12 Steps to Building a Better Manager

Team Discussing How to Build a Better Manager

Even the most effective C-Suite leaders can’t be everywhere at once, and any company without a strong bench of managers is likely to struggle. Your managers represent a key link between top-level decisions and the workaday employees tasked with implementing those directives. Accordingly, it’s vital that you ensure that your managers are trained and prepared to perform well and encourage similarly high performance in those they supervise.

Here are twelve key areas that your managers should excel in, as well as tips for how to build better managers.

Mastering Essential Leadership Skills

To have a consistent and positive impact on your company’s performance, your managers must be able to leverage leadership skills that are powerful enough to help them solve the hundreds of problems that crop up every day. Often, managers rely on their supervisees to solve those problems, so they must also be able to motivate their team members to be the best versions of themselves.

Come explore our essential leadership skills course to get your managers started.

Developing Performance Goals

A key component of effective management is setting goals that spur other employees to grow, learn and reach new heights of success. Instituting performance goals for both themselves and their employees lets your managers keep their finger on the pulse of the team’s achievements and encourages further pursuits toward success.

Come explore our leadership performance goals training program.

Communicating Effectively Across the Organization

As the link between the top of your organizational chart and the bottom, it’s essential that your managers understand how to “communicate down” to baseline employees. By helping to build a culture that encourages open communication and honest assessments, your managers can improve the quality of information that’s filtered up to the C-Suite, improving the entire company’s operations along the way.

Come explore our online communication training course.

Communicating Up to Senior Leaders

Along with “communicating down,” your managers must also be able to effectively disseminate information and advocate “up” to executives and senior leaders in the organization. Understanding how to effectively filter and share feedback with top-level leadership is vital, both to advance the interests of individual teams, and to ensure that the leadership is always equipped with the best information.

Check out our leadership communication training course.

Job Coaching

The best organizations understand how to cultivate top talent within their own ranks, and your managers are a vital component in that mission. Your managers must learn how to help other employees grow in their own roles, and the best managers can also become excellent “talent scouts” who can identify and encourage promising new employees from the very start of their careers.

Learn how to improve your job coaching skills today.

Encouraging and Adapting to Change

Stagnancy is a surefire way to go extinct when it comes to business, so a healthy organization will constantly be undergoing varying levels of change. That upheaval is an essential part of company development, and your managers need to learn how to facilitate that change positively, communicating its goals with your employees and ensuring that transitional friction and pain points are minimized.

Come explore our change management course to get started.

Perfect the Art of Delegation

In many ways, a manager’s chief responsibility is to delegate effectively and decisively. Indeed, identifying the best personnel for any given task is one of the best ways your managers can ensure success, and those who struggle to do so will send ripples of inefficiency throughout your organization.

Come explore our delegation training course to help your managers with delegation today.

Improving Work Habits

Your managers won’t be dealing with employees who are perfectly faultless, so it’s inevitable that they’ll need to be able to recognize poor work habits in both themselves and their employees. However, identifying a sub-standard performance isn’t enough — your managers must then be able to initiate positive change that improves that performance and weeds out the bad habits.

Check out our improving work habits course.

Providing Performance Feedback

A key tool for improving work habits is the ability to provide effective, actionable performance feedback. It’s important for your managers to understand how they can share both positive and negative feedback with employees, and how they can create systems that innately encourage the kind of productive communication that leads to those results. 

When done right, your managers can serve as a continual source of improvement within the organization, constantly identifying and addressing performance issues before they impact the larger mission.

Come explore our performance feedback training course to get started.

Managing Complaints

Complaints and conflicts between employees are inevitable and can quickly turn a workplace into a toxic environment when they’re not handled empathetically and productively. Your managers must learn how to listen to employee complaints openly, while also being able to identify the root cause of those complaints to suggest a solution.

Learn how to manage employee complaints.

Effective Discipline

The need for workplace discipline is unfortunate but undeniable and presents a key moment for your company to make a positive impact on a struggling employee. Your managers need to understand how to discipline employees while also building the groundwork that ensures those mistakes are not repeated.

Come explore our corporate discipline training course.

Mastering Conflict Resolution

When your managers can’t resolve intra-employee complaints second-hand, it’s important that they’re able to bring conflicting parties together in order to find a solution that’s acceptable to everybody, including the company itself.

Learn about our conflict resolution training and how it can help.


Get started with any of our leadership skills courses to ensure your team will have the necessary skills and tools for long-term success.


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