Managers Toolkit and Resources

To help you become a successful manager OD&PL have brought together a range of resources on the top areas managers need to develop to ensure greater effectiveness within their role. It is recognised you will bring your experiences and your technical skills, but you also need a range of others skills and attributes.

The managers toolkit/resources includes:

  1. Delegating
  2. Developing Others
  3. Digital Accessibility for the Modern Workplace
  4. Having Effective 1-1’s
  5. Hybrid Team Working
  6. Micro and Macro Managing
  7. Moving from Team Member to Manager
  8. Performance Management
  9. Problem Solving
  10. Recruitment and Interviewing
  11. Setting Objectives
  12. Team Wellbeing

Throughout we have utilised LinkedIn Learning resources, collections and learning pathways to enable you to develop over time.

1. Delegating

Delegating is one of the four key aspects of Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership. This is used when the person requires a low level of direction and low levels of support; someone who is competent, committed, motivated and empowered to get the job done. For many leaders the trick is to know when to delegate, when they can let go of the reigns (and for some the feel of letting go of their power base). There are three key elements: authority (allocation of resources to ensure the job is done), responsibility (to get the job done) and accountability (to ensure the job is done).

LinkedIn Learning:

  • Delegating Tasks – Professor Dorie Clark explains how to build the right mindset to delegate work without micromanaging it. She then reviews three methods for delegating. She shows how to follow up on tasks you’ve delegated, and take appropriate action when someone makes a mistake. Plus, learning how delegation can help scale your impact and achieve more in years to come.

 

2. Developing Others

Investing time and effort into developing others is not only good for the business, but is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a manager. Often though this is seen as something that is important but not urgent (see Time Management Matrix) and so is too often put off for later. Yet when we develop our team they become more effective and productive (after the initial dip that often happens due to learning something new), and it allows you to delegate so you can focus on other things.

LinkedIn Learning:

  • Develop, Motivate, and Retain Employees – In this learning pathway learn how to support the development of your employees’ skills and abilities. Identify the developmental needs of others and help them thrive at work. Learn how to provide timely guidance and feedback. And learn how to motivate and direct people as they work; all while achieving your organization’s objectives. This pathway includes Lisa Gates’ Coaching and Developing Employees were she explains how to establish a coaching relationship with your reports. She shows how skills like open-ended question asking, listening, challenging for growth, and accountability can increase your employees’ autonomy and problem-solving capacities. We need to shift from a command-and-control style of management to a manager-as-coach to transform employee engagement and bottom-line results.

 

3. Having Effective 1-1s

At the UoL our SRDS (Staff Review and Development Scheme) takes a conversational approach. We offer Appreciative Enquiry to support this process. This sets the scene for your 1-1 meetings where the priority is always to listen actively. It is likely you will be setting and reviewing short and longer term performance goals. Think about how these might be done; individually, collaboratively, with or without less or more direction and support.

LinkedIn Learning:

  • Leading Productive One-on-One Meetings – Dave Crenshaw shows how to establish a one-on-one meeting schedule and agenda, assign and review actions items, and assess the results of the meeting and follow up on promises. Dave also explains how to listen to employees needs effectively and when to offer training and development. Regular one-on-one meetings provide managers with an opportunity to head off problems and efficiently answer the many small, quick questions that arise during the workweek.

 

4. Hybrid Team Working

Hybrid working is no longer seen as a thing of the future. For many managers it is our present reality. The trick is to ensure team working, engagement, motivation and focus across all members of your team is strong. To do this we need to remember that people’s needs have always been, and are going to stay, varied. Some recognised principles to follow are: set clear priorities and objectives; be inclusive and respectful (even if some people are in the office, hold team meetings online rather than force others to come in unnecessarily). Now, more than ever, we need to ensure we are not being rigid (be flexible). Ensure you are taking note of signs of stress, and helping people find ways to enjoy connecting (remembering this will be different for different people).

