Our top 10 management tips to bring out the best in people.

7th September 2021

No doubt, it goes without saying that your management style will affect the performance of your people. Get it right and they will bring success for you, your customers and your business.

So it’s worth spending some time reflecting on the most important management principles for bringing out the best in people. We’ve compiled our top 10 pieces of advice here:

Have high aspirations and communicate them clearly

What do you want the team to achieve together that is really special? Is it about being the best in your sector or developing a completely new product? To inspire your people, have a ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’* and explain how your people can help. Keep this goal central to everything that you do and share it in a very public way.

* ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals‘ is a term coined by Jim Collins in his excellent book, Good to Great.

Play to people’s individual strengths

Taking an individual approach to management is key to building strong relationships as well as maximising people’s talents.

Recognise that everyone on the team brings something different to the party and play to those strengths. Encourage each person to do what they do best and if possible find someone else to do the things that they are not so good at.

Give people the responsibility, the training and the resources

Nothing is more demotivating than micro management. Give your team what they need to get the job done plus the space and confidence to get on with it. Ask for input in terms of what will help them to succeed. You will almost certainly be surprised at the simple things they suggest that you may not have thought of.

Our client, Rapport Guest Services excels at setting high expectations and encouraging people to take their own initiative to delight customers:

Our ethos in Rapport is all about providing a service that is personal and intuitive, anticipating our guests’ needs. We truly believe that every guest experience should be unique and to do this, we empower all of our Rapport Ambassadors to do whatever it takes to delight our guests.

Greg Mace

Founder & Managing Director, Rapport Guest Service

See how well this works in our client success story for Rapport Guest Services.

Remove the fear of failure

The only failure is not to try.

George Clooney

Regularly discuss what has gone well and what could have been done better. Allow your team to make mistakes in a controlled way and without fear of hefty blame. If a mistake is made, discuss the learnings and how these might feed into future ways of working or other tests.

Be appreciative - recognition is the key to engagement

Recognising people’s efforts and accomplishments is the greatest opportunity to build motivation. It costs nothing to say thank you or wish someone a nice weekend. Remember, a simple smile can lift a person’s spirit. Sincere appreciation is the most powerful motivator, more than money or prizes.

A simple “thank you” for a job well done is extremely powerful.

Jill Girdlestone

Customer Service Manager, SafeMove

Find out more in our client success story for SafeMove.

Be supportive in times of need

Your role as a manager is to help your people to be successful in their roles. The best bosses always respond quickly when needed and have a knack of being supportive without completely taking over a situation. You may have influence over things that can ease a situation, or your role may be that of a coach. Either way, agree on solutions together and be seen to be onside with your team.

Likewise, understanding the stresses and strains of people’s personal lives shows that you care. Trusting relationships with managers enable people to bring their true and best selves to work.

We’ve also compiled our best advice for boosting workplace culture even when working remotely in our blog post: ‘Re-evaluating ways of working after the pandemic’.

Be flexible

Now more than ever there is a greater expectation upon businesses to show their flexibility. Remote working and health fears over the past year have shifted work-life balance even higher up the priority list for many of your team members. The emerging millennial workforce have also been seen to place flexibility high on their agenda when seeking employment, with 50% describing flexibility as ‘very important’ (Source: Deloitte research).

It is important to make fair and considered decisions when it comes to enabling your people to do their best work in a way that works for everyone.

Lead by example

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.

Andrew Carnegie

As a leader, you are part of the team, not a separate entity. People will work incredibly hard and against massive odds when they feel that they are part of a team that is all working together. Whilst you are working closely with your team, you also have an opportunity to impress a professional standard – few things destroy credibility quicker than a lack of integrity and professionalism. Set a high bar.

Be human

You are not a machine. You are not perfect. You want to do your best, succeed and have pride in your work. You will have your own strengths and weaknesses too.

So be prepared to admit where you’re struggling or could have done something better. Ask people if they can suggest how things might be improved and seek feedback. This behaviour is a good example to set for the rest of your team in pursuing their own development.

Encourage peer to peer recognition

Showing recognition to your team, but also your colleagues and seniors is a fantastic behaviour to adopt. In doing so, you are playing your part in cultivating a culture of appreciation and recognition across the business. Can you encourage people within your team to recognise each other’s achievements too? Try to build a positive feedback loop that doesn’t just rely on you – this is where you’ll start to see a cultural shift occur.

That’s why we open up The WOW! Awards to internal nominations as well as nominations from customers. Find out more about how The WOW! Awards works.