The complete guide on how to be an effective manager - by Steer

How To Be An Effective Manager

The success of any business depends heavily on the effectiveness of its managers. They can have a significant impact on business outcomes and employee engagement. But many organizations do not adequately select or develop their managers, and they miss a great opportunity for business advancement.

Our ultimate guide, developed and trusted by top managers, will help you learn what are the best tips on how to be an effective manager.


Managers matter a lot and can have a huge impact on employee performance and happiness. Support your people by sharing what makes a great manager, providing development opportunities, and more.

What makes an effective manager?

Good managers can have a significant impact on business outcomes and employee engagement. But many organizations do not adequately select or develop their managers, and miss a great opportunity for business advancement.

To determine what makes managers great in your organization, consider these questions:

  • Do managers matter at your organization? Explore external research and internal input like surveys or interviews to find out if managers matter to your team members’ performance and happiness.
  • If managers matter, whom do you need to convince and how? For example, Google used internal data to convince everyone that managers matter.
  • What makes a great manager at your organization? Internal data, like employee survey results and interviews, can help uncover the elements of good management at your organization.

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How to become an effective manager?

1- Empower your team

Effective managers empower their teams by giving them opportunities to stretch and grow in four ways. These managers:

  • Do not micromanage.
  • Coach their team to help them achieve their own goals.
  • Make it clear they trust their team.
  • Advocate for the team in the wider organization.
How to Be An Effective Manager. The Complete Guide by Steer

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2- Care professionally and personally for your team

Effective managers show care for their teams not only professionally, but personally as well.

  • Professionally. Managers can develop their teams by offering feedback, identifying opportunities for growth, and focusing on skill development.
  • Personally. Managers that caring for the the personal well-being of their teams is a critical behavior of successful managers. But it’s not enough for a manager to simply care about their team members as people. Managers need to show and communicate their care back to employees. Having empathy and developing emotional intelligence can be very helpful.

3- Be result oriented

Effective managers focus on empowering their teams to deliver concrete results. They combine a focus on urgency with an understanding of what results will have the most impact. One of the most critical roles that a manager can play is to anticipate roadblocks and help remove them for their team members.

In order to deliver results and support their team’s productivity, here some actions that effective managers demonstrate:

  • Keep the team focused on results.
  • Help the team prioritize.
  • Remove roadblocks.
  • Make clear about who owns what.
  • Are hard workers; set the pace for the team.

4- Be an advisor and coach your individual contributors

Many effective managers are credible advisors to their teams. These managers usually have deep expertise in their field of work which they can use to help team members come up with creative solutions.

These managers often:

  • Roll up their sleeves and work alongside the team.
  • Understand the challenges of the work.
  • Help solve problems based on their technical knowledge and skills.

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5- Set and communicate the vision

A vision is an important behavior of managers. A clear team vision is helpful for a number of reasons, in particular:

  • It’s crucial to the success of a team.
  • Team members need to know where they’re going.
  • It helps teams decide what to work on.

Once set, a manager also needs to be effective at communicating that vision to the team. It’s important encourage managers to be available for their teams and to encourage open dialogue and honest feedback, even when there's tough news.

6- Give feedback. Constantly

Giving feedback is one of the most important and challenging responsibilities of a good manager. When giving feedback to their team members, it’s important:

  • Giving quality feedback. Ask yourself, “Do I give the same quality of feedback to each team member? Do I know my team members’ projects equally well?”
  • Using consistent criteria. Ask yourself, “Have I outlined expectations and anticipated outcomes for my team members? Have I defined criteria for success for each person on the team?” Using criteria that are clear creates a sense of fairness once you start evaluating team members.
  • Filtering based on assumptions. Ask yourself, “Do I sometimes filter what I say based on assumptions?” For example, are you ruling out a team member for a role that could involve a lot of travel because they have a child? Don't let your assumptions get in the way of you sharing an opportunity. Don't assume that you can’t provide honest advice to someone because they "may not be able to handle it.”
  • Making sure you are understood. Ask yourself: “Am I making sure my message was accurately understood?” The more differences there are between you and the person to whom you are giving feedback, the higher the possibility your message wasn’t received quite as intended.

This guide was written by:

Ramsankar Palaninathan

Ramsankar , CEO of Steer
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Ram is on a mission to build, maintain engaged, aligned and productive teams. Connect with him on LinkedIn.