Economy & Jobs

Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Manager

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A recent Gallup report, “State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders,” provides an in-depth look at the qualities that make a great manager. The report’s key findings show that certain leadership qualities distinguish great managers from the rest. These managers create enthusiastic, energized teams that build highly successful organizations and engage customers.

Job-seeking Millennials should look to join companies they know have excellent leadership practices in place. Here’s how to make that happen.

Search for a Talented Leader

When you’re interviewing for a position, you’ll likely meet the person who will be your new manager. According to the Gallup report, top managers influence profitability, productivity, and staff engagement. They also share five key leadership attributes you should be on the lookout for:

  1. They motivate their employees. You likely remember a college professor who truly motivated you to succeed. In much the same way, a great manager will make every effort to help you do well in the workplace.
  2. They assert themselves to overcome obstacles. Ask tough questions during the interview process to learn how management responds to challenges. Figuring out how your future leader deals with adversity is vital.
  3. They create a culture of accountability. Working for someone who requires you to take ownership of the work you do encourages you to always perform at your best.
  4. They build trusting relationships. The best managers are trustworthy and keep lines of communication open. Beyond the personal benefits of having a leader you can talk to, trust keeps employees engaged and helps the team operate at a high level.
  5. They make informed, unbiased decisions for the good of their team and organization. Although this trait may be tough to seek out during the interview process, you will recognize this good practice quickly once you’re on the job.

The report also found that organizations fail to choose the right managerial candidate 82 percent of the time. Therefore, companies that prioritize these qualities will invariably have more effectual managers.

Great Managers Influence Engagement

Findings from the report indicate that one in two employees have left their job to get away from their boss at some point in their career, and Millennials are more prone to job-hopping than older generations. A manager with the right leadership qualities can counterbalance this trend by encouraging company loyalty. Lanell Jacobs is the director of the Harris Radiation Therapy Cancer Center at Gordon Hospital. According to the Gallup report, Jacobs meets with her team every morning to plan out the day, discuss updates, and pray for each patient by name. Daily team-building activities like this one help increase camaraderie and involvement. Finding a manager who is clearly focused on their obligations will drive you to be more active in your role.

Women Offer Employees More Development

The Gallup report also found that female leaders are more likely than their male counterparts to encourage their subordinates’ development, and they’re also more inclined to check in frequently on their employees’ progress. Women provide regular feedback more often than men do, which helps their employees achieve development goals.

During your job search, look for companies that include strong female leadership. This not only gives you an idea of what type of management you can expect, but it also demonstrates the company’s commitment to equality.

Top Leaders Share Specific Behaviors

Constant communication between leaders and employees helps increase immersion. Jerry Rudzinski is the senior director of sales at Stryker Medical, a medical technology company. He emphasizes communication with his team to ensure they operate at their full potential. “The key is communication and winning. One without the other is a dead end,” Rudzinski says in the Gallup report.

How can you find a company with talented leaders? Remember the above attributes, and also look for a business that promotes from within—a company that creates opportunities for its employees clearly values their work and understands that encouraging their progress will shape the company’s future. As a young Millennial, isn’t that what you want out of your career?