Management can make or break a job experience for many employees.

So when you have employees you want to hold on to or a deteriorating company culture, what can a manager do? Good pay and good benefits go a long way, but many managers will resort to empty morale-boosting gimmicks to try to improve things.

Ultimately, though, most of an employee’s job satisfaction comes down to their relationship with their manager. If they feel like their manager dislikes them or their coworkers, they’ll be upset and uncooperative. But if their manager respects them and appreciates the work they do, they will be happier and more productive.

Here are ten tips for being a better manager.

1. Listen and Learn

A manager who doesn’t listen to their team is going to be talked about behind their back. Listening to your team and being receptive to what they say fosters open communication and creates a healthier work environment.

Don’t stop at listening, though. Take the time to really consider the feedback you get. Think through the suggestions and ideas you get instead of shooting them down. An idea might not be perfect the first time it’s voiced, but developing it further might lead to some incredible outcomes.

Regularly dismissing what you hear from your team just closes the lines of communication you tried to open by listening to your team.

2. Make Your Employees Feel Important

Employees will be more satisfied with their jobs if they feel like they’re making a difference in the organization.

Taking the time to explain how a particular task or project furthers the goals of your business or department can help an employee understand how they fit into an organization.

Some praise and a ‘thank you’ go a long way, too. Recognizing the work they’ve done helps employees feel noticed and appreciated.

3. Set a Good Example

The best way to create the team culture you want is to do it yourself. Employees, especially new hires, will take their cues from managers on how to act.

If your employees see you disrespecting people and cutting corners, they’ll think it’s okay to do that too. But if you’re respectful and do your job well, so will they.

4. Consistency is Key

There are always going to be days when you aren’t at your best, and it’s easy to slack off and be rude. Try not to give in to that feeling.

Follow your organization’s policies, adhere to the correct procedures for the tasks you need to complete, and stay civil with your team. Your team will trust you more if you act consistently.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Innovate

The procedures your organization has in place are there for a reason. But, as technology changes and you get more familiar with your work, it may become clear that there are more efficient ways to do certain things.

Test, test, and test some more to make sure that your new method doesn’t mess anything up or cut corners with safety and quality. If it stands up to rigorous testing, then record your process and share it. Congratulations, you’ve innovated!

6. Stay Flexible

Nothing ever goes the way you plan, and you can’t foresee every setback or disaster. When things go wrong, don’t start despairing or pointing fingers. Rally your team to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

If a great employee suddenly has a family emergency and misses a deadline, be understanding. They didn’t miss the deadline on purpose. Once they’re back at work, sit down with them and try to figure out back up plans in case this happens again. Can you or someone else on the team pick up some of their responsibilities? Take what happens in stride and learn from it.

7. Motivate Your Team

Your team is going to have off days too, or they’ll be faced with tasks they don’t want to do. It’s up to you, as their manager, to keep them motivated and working. Appreciating the work they do and being sympathetic to their bad days goes a long way.

Sometimes your team does need a gimmicky morale-booster. Bring in lunch or a snack one day to recognize the work they do. Just remember that your efforts must be genuine

8. Offer Support

Your employees make be hesitant to ask for help. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to find out when your employees need a little extra support and try to find a solution.

Missed deadlines frustration, and repeated mistakes are all signs that an employee needs a bit of extra help. Send them an email or talk to them privately about what issues they might be having or if they feel like they don’t understand something.

It’s important that you don’t make them feel like they are the problem. Talk about how they are feeling and how they understand what they are working on. Maybe they need an extra person working on a project with them because the workload is too much. Or maybe they need help understanding some software or the scope of a product. Then work with them to find and implement solutions.

9. Don’t Forget to Delegate

Managers do a lot of work, and it can be overwhelming sometimes. Try delegating some of your tasks to your team, where appropriate, to lighten your workload.

Admitting when you need help makes your team more likely to do the same. That can help prevent issues in the future.

10. Make Decisions

It can be really frustrating to have a manager who can’t make decisions or changes their mind often. It can stall work on projects and make your employees feel like they’re being jerked back and forth.

Think through your choices and get feedback from your team. Make your decision and stick to it, unless you have a very good reason to change your mind. If you do have to change your decision, make it clear to your team why. This way they know that there is a solid reason for the change.


You won’t be able to change yourself or your team overnight. But by slowly creating new habits for yourself, you can improve the culture and satisfaction levels of your employees.