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nGROUP Performance Blog

What Makes A Good Manager: Characteristics To Look For

Posted by Ryan Cates on Dec 17, 2018 10:44:00 AM

new hireFilling management positions can pose a challenge. While you may have high performing employees that you can promote within,  you risk them not being prepared for the management role and their absence of labor resulting in lowered production numbers. Resulting in these employees being more valuable in their current roles. In order to avoid this mistake, it’s essential to look for talent who possess the following 16 characteristics that make for a good manager:

Leadership skills

Good managers inspire their teams and guide them to their goals. They also know how to use each team member’s unique skills to the company’s best advantage.

Employee Leadership

Cultural affinity

According to Ilya Pozin’s LinkedIn article titled “11 Qualities All Great Managers Possess,” managers need to be 100 percent invested in the company culture. They understand that culture is what sets a company apart and enables people to do great things.


Knowledge of the management function — whether acquired through formal education or through experience —is essential. In addition, a deep understanding of the company’s operations is also required.

knowledge leadership


Experience leading people is critical in a management role. Note that employees may have managed teams in previous positions or in extra-curricular activities like volunteer work.

A positive attitude

Good managers believe in their own ability and that of their teams to overcome any challenges and achieve their objectives. They have a can-do attitude and don’t allow negativity to influence their thoughts or actions.Improve Your Labor Management eBook

The ability to sustain focus

As Maren Hogan points out in her Forbes article “The Seven Qualities That Make Great Managers So Effective,” managers need to be able to focus on their goals for an extended period of time. They need to ensure everything is completed on time and to all specifications — even when multiple projects are ongoing.

Communication skills

Managers have to inform their teams of company policies and objectives, as well as interact effectively with their teams to inspire them to do their best work. For this reason, they need to be able to communicate verbally and in writing; plus, they should be good listeners.

communication skills

Organization skills

Knowing how to prioritize tasks and organize teams is an essential aspect of achieving operational goals.

Delegation skills

Good managers know that they can’t do everything themselves. They’re able to determine which tasks to delegate and who to delegate them to.


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Time management skills

Knowing how much time to assign to each task and activity — whether it’s a team meeting or writing a report — so projects are completed on time is an essential management skill.


calendar time management


Great managers hold themselves accountable. They do what they say they’re going to do — and if something doesn’t yield the desired results, they determine why not so they can do it better next time.

Decision-making skills

Teams look to their managers for guidance. That’s why the ability to gather sufficient information and quickly make balanced decisions that support the team’s objectives is critical.

Meeting with team

Empathy and respect for others

The best managers empathize with their employees, which enables them to motivate team members and help resolve any issues. At the same time, they also treat everyone with respect — regardless of their role or seniority within the company.

The ability to recognize and develop outstanding talent

In his Entrepreneur article titled “7 Traits to Turn Good Managers Into Great Managers,” Craig Cincotta advises that great managers help employees grow by means of career development and mentorship opportunities. This allows managers to get the right talent into the right roles.


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Especially in today’s fast-paced work environment, it’s important for managers to be able to adjust their thinking and pivot when needed. Whether it’s designing a new process, adopting a new technology or implementing a new strategy, managers must be flexible in order to handle any changes while at the same time supporting their teams in the process.


Being honest and transparent is crucial to gaining the trust of employees. Managers who aren’t afraid to say it like it is are more likely to be trusted than those who play their cards close to their chest.

In order to run effective operations, it’s critical to have the right talent in the right roles. By assessing whether high performers possess these 16 essential management traits before promoting them, you can ensure that you’re deploying your employees where they’ll be most effective — and that in turn will have a positive impact on your operations.Get Your Free Productivity Study



Topics: labor shortage, Labor Management, reduce labor costs, Management Mistakes, Management Impact, Manufacturing Management, Workforce Management, Workforce Management Tools, Improve Labor Management, Making a Good Manager