July 7, 2011 Business, HR, Leadership, Management

Three things all line managers should master

We know senior leaders must demonstrate respect, trust and caring for the workforce they manage, but what about line managers?  Studies have repeatedly proven that employees are more likely to stay with a company even when things are bad, if they have a good supervisor.

So as you hire new supervisors, if nothing else teach them the following:


Line managers must be careful to remember that respect is a two-way street. If they want the respect of their direct reports, then managers must show respect for their direct reports as well.  “Respect is not something you only give away when it may serve your needs.” The same is true of employee recognition.  You don’t show your appreciation for your employee efforts only when those efforts directly work to your advantage. You should also be liberal with your thanks when your direct reports may have performed well in helping another manager, team or department.


Trust is often more easily gained by direct managers than senior leaders who are more removed from employees. But as with respect, trust is a two-way street.  You have to earn it by the way you behave toward them and those around them.  Your people need to believe that you are
competent and that you care.


One way to demonstrate to employees you care about them is by taking the time to talk with them, to clearly communicate what you need them to do, praise them when they’re doing it well, and offer constructive feedback when they need improvement. Harvard Business School research showed employees overwhelmingly prefer a manager who is likeable to a person is very skilled but terrible at communicating.