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Alumni in Action

3 Tips to Improve Your Management Skills

By Alumni Relations

February 7, 2020

Professor Alex Stajkovic leans on a podium as he speaks about his research
Alex Stajkovic is an expert on organizational behavior, management, and leadership. Photo by Paul L. Newby II

Becoming a good manager requires hard work and practice, but according to Alex Stajkovic, associate professor of management and human resources and the M. Keith Weikel Distinguished Chair in Leadership, there are some quick and easy ways to start improving your management skills. Stajkovic focuses his research on organizational behavior, including management and leadership.

Here are three tips that he suggests will help you become a better manager.

1. Set Specific, Time Bound, and Difficult Goals

Make the goals that you set for your employees specific. If a goal is too vague, your employees will lack direction and not achieve the desired outcome. Goals also need to be time bound, or else the desired behavior might not occur by the set deadline. Break up long-term goals using “sub-goals,” which will help the goals seem less daunting and keep employees on the right path toward overall success. Finally, make sure employees’ goals are difficult, yet achievable.

2. Give Constructive Feedback

Employees need feedback when they are working towards accomplishing a goal. Knowing how to deliver constructive feedback is critical for a good manager. Give specific feedback with a positive delivery in a timely manner. This can help your employees want to improve and connect to the feedback given.

3. Develop Self-Efficacy

Employees need to see their managers as confident and capable. Studies have shown a positive relationship between self-efficacy—the belief in one’s capability to do a specific task— and outcomes in work. When managers have self-efficacy, they can instill confidence into their employees.

Want to learn more about how to improve your management skills?
Participate in our upcoming alumni webinar, Managing Multi-Generational Teams, with Artell Smith, vice president of talent at Quad and principal and managing director of WatchWorks Management Consulting LLC, to explore what really matters when building relationships with employees of all ages.