Give managers the time they need to sharpen up their all-around skills

By Rick Bell

Jun. 16, 2020

How to improve manager effectiveness seems like a loaded question.

Sure, there is always room for improvement. But how do you improve the effectiveness of a manager who shares responsibilities in almost every aspect of the business process? There are business operations including onboarding and offboarding, compliance and regulations, and scheduling shifts.

A manager also is involved in training, coaching and motivating staff. Sometimes they even play the role of staff psychologist. In short, a manager is an organization’s Swiss army knife.

Which leads to another question: If you are seeking ways to improve manager effectiveness, what blade of the knife gets sharpened first?

Manager basics

At its core, a manager’s job description lists overseeing daily operations, ensuring employee productivity, monitoring efficiency of all processes and creating a positive workplace environment. Because there are nuances to every aspect of a manager’s responsibilities, freeing up time could be the biggest perk an employer could provide for their supervisorial staff. By implementing workforce management solutions, employers empower their managers to make the right business decisions in less time through software solutions.

For those managing an hourly workforce,’s Live Wage Tracker software allows supervisors to see wage costs in real time and adjust staffing levels and assignments to drive profitability. Every shift becomes a profitable one, and because sifting through endless reams of paperwork is no longer necessary, a manager can concentrate on other ways to drive productivity and trim costs.

Creating effective managers

Managers rarely just materialize. A high-performing employee doesn’t necessarily make a great manager. The process takes patience and time — a rare commodity for managers in most businesses.

According to Great Place to Work, effective leaders should define the most important behaviors for great managers at an organization. While certain characteristics of manager effectiveness are universal, the best insights come from identifying the unique behaviors that align with an organization’s mission, culture, customer needs and strategic goals. 

  • Find the managers inside an organization who build high-trust relationships. 
  • Interview these managers and ask them how they did what they did.
  • Use this information to identify behaviors that create a great work environment and share them across the organization.

 Once company leaders identify managers and their best practices, instill in them these ideals:

  • Work with teams, seek ideas from team members and involve them in decisions that affect them.
  • Recognize employees, especially by calling out accomplishments and helping employees get ahead in their careers.
  • Inspire employees to follow by showing them that leaders are competent, honest and reliable.

What managers need from employers

Equip managers with the solutions to work smarter so they will be more productive throughout their work day. The result is an efficient workplace and a supervisor who can create a work/life balance for themselves.

Managers are constantly looking for ways to be more efficient with their time. Provide the leadership and perspective to manage their time. Encourage and help managers to: 

  • Establish their priorities.
  • Break big projects into small tasks.
  • Use a to-do list in the right way.
  • Eliminate distractions.
  • Avoid procrastination.

 Perhaps the most important tool in a manager’s arsenal is time. Through workforce management software, time becomes an ally for a manager rather than an opponent. Implementing’s Live Wage Tracker platform provides actionable data that empowers managers to react quickly and confidently to unexpected changes and keep things running smoothly throughout the day.

Rick Bell is Workforce’s editorial director.

Schedule, engage, and pay your staff in one system with