In this article, we outline several measures you can implement to improve your management skills. From overseeing large departments to managing projects, learn the skills that are indispensable to you and your company’s continued growth and survival.
What are management skills?
The word “management” came into widespread use after the American management consultant and educator, Peter Ferdinand Drucker, published a book titled Management.
Drucker defines management as “the specific tool, the specific function, the specific instrument to make institutions capable of producing results.” In his view, a manager is “a person responsible for his/her contribution to the performance and results of the entire organization.”
In other words, managers have a sphere of responsibility, and they are required to manage everything within this sphere; this includes people, things, and money. Management skills empower managers to take the proper action to ensure that the goals and targets within their sphere of responsibility are achieved.
To find out more about the difference between “management” and “leadership,” two terms with similar meanings, please read the following articles:
How to improve your management skills
While “leadership” is concerned only with people, “management” covers everything within a manager’s sphere of responsibility; this includes materials, products, operating funds, as well as people.
Here are some key measures you can implement to improve your management skills.
Goal setting and motivation
It is important to set both major goals and smaller targets that can be used as stepping stones to achieving these larger goals. For example, you might position your company’s ultimate aims and vision as major goals, while setting smaller, periodic targets for teams and individuals as a way of achieving them.
It is vital, however, that the goals and targets you set do not appear unachievable. For this reason, when setting major goals, it is critical that you also set short-term, medium-term, and long-term targets for your employees.
While it is necessary to set numerical targets, these numerical targets must also be achievable—neither too high nor too low. This will ensure the motivation and morale of your employees remains high.
The following article provides a more detailed discussion of the importance of and methods for goal setting: How to help your staff with goal setting
After you have set your goals and targets and shared them with your team, you must track their progress. If it appears unlikely the goals will be achieved, you may have to intervene, or set new goals and targets.
While changing goals is not a decision you should make lightly, it may be necessary if it becomes clear your initial goals cannot be achieved.
An important consideration when managing goals is how far to trust your employees with assessing their progress. It is important to delegate decision-making and authority to your employees to enable them to grow. However, the balance must be right; there is a difference between “delegation” and “neglect.”
Take note: as a manager, there is one scenario you must avoid at all costs: neglecting to personally track progress toward a goal, and then finding at the last moment that you are nowhere near achieving your goal. For this reason, you should track progress by communicating frequently with your employees and requiring them to report back to you.
It is important you properly assess the performance of your employees. If your organization links positive reviews to increased pay, then ensuring that proper assessments are carried out can help maintain or even improve the motivation and morale of your employees.
If you ensure your employees occupy roles and are delegated responsibilities that are commensurate with their abilities, they will find their tasks easier and their motivation will improve.
And, if your employees can approach their work with confidence, it will not only help them improve their abilities, but also raise the morale of the entire organization.
The following article provides further information about assessments: Performance assessment
Management skills are indispensable for managers to drive an organization and its projects forward. Indeed, you must possess a wide array of skills if you wish to lead your team to success.
As a manager, you will naturally acquire some of these skills over the course of your work; other skills, however, can only be acquired through conscious effort.
You can acquire these skills by focusing on improving your weaknesses in your everyday work. Building a strong management skillset will not only serve you well in your present job, but also benefit you should you choose to change jobs in the future.
At Robert Half, we provide highly specialized recruitment services.
We connect highly skilled, bilingual talent with global companies from both Japan and overseas, in the fields of finance and accounting, financial services, technology, and marketing.
If you are an organization seeking employees with outstanding management skills, or if you are an employee seeking opportunities to maximize your management skillset, Robert Half can help you. We are experts in the Japanese job market.