LinkedIn Learning:

  • What’s next: Managing flexibly with remote/hybrid teams, part of the course ‘What’s Next: Reinventing Work in the New Normal’. There is as yet no set instruction manual on how to navigate our new normal. In this course, join LinkedIn Learning instructors as they address these critical issues and provide strategies and real-life current examples that can help you adapt to the new world of work.
  • Leveraging Virtual and Hybrid Teams for Improved Effectiveness – Keith Ferrazzi spells out how to develop agile and resilient virtual teams that genuinely care about each other’s success. Discover how to re-contract and reboot your teams in our new world of remote work. Learn how to help virtual teams connect emotionally and mentally, as well as feel empowered to share their experiences and perspectives. Plus, get tips for restoring your team’s energy through recognition and shared goal achievement, boosting your team’s agility, and more.

 

5. Inclusivity

An inclusive working environment is one in which everyone feels that they belong without having to conform, that their contribution matters and they are able to perform to their full potential, no matter their background, identity or circumstances. But inclusion does not just happen, it needs to be managed and cultivated.

LinkedIn Learning:

  • Digital Accessibility for the Modern World – The move towards a more digital workplace affects everyone, from newly remote employees to frontline workers. With technology being such a critical part of how we do our jobs, ensuring accessible solutions is essential to providing an inclusive workplace. After taking this course, you’ll have the tools you need to start creating and managing a work environment that is inclusive.
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging – Managers need to take responsibility for embedding Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging into the employee experience. Here Pat Wadors explains how to drive the conversation on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, how to hire and retain diverse talent, how to listen to employees, and integrate DIBs into your employee life cycle.

 

6. Micro and Macro Management

Micro-management is when a manager tries to control every aspect of their teams work (often through a need for perfection). This is seen negatively if it is too controlling and takes the empowerment of your team away from them (and indeed shows an underuse of the other POLC Framework strands – planning, organising, leading, controlling).

Macro-management is when a manager takes a hands-off style. This is often seen as more empowering, giving control back to the individual, so long as the desired outcome is reached. This feeds into the development of the individuals problem-solving skills. However, it should be noted that a too hands-off style, often referred to as a ‘Laizzes-Fair Manager’, can have negative consequences if there are no monitoring mechanisms in place to ensure things are kept on track.

The right mix of micro / macro practices is needed to bring out the best in your team, and could be matched to situational approaches to leadership and management, such as directing, coaching, supporting or delegating depending on the need.

LinkedIn Learning:

  • How to work with a micro-manager? Micromanagers can be really demoralizing. Jena Viviano walks you through how to identify the behaviours of a micromanager, and the tactics that put the micromanager at ease, including effectively processing feedback, building trust, and anticipating concerns before they arise.
  • Decode your boss’s management style, part of the course Managing Up – Roberta Matuson explains what managing up is, what it isn’t, and why it is important to achieving success. First, she helps you decipher the management style of your boss. Then she outlines techniques for building a strong relationship as well as how to avoid mistakes.

 

7. Moving from Team Member to Manager

This transition can be difficult to navigate for many new managers, the trick first and foremost is to acknowledge this difficulty. You have moved from being a buddy to a boss, with all that entails; making and implementing unpopular decisions, complaints handling, performance management and worse, maybe even disciplinary. You can no longer just do your job, you now need to get others to do their job. But you can do this; through open communication, building trust, showing respect, setting boundaries and finding yourself a mentor (see the University Wide Mentoring Scheme).

LinkedIn Learning:

  • Making the move from Individual Contributor to Manager – Carolyn Goerner explores specific strategies for new managers to expand personal focus beyond individual performance and look to the broader success of the team. Carolyn discusses methods for successfully managing former peers, initiating difficult conversations, delegating work, discussing performance, and more.

 

8. Performance Management

Performance management is the process through which we get the best out of our people to meet our organisational goals. There are many different strands from organisational, faculty, school, service, team to individual. The Harvard Business Review notes the shift in performance management from accountability to learning and development. This is matched to a shift towards a strengths based approach that focuses on improving current performance and grooming talent for the future. This mirrors the conversational approach to SRDS we have taken at the university.

LinkedIn Learning:

  • Bolster Performance and Productivity as Offices Reopen – In this learning pathway you can discover how to maintain high performance and stay productive as offices reopen and flexible working becomes more prevalent. Learn how to stay organized, be adaptable, resilient, and establish boundaries to protect your time.

