great-manager-at-work

Characteristics Of A Perfect Manager To Work With

Understanding and finding the ‘right’ manager is hard. Essentially it comes down to your opinion of what a manager should do for you and your career. Many still have this old school notion that a manager is someone of authority who keeps you in check. This is such an old fashioned way of thinking.

The role of the manager in my opinion has evolved. I’ve had my fair share of managers so I feel qualified to provide this guidance. As a Gen Y I want more from a manager than someone who tells me when I can and can’t have vacation days or someone who sends me emails with the dreaded RED exclamation mark. Their job is a little more than this.

You will spend your working career reporting to a mixed bag of managers. Some you will love and some you will loath. You’ve got to find the right individual who matches your personality.  This person is important to you as they can make or break your career development so it is essential you find the one to make a difference. So what makes a near perfect manager?

Credits you:

Everybody loves to be told they are doing a good job especially if the credit leaves the team and goes to the wider business or client. A good manager should ALWAYS credit his or her team when delivering the end product.

I’ve personally worked in business where Managers have taken team members signatures off emails and repurposed the email as their own.  Managers shouldn’t need to do this. By crediting their team, showing the development of key individuals within the ranks they are increasing their own worth to the organisation anyhow. A manager’s job is to grow staff members and their skills set.

A good manager always credits his or her team for work they have completed.

Interested in your progress:

Here you will come across two types of managers. 1) Someone who is interested in getting the job done irrespective of the progress of his team members or 2) A manager who wants his staff to progress and grow as individuals and is willing to help this process.

Obviously we go for the latter option. Managers are there to retain, grow and create future business leaders not hinder staff members progress. Some managers don’t see it this way and feel that the only important aspect of work is completing tasks. Good managers want to see their staff member’s progress, grow and improve thus becoming future managers one day.

Those who don’t are hindering both the progress of the team member and the overall progress of the business.

Motivates you:

As an employee I desperately want to be motivated and inspired, particularly by my manager. He holds the key to my future employment and career goals. Having a manager who doesn’t inspire you is counterproductive for both your career and the progress of the organisation. If I see a manager unmotivated or someone who is unwilling to motivate me and spends his /her time in meetings then it has a negative effect on my progress.

Motivation of team members.

Motivation of team members.

Motivation can come in so many ways. Your manager may motivate you to enrol on a training course, get involved with a different area of the business or find yourself a mentor to help your development.

If someone is motivated by the manager then the end goal is surely a more proficient, successful workforce?

Offers Guidance:

The perfect manager should always offer guidance; whether this is career orientated or more personal life related. A manager should be someone you would be comfortably to talk with in relation to your career.

I always maintain that a manager is more than someone who is there as an authority force to keep you in check. That’s so 80’s. A manager should prepare you best for your career ahead and offer you the insight which will be the best for your job aspirations.

Takes the heat:

Great managers should stand tall in the face of adversary and offer members of their team the safety blanket between them and senior management. Of course there are exceptions depending on what the employee has done however ‘taking the heat’ refers to purely to work related issues or concerns.

I see a manager as a wall flower, not a shrinking violet. Working within large organisations there are times when senior management will struggle to understand concepts, results and performances. The best managers I’ve had in my career have been able to drive the right perception and dispel any unwarranted heat on the team.

Managers should allow staff members to continue with their work without any outside interference. A good manager can assess and act upon these situations without impacting the team.

Willing to let go:

There comes a time in everyone’s career that the shelf life of a specific role begins to close.  Furthermore you may be a junior who has progressed significantly and is ready to step onto the next level. It may be that the organisation you are part of cannot offer you that next stage step which is the situation where managers need to be ‘willing to let go’.

I’ve witnessed situations where individual’s progress has stalled as the manager hasn’t allowed them to progress to the next level. This can be due to a lack of training, limited motivation or just not giving a team member the credit they deserve.

Managers never want to lose star employees but at the same time they should always encourage development and progression for their team members. A manager’s job is to help your career progress and this may involve moving on to a new role. Having regular chats about my career aspirations, where I want to go and what I want to achieve are all key characteristics of been under a great manager. As individuals a manager should be able to proudly say they have helped you progress even if that means leaving the organisation to achieve that next level.


What makes a perfect manager for you? Any characteristics missing which really makes someone great to work for? Please let us know in the comments box below

About the author

Ryan Gibson

Hey! I'm a 28 year old digital marketing guy residing in Leeds, England. My skill is in search marketing and I have gathered over 6 years experience of working on large multilingual campaigns for a number of FTSE 250 Organisations. After accepting a role with a business based in Singapore I began questioning traditional business practice and employee retention. This blog GenerationY.com was therefore born with focus on Y in the workplace. A millennial child at heart I aim to provide a voice for the 'misunderstood' generation and my goal is simply to change perception and corporate mind set on work/life attitudes; inspiring companies and individuals to seek change.

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