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Being a good manager means understanding how to help out your team while also not overstepping your boundaries. You don’t want to become known as the dreaded “micromanager,” but you also don’t want to just be removed from your staff and be indifferent towards what they’re doing or what kind of progress they’re making. These are some ways managers can increase their engagement with their employees.

Set Goals With Them

Employees can get a lot more out of work when they have goals they’re working towards. These shouldn’t be vague goals such as “get more done.” You also shouldn’t try to force your employees’ goals to align with what you think they should be. You can definitely help coax them into sculpting them into something tangible, but don’t define their goals without their input. Paycom recommends to always have goals for new hires that are communicated clearly right off the bat, then you are able to collaborate with the employee as they train on more personalised objectives. Goals can also be broken down into “short-term” and “long-term.” A short-term goal might be to secure a certain client, while a long-term goal could be to receive an upper-management position within the next five years.

See Where They Work

You might know the layout of your office and remember where everyone’s workplace is. You also need to have an active awareness of what kind of setup your employees have and how it may or may not be conducive to getting work done. Doing a gemba walk can help a lot. According to Creative Safety Supply, a gemba walk is when a manager visits the site where employees work to observe performance, safety standards, and how things in the workplace are done firsthand. You shouldn’t be looking for things you can nitpick or that might differ from your own work style, as everyone has their own way of doing things. However, you should point out areas where there could be more efficiency and see how your employees take these suggestions.

Offer Constructive Criticism

Managers who see everything as either worthy of total approval or disapproval are equally unworthy of respect from employees. According to Hanover Recruitment Limited, you need to show your employees that you’re processing what they’re doing by analyzing their work with total attention and sound feedback. With constructive criticism, your employees can understand that you think well of them and that you have high expectations of them. You might not always have the most poetic language for describing what needs to be done, but you can definitely help them see you have their progress and results on your mind.

Your employees might never tell you that they want you to be more attentive to their work, but it’s likely something they’ve thought. It’s also probably something you’ve thought at least once when you were working under someone. As a manager, you need to show that you’re tuned-into what’s going on and are invested in your employees and all they do for you.