do something about.

  • Take a couple minutes each day to sit back, close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and relax.

  • Get to know your employees on a personal level.

  • Keep a lid on your anger by remembering that everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Figure out what you can do to try to help your employees prevent the same thing from occurring again.

Supporting Yourself with Daily Affirmations for Managers

No one ever said that being a manager is easy. And if someone ever did say that, obviously he’s never been the boss. You can make your job as a manager easier by supporting yourself with the following daily affirmations:

  • The energy of your area and the people in it starts with you. Be an energizing manager.

  • Managing is a people job. Put people first.

  • Managing is what you do with people, not to people.

  • Walk your talk; back up your words with actions. People believe what they see more than what they hear.

  • You gain power when you share power with your employees.

  • The best business is common sense.

  • Always ask: What do your customers value, and how do you know that they value it?

  • The best performance starts with clear goals.

  • You get what you reward.

  • If you can’t measure performance, you can’t manage it.

  • It’s not personal, it’s business.

  • If you don’t like the way things are today, be patient. Everything will change tomorrow.

  • Make work fun. Doing so is good for you and for the bottom line.

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff (it’s all small stuff).

  • The simple approach is often the best approach.

Ten Ways for Managers to Motivate Employees

Employees may not need a pay raise as much as they do personal thanks from their manager for a job well done. Show your workers that you support them, and encourage better performance by motivating them in the following ways:

  • Personally thank employees for doing a good job — one on one, in writing, or both. Do it promptly, often, and sincerely.

  • Be willing to take time to meet with and listen to employees. Give them as much time as they need or want.

  • Provide specific feedback about the performance of the employee, the department, and the organization.

  • Strive to create a work environment that is open, trusting, and fun. Encourage new ideas and initiative.

  • Provide information about upcoming products and strategies, how the company makes and loses money, and how each employee fits into the overall plan.

  • Involve employees in decisions, especially those decisions that directly affect them.

  • Encourage employees to have a sense of ownership in their work and their work environment.

  • Create a partnership with each employee, giving them a chance to grow and learn new skills. Show them how you can help them meet their goals within the context of meeting the organization’s goals.

  • Celebrate successes of the company, the department, and the individuals in it. Take time for team- and morale-building meetings and activities.

  • Use performance as the basis for recognizing, rewarding, and promoting people. Deal with low and marginal performers so that they improve their performance or leave the organization.

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