The manager’s cheat sheet: some essentials


Many managers in South African SMEs might find themselves dealing with more than just a company’s human resources. And despite the diverse workload, it’s still absolutely crucial to stay connected with the members of your team, whether it’s in the way you sit in your office chair, how you delegate tasks, or simply in giving credit where credit’s due.

If you can command the best body language and manage yourself first before getting along with employees – then meeting deadlines, boosting productivity, optimising resources, resolving problems and keeping up with macro change will be better supported.

As a manager in a young economy you need to be accountable and set an example – to all intents and purposes, you need to go above and beyond – in other words, you need to be a leader.

According to the Managers’ Cheat Sheet, below are some essentials to keep in mind when setting an example to others on a workforce.

Body language
Stand tall: you’re here to get a job done, and that means taking your hands out of your pockets.
Make eye contact: indicate confidence and interest in those you’re speaking with.
Shake hands firmly: a handshake is often a blueprint of who you are. Make yours indicate strength.
Smile.
Walk confidently and dress well: clothes have an impact on how you feel, so dress appropriately and feel good.

Manage yourself
Be accessible: visit employees, let them know you’re available for them to voice their concerns.
Be open to constructive criticism and get regular feedback: this gives you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes.
Accept responsibility.
Improve on your skills constantly, as this is how you’ll grow. Always be willing to learn.
Explain things simply: learn and cherish patience.
Instruct rather than order: learn the value of tact, this will gain you respect.
Include your staff in your plans: let them contribute.
Know your charge’s jobs: this helps you help them.
Know your limitations: you’re only human.

Meeting deadlines
Don’t bite off more than you can chew: don’t make deadlines you can’t deliver on.
Set clear goals: write them up.
Organise your team according to their strengths: this is your role – to bring out the best them.
Delegate. Don’t forget anyone.
Create milestones and share the sense of accomplishment when your team reaches one.
Communicate with everyone, encourage them to communicate.
Do it right the first time through planning: re-tries cost money!
Keep your focus, keep on track.
Clarity: each team member needs to know what their responsibilities are. This will prevent black spots.

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