Most HR professionals know their front-line managers have probably never faced more challenges than they do now.
And you want to help.
Whether managers lead teams on-site, virtually or in hybrid fashion, one of the best way to get through the biggest turmoil is to attend to the smallest details.
That’s what The First Round Review found when they curated advice from management experts. But these aren’t the scholarly or self-proclaimed experts.
These tips are from professionals on the front line. The managers who lead their people successfully (almost) every day. It’s exactly the kind of advice in-the-trenches front-line managers can use.
Here are eight tips to manage the little things so the big things run better.
Give up ownership
Let employees own decisions once you’ve had a spirited debate, challenging them to think through their assumptions and consider a few outcomes.
Give them space and encouragement, suggests Jan Chong, VP of Engineering at Tally. One caveat: Don’t give up full power on expensive or hard-to-reverse decisions.
Be a team captain, not a head coach
Take on the role of “coordinator of priorities” rather than “the authority.”
This builds better teams that share successes and learn from failures, says Michael Papet, a database administrator at Edify Labs.
Show some vulnerability
Be human, not just the boss. Share one high – and try to focus on a team success – and one low each week.
Do it in a meeting or an email to build relationships and openness, says Sunita Mahanty, a product lead at Facebook.
Share and be interested
But don’t make it all about business lows and highs. Share funny personal stories or anecdotes. They don’t need to be significant or detailed, says Michelle Lee, an operations head at Subscript.
Just as important, listen when employees share personal, fun stories.
Be generous with your ideas
Be the idea generator – and be willing to pass along the great ideas to your team with the continued confidence that they’ll make them even better.
This helps employees feel supported and capable, says Camille Ricketts, a marketing head at Notion. They’ll likely become more creative.
You can help your team succeed by setting a consistent example – be on time, follow up, close the loop, do what you promise.
When you perform consistently, so will your employees, says Liz Kosinski, VP of people at Sift.
Check in religiously
Set up monthly one-on-one meetings – and don’t skip – with each team member, suggests Jaleh Rezaei, a co-founder at Mutiny.
Don’t just review performance. Ask employees to reflect on three things that went well and three things they’d like to go differently. You might even share your 3×3 briefly.
Check the intent
When employees look for advice, feedback or an idea, ask first, “What are you looking for?” If you clarify the employee’s intent behind the request, you can give the most efficient and effective feedback, says Lauren Jones, a CX associate manager at Warby Parker.