5 Tips For Managing Your Managers

Posted on Nov 2, 2020
By Kerry Anne Nelson
3 min read
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Your business team leaders are a vital piece of your business growth puzzle. If your leaders are performing well, chances are the rest of the team are also doing well. Conversely, if you don’t have strong leadership, the rest of your team are going to be struggling too.

A recent study by Gallup found that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across all business units. This will often filter through the entire business, because when your leaders are not engaged, how can your employees be? Great managers consistently engage their teams to achieve an outstanding performance. They create environments where employees take responsibility for their own — and their team’s — engagement, and build workplaces that are engines of productivity and profitability.

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“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers” Ralph Nader

Leadership needs to show vision, give direction, and provide support, encouragement and reward. With that in mind, here are five tips to help build your leadership group:


It’s vital to build trust and respect in your leaders. If you’re going to be raising up empowered leaders who carry the mission of your business inside their heart, they need to trust you. They need to give themselves to a journey with you for the long term, to make a difference. A Harvard Business Review survey found that while 58% of people trust strangers, only 42% trust their boss. You can change this by showing them you will stand by them. Make sure you do the right thing by them every single time.


You also need to train your managers well for their specific role. Surprisingly 58% of managers say they didn’t receive any management training at all. You may have a great person working in your team, an absolute master in their position, but if you promote them to management, they may struggle to perform as a leader without training. So train them well. Have transition programs set up so you can provide them with the support and knowledge they need to be a good leader, instead of just a good operator.


Providing ongoing professional development is key to long term success. The UK company SkillSoft, says two thirds of surveyed workers thought training should continue throughout their careers regardless of seniority. It’s fair for your leaders to expect and look forward to ongoing training to make them better in their role. You want your employees to be more valuable, even if it risks them leaving your company. If you give them great training and the promise of more, they’ll actually have more incentive to stay.


Employees whose managers communicate effectively in their early days are nearly three times more engaged than those with managers who don’t. If your managers have great systems for communication in place, they will be better able to effectively lead their team. So give them effective tools for communication. Set up guidelines around how you’re using your own systems. Open up the conversations that need to be had to keep your business growing.


Finally, make sure to provide regular feedback. Tell your managers when they’re doing a great job. Make sure that you’re checking in with them regularly, and give them high quality specific feedback, such as “You are great at this thing and that created this result for our company, for the team, for the customer”. Make sure they know when they’re doing a good job and keep that positive feedback coming. This will increase engagement and pride in their work. Managers who receive feedback on their strengths show greater growth and profitability.

As a leader, your job is not about building followers, but building more leaders. Managing your managers is an absolutely crucial part of expanding your capacity for exponential growth. If you’re building a successful thriving business you need to build up leaders to help to support that expansion. Remember, in business your managers are a vital piece of your business success puzzle.

Kerry Anne Nelson

About Kerry Anne Nelson

Kerry Anne Nelson is the founder of Operation Verve and is a qualified first-class Honours graduate with more than 8 years of experience in education.

Kerry Anne Nelson is a workplace processes architect and uses her Lean Six Sigma training to maximise her years of experience in business management, education, and team leadership to help clients achieve lasting business growth.