manager in training

4 Things Every Manager Should Know [How to Be a Better Leader]

Being a manager can be difficult. Connecting with the team, finding the pain points, and aligning each team member with the company's values and vision are the tip of the iceberg for a manager's responsibilities. Ninety's goal is to take that difficulty down a notch. We do this by providing managers with a set of tools designed to make those goals easier.

As simple as it may seem, it's worth defining precisely who the managers are. The classic definition (which still applies in the Ninety world) is that a manager is anyone who has a direct report on the Responsibilities chart. If there's a drop-down under your name, congrats, you're a manager!

There are four things that managers need to understand to be effective leaders:

1. How to Communicate the Company's Vision

Every employee should know and buy into the vision of the company. Managers should be able to go a step further and explain that vision to their direct reports.

The Vision planner is the primary tool the senior leadership team utilizes to communicate that vision throughout the company. Managers serve as a resource for insights into how their direct reports can achieve those goals and reflect the company's core values.

2. How to Give Valuable One-on-One Feedback

Good managers should maintain and dispense that knowledge of the vision through their regular One-on-One Meetings with their team members. Managers should conduct these all the way down the Roles and Responsibilities Chart.

This quarterly feedback allows managers to relay what they see from their direct reports. They can then re-establish expectations. Walking through the core values and responsibilities during these meetings, what previously might have been an assumption of understanding is transformed into an agreement.

3. How to Confidently Run the Weekly Meeting

Managers must also be able to run the Weekly Meeting confidently. That's not to say that managers should "drive" every Meeting -  someone else on the team should actually click the buttons and take the notes in Ninety. We feel it's a responsibility best rotated to each team member. Here at Ninety, we rotate monthly. This longer rotation gives team members time to build up the "skill" of operating the Meeting using Niney

Rotating the driver also frees up the manager to help guide the discussion. Part of running the meeting is to engage the entire team in the conversation. In the early parts of the Weekly Meeting's agenda, it's easy to get caught up in a discussion based on a Scorecard item or overdue To-Do. Managers turn this discussion into an Issue. "Dropping it to the bottom" of the Meeting means the team can rank and RDR (Raise, Discuss, and Resolve) it, making the best use of the team's time.

Everyone is comfortable when a team is high in trust with putting a pause on the Issue discussion. This way, the team can discuss it at the appropriate time during the "RDR" section.

4. How to Leverage Ninety for the Betterment of their Team

Managers who understand the importance of driving the vision down the Responsibilities chart and providing thoughtful and actionable feedback while operating efficient Weekly Meetings are well on the way to running a high-trust, high-functioning team. Keeping the team well-oiled ensures that they are Getting Smart Stuff DoneTM.

Sign up for a free trial with access to all of Ninety's functions, features, and support. We guarantee that you'll love it.