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Six Tough Things a Manager Must Always Remember

Mohamad Danial bin Ab. Khalil
by Mohamad Danial bin Ab. Khalil
Feb 19, 2021 at 12:13 PM

As a manager, you have probably heard this phrase a thousand times: "It's not my fault". Most of the time, it IS the employee's fault. Some employees make excuses about why they did not do their job. If they are unable to do the job, you can either train them or readjust their career. 

Personal responsibility is a trait every worker should have. Additionally, a manager should know their boundaries with their subordinates. An employee might not take a manager seriously if they see them more like a friend than a boss. 

A manager must remember these six things to become effective:

1. A manager should not be friends with their subordinates.

A sociable manager would find this hard to learn. If a manager was promoted from within or hired from outside the company, they must be friendly, but they cannot be friends. If they go to lunch with an employee, they shall bring along every employee on their team. Why? Because they cannot play favourites.

A manager should always be objective. Once other employees see that someone is promoted, they will treat the person differently. This person now has hiring and firing authority of the employees. The new manager should be aware that their coworkers (who are now their subordinates) will not tell them their mistakes or complain to them anymore. 

New managers, if they are working for the same corporation, always have to start over and find new friends. It can be very lonely at first. 

2. Bad news never goes away.

Not many people like to deal with tough problems. In their heads, if they ignore the problem, it will go away. A fresh manager should know that they have to deal with issues as soon as possible. If they ignore these problems, they WILL get worse. It is best to deal with the toughest problems first.

When an employer gives a manager the responsibility, authority, and accountability, it's the accountability that's the hardest part. A manager must learn to confront and resolve the issues quickly.


A manager can be friendly, but they must let the employee know about the boundaries.


3. A manager does not have to be friendly; they need to be fair. 

A manager has to do things that are fair to everyone. Some employees will like it, and some will not. But, the manager's decisions must be beneficial for the whole group. You cannot make a decision that will favour one employee over another. 

For instance, an employee demands a raise and threatens to quit if they do not get one. Depending on the manager's decision, other employees will take notice of this. Another employee might try the same thing if they see that they can get a raise if they threaten to quit. It is not an environment a manager wants. 

4. Remember to return phone calls.

If you have an unsatisfied client, you have to deal with it and resolve the problem. You will only make the client more unsatisfied if you delay it. This small issue could become a big one. 

Ensure that the clients and customers are taken care of and solve their issues. Try to return calls immediately and resolve issues within a day. In the end, customers are the ones driving your business.

5. A manager has to make the hard and unpopular decisions.

Managers and employers have the privilege of seeing the big picture. If things are going bad, they have the benefit of dealing with them. Managers and employers must see the big picture to make informed decisions. 

The decision could mean no overtime for a while, shorter hours, retrenchments, etc., then they have to make and implement those choices. If it means dismissing an employee who is not doing their job, then they must do it. 

6. A manager cannot just hope someone will change their behaviours.

If you need to change an employee's behaviour, you must clearly communicate the desired result and the rewards for changing. Remember to let them know the consequences of failing to change their behaviour. This process takes time, and it's a long-term commitment. But with patience and continuous follow-up, the employee can change their behaviour. 

If an employee declines to make the desired changes, maybe they no longer belong in your organisation. A decision to dismiss them is one of those unpopular decisions you have to make sometimes. 

These are the six things that new managers must remember. If you don't, good employees will not put up with poor management. They will just leave and find other jobs, and you will be stuck with bad employees who will stay. 

Source: Great Leadership

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