Let’s be honest: Being a manager is a lot of hard work. It can feel like everyone on your team needs something from you all at the same time. It might be easy for that pesky imposter syndrome to creep in and make you wonder if you’re not built to be a manager, especially in manufacturing, where there are so many components and job titles under your responsibilities. 

While it’s understandable to feel a little off your game sometimes, don’t worry! With a few pieces of advice, you can be a fantastic manager—you’re already a great one! 

Master Management and Excell as a Leader

  • Be a strong communicator. This is the core of all good managers, but it’s essential in manufacturing. Good, strong communication skills, including speaking, writing, and listening, can help keep your team on schedule, on task, and focused on the overall goals, and it can help keep everyone safe. With so many moving parts and so many tasks and roles dependent on each other, it’s critical that everyone understands your instructions from the beginning but also that you hear and see the larger picture when it comes to concerns someone might have. And with so many people moving in their roles at the same time, clear safety instructions can help keep people aware of the world around them, not just their part in it. 
  • Create a more efficient workflow and production processes. If you feel like time is being wasted on tasks that take too long or just don’t work efficiently anymore, it’s well within your right as a manager to make some changes. Work with your team to find out where there are hiccups in the workflow of production or if there are processes that take too long and can be rearranged to save time and make things move a little easier. Remind your team that working smarter, not harder, is absolutely a goal they can share together. If they have ideas on how to improve efficiency by rearranging workflows or production tasks, talk it over and give it a try. If it works, great! Create an incentive program for suggestions that improve efficiency and offer a reward for any that are adopted. If the new way doesn’t work as well as the old way, keep trying new things until something else works better — or stick with the way things are and try changing something else.
  • Encourage ongoing education. People are curious by nature. We like to learn! By encouraging your team to keep learning, add new skills, and pick up new experiences, you’re not only adding depth to their abilities; they’re increasing the skill sets available to your company, all without having to hire an additional worker every time a new task is initiated or a new technique is introduced. Ongoing education also helps to show your team that you’re invested in them and their future, that you want them to succeed, and that they can enrich their skills without having to look for a new job somewhere else. It’s a great way to boost morale and keep turnover rates in check. Also, don’t be afraid to lead by example — The more you learn, the more skills you have, and the more you can share with your team, the more you can inspire them to keep learning and growing.  
  • Create goals for your team and encourage them to strive for more. Did you ever challenge a friend to see who could run a specific distance the fastest or who could jump the farthest? This might’ve been just a fun little distraction as a child, but that kind of incentive and challenge can really help motivate your team. By setting goals for production, whether it’s a daily or weekly quota or a personal expectation of completing a set number of tasks or steps in a specific amount of time, people need something to work for to keep them motivated, especially if they feel like they’re doing the same exact thing over and over and are getting bored. When there are expectations to be met, people will rise to the challenge and might even push themselves to go above the goal set for themselves or their team. There might even be a little friendly competition among coworkers — just like the kids who race each other around the block for bragging rights at the playground. 
  • Don’t be afraid of feedback. Some employees dread being called into their manager’s office or are put off by the idea of an annual performance review. These tend to get a bad rap because personalized conversations between employees and managers are seen as some kind of punishment, the kind of thing that is either forced or only happens when someone’s in trouble. It’s time to rethink one-on-one conversations! By opening the lines of communication and asking for feedback, as well as offering it more often than once a year or if someone steps out of line, you’re creating an environment in which people feel comfortable bringing up their concerns while also being willing and less nervous about hearing suggestions for improvement. The more you talk with your team, individually and as a group, and you provide detailed notes on how to improve, as well as call out those people who are doing an exceptional job, you’ll turn those anxious conversations into constructive, supportive ones that benefit the whole group. 

Ready to Elevate Your Management Skills and Build a Stellar Team?

You already have it in you to be a good manager. By investing a little time in your own education and skills, encouraging your team to do the same, and working together thanks to clear communication and feedback loops, you’ll be surprised how much more you can get out of your team without having to break the whole system down and start from scratch. Everyone has ways in which they can improve, and a great manager leads by example by demonstrating their own willingness to try new things. 

If you’d like more advice on how to brush up your manager skills, or if you need new job candidates to help add to your team, thanks to your ongoing success, call Davis Staffing! We can provide guidance on managerial techniques and practices that can help boost efficiency while adding to employee morale, and we can work with your company to find talented, qualified job candidates for permanent or temporary positions. Whatever you need, Davis Staffing can help! Give us a call today to learn more and get started.