 

9. Problem Solving

Almost by definition, being a manager means solving problems. Every day, every minute it seems, there is another problem to solve. Some problems are people focused, some task focused. Some you will naturally find easier to deal with, some less so. To get anything done then requires strong problem-solving skills. One key priority is to be proactive. If you see a potential issue brewing, deal with it ‘before’ it becomes a problem. Problem solving though can often be a quick fix and doesn’t allow empowerment for others. Taking a coaching approach allows space for others to solve their own problems.

LinkedIn Learning:

  • Develop Critical-Thinking, Decision-Making, and Problem-Solving Skills – In this learning pathway you will learn how to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, and approaches to problems. Discover how to question assumptions, apply sound reasoning, break down complex issues into manageable pieces, and grasp the implications of information.

 

10. Recruitment and Interviewing

Recruitment starts way before you meet potential candidates. It is essential time in spend on the planning and preparation stages; the job specifications need to ensure you are advertising the right role for the right candidate. Think about not just what needs done, but also how it might be done (connected to our Leadership Excellence Behaviours), and consider how this fits with taking an inclusive approach; are you showing an understanding of, and a valuing of, different intersectional backgrounds? See our HR Managers Guidance.

Likewise, recruitment ends long after you have appointed the candidate. What is often called onboarding (welcome and induction) needs to be carefully planned to ensure the person understands the role, is meeting the right people for collaboration and a sense of belonging, and enables them to see in practice their unique voice is valued.

LinkedIn Learning:

  • See UoL Collection Interviews, presentations and assessment centre skills: A collection of courses and videos curated by Student Careers staff at the University to help you excel in interviews, develop and deliver strong and engaging presentation skills and improve your team-working skills.
  • Diversity Recruiting – As a buzzword, “diversity” sounds good, but speaking frankly about age discrimination, gender bias, and hiring disparities can take many talent acquisition professionals out of their comfort zone. In this course, Stacey Gordon explains how to confidently approach the topic of bias and successfully address it when recruiting. She outlines the most common mistakes that recruiters make as well as ways to assess your current recruiting strategy to achieve success.
  • Attracting, Hiring, and Retaining Gen Z – In this course Sophie Wade covers how to use empathy to understand this unique generation, best practices for attracting Gen Z candidates, and shares how to create a work environment where this unique group will feel safe and be productive. This youngest and most digitally literate generation is now entering the workforce. Generation Z, also known as post-millennials, bring new perspectives, and you need a new approach to attract, onboard, lead, foster, and support them.

 

11. Setting objectives

Objective setting might be done as part of team planning and development, or as part of the SRDS process for individuals. Either way, objective setting will follow the rule of the Golden Thread; from the University of Leeds Strategy 2020-2030: Universal Values, Global Change,  to faculty/school/service priorities and objectives, to team priorities and then individual objectives. To help define objectives there are some recognised best practice: be specific, but keep them simple, make sure they are measurable, and ideally chunk them into small achievable steps. It is often said we need to make them challenging to stretch ourselves, but conversely, they cannot be so challenging we set ourselves (or others) up for failure. Above all, we need to recognise when we have achieved our objectives and celebrate this achievement.

LinkedIn Learning:

  • Foundations for Performance Management – In this course, Nigel Cumberland explains how to manage and optimize your team’s performance in support of your company’s mission and overall objectives. Nigel explains how to set up your team up for success by ensuring that employees have clear, measurable, and achievable goals, delivering feedback and define your team’s learning needs.

 

12. Team Wellbeing

Ongoing changes to UK higher education in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the wider economic, political, social and technological landscape, require us all to be flexible and resilient in the workplace. The need to deal effectively with increasing levels of change and innovation makes the ability to maintain good levels of personal resilience and wellbeing in ourselves and others, particularly important. As a manager looking after the wellbeing of your team is fundamental to ensuring a healthy and successful team (see our Wellbeing and Resilience online resources and support).

LinkedIn Learning:

 

Webpage last updated: 16/06/21 | Maintained by the LPP Team