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November 10, 2014

A Manager’s Two Responsibilities

Managing any amount of employees can be both a challenging joy and occasionally an outright challenge. Outside of day-to-day tasks and responsibilities to their job and teams, junior level management and supervisors to C-level leaders have two main responsibilities to their teams at all times. Elizabeth Spiers outlines these two responsibilities in her Huffington Post article, “Your Two Jobs as a Manager.”

Responsibility 1: Set Clear Expectations
Whether a manager is just starting out or they have been managing teams for years, it is important to focus on expectations so that the team can efficiently and effectively do their job. Building rapport is usually the first thing new managers focus on, but the rapport will come from having solid guidelines–not from having to go back and fix things. Defining quantitative goals for a project is an easy step but qualitative aspects are important to explain to employees as well so the quality of work meets company standards and expectations.

Start by outlining what is considered success on an individual employee level and move to the team. How can individuals contribute to the team’s success and overall goals? Ensure that employees understand their roles and can autonomously reach them while still knowing they can reach out to leadership for help. When hiring and recruiting candidates don’t gloss over tedious but important aspects of what they will do. Make the expectations of a job or project apparent and transparent from the start to reduce uncertainty.

Responsibility 2: Reduce Uncertainty
If employees and teams are not on stable footing regarding projects or where the company is going, it can lead hard working, talented people can become unproductive and frustrated.

By communicating changes to those immediately and more broadly involved, they can keep up and stay aware of the project status and plan accordingly. Be sure that any top-down and bottom-up communications are streamlined and easy for employees to understand. Streamlining the message portrayed for any project or general goal is incredibly important since it will keep the whole company on a unified track to success. Honestly articulating what’s happening and what will happen can be the key to a manager or supervisor’s leadership success and longevity.

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