The 3 Qualities of a Good Manager Employees Want in 2022

Anyone who has been employed for any period of time will tell you that there are good managers and there are bad managers. Either way, we learn something from each of them. 

However, the managers who taught us the most were the best managers. This is largely because good managers are able to effectively guide others toward achieving their goals while also helping their employees grow into better workers and people.

This is important because, as Gallup’s State of the American Workplace reports, organizations are increasingly focusing on their leaders’ abilities to build trust and create a culture that drives employee engagement and productivity. 

The report further states that 21% of workers believe effective coaching techniques in the workplace bring out the best in them in terms of performance and productivity. As a result, businesses are actively seeking out good managers when hiring new employees or promoting from within.

Senior manager conversing with a young employee in a bright office environment.

Why Are Good Management Skills So Important?

Employee management skills are vital to the success of your organization. Organizations need to have a strong team of managers in place to ensure that company goals are met and that employees are kept happy, which motivates them to work hard and furthers the progress of the company.

As a manager, you have a lot of responsibilities and duties on your shoulders. You have to make sure that your employees are working efficiently and productively. You also have to make sure that they’re happy with their jobs and with their workplace environment and culture.

But while the stakes are high, good management skills aren’t easy to learn on the job. They require self-awareness and self-discipline, and they also require a solid understanding of the people you’re managing. That is why it is critical to take the time to develop your management style before taking the helm of a team.

The 3 Qualities of a Good Manager Employees Want Right Now

There are a number of qualities that make a good manager and a lot of them are similar to what characterizes a good leader. After all, management and leadership go hand-in-hand.

When it comes to the future of work and managing future teams, great management will be more important than ever. 

So what are these qualities that make a good manager? And why do they matter so much?

1. Effective Coaching

The most important quality you can have as a manager is to be able to coach. Coaching is focused on improving your employees’ skills and knowledge to advance them and your organization. Coaching is about more than just teaching them a particular task, it’s about helping them develop skills that will benefit their careers for years to come.

Being an effective coach means being able to identify opportunities for improvement in each employee. You should also be able to provide constructive feedback so they know how they’re doing and what areas they need to improve upon.

Once you have identified ways they can improve, you should be able to guide them in the right direction so they can achieve success while being patient, positive, and supportive throughout this process.

Honest, Meaningful Feedback

People want to know how they’re doing. They want to hear about the good and the bad, but both need to be constructive and truthful. People do not want to be praised for a task that was half-done, and they don’t want to be hammered for something they did well. 

Finding the balance is a challenge, but one that is best faced head-on. While employees appreciate honest feedback, 69% of managers have a problem communicating with employees, and 37% struggle with giving negative feedback, especially if they think it may not be received kindly.

However, people have an innate desire to learn and grow. If managers can provide feedback that helps employees recognize their strengths, identify their weaknesses, and see areas where improvement is needed, people will trust their manager more.

Clear Expectations and Goals

One thing that can make your team feel like they’re being underutilized is unclear expectations about what is required of them. 

As per the Gallup State of the American Workplace report, four out of 10 employees don’t know what is expected of them at work. The report further states that only about a third of the American workers believe they play a crucial role in goal-setting at the workplace.

Employees appreciate knowing what’s expected of them and having clear goals to work toward. Managers who set clear goals and expectations empower their employees. When they set a goal that can’t be achieved, they don’t take it personally when employees cannot meet those expectations. Instead, they use it as a learning experience to try again with improved methods and processes.

To ensure you are on the same page as your employees when it comes to expectations, start by setting clear goals with your team members and ensuring they understand those goals. Then, make sure you check in regularly with your employees to see how they are doing regarding their progress in reaching those goals.

2. Psychological Safety

In 2015, Google’s People Operations team released the results of their two-year study on effective teams. For years, they’d been trying to answer the question “What makes Google’s teams effective?” and to turn that research into a set of tools and approaches anyone could use to build better teams.

They started by looking at hundreds of attributes that might predict team success. Some were obvious (like team members being really smart), others less so (like team members having similar taste in food). In the end, one attribute stood out as the most significant and surprising: psychological safety.

Psychological safety is a shared belief held by members of a team that the group is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.

Psychological safety is critical because it creates an environment where people can be their authentic selves at work without fear of judgment or consequences for trying something that may not work out as planned. It’s about knowing your ideas will be heard, you won’t be punished when you make mistakes, and you will be supported when you fail. 

Without it, employees are less likely to take risks or try new things that could drive the organization forward.

Psychological safety is essential not only to high-performing organizations but also to our health and well-being. When we feel psychologically safe at work, we’re less likely to experience anxiety or burnout.

3. A Focus on Well-Being

As we look to the future and consider what qualities will be the most important in a manager, a focus on well-being is a central theme.

Strong managers are able to create environments where their employees can thrive and perform at their best.

This includes everything from ensuring they have access to the necessary resources and information they need to make decisions, to providing opportunities for growth and development, to creating an environment where people feel safe and valued.

An employee who feels that their superiors care about their well-being is more likely to be loyal, engaged, and productive. This is why the best leaders know that it’s not just about creating a place where people want to work—it’s about building a place where people want to grow.

To Sum It Up 

Leaders are looking for ways to make employees feel valued, motivated, and inspired. They’re also trying to find ways to show that they care about their people—not just as workers but as human beings.

The good news is that many of the qualities employees want in a manager in 2022 aren’t new, but rather a return to basics.

Some of those basics include active listening, leading by example, being open to new ideas, and providing consistent feedback—all of which will help build trust, employee engagement, and accountability.

It is important that leaders not only focus on the hard skills needed to succeed at work but also take the time to develop soft skills that will improve communication and foster a positive company culture.

One of the best ways managers can develop soft skills is by taking an online course to help them organize and lead their teams more effectively. Good examples of these courses include:

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