Learning & Development, Talent

6 Traits Your Managers Must Have

Research continues to show that good employees leave bad managers, not necessarily bad roles or bad companies. Unfortunately, however, bad managers are prevalent across organizations and entire industries.


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In fact, only a select few (about 10%) demonstrate that they have the right characteristics or traits to effectively lead. Six of those characteristics are outlined below.

1. Accountability

Effective managers “practice what they preach” and are highly accountable. They don’t expect their employees to be extremely punctual, for instance, if they are not also punctual. They don’t reprimand employees for poor performance without holding themselves to high performance standards. And they don’t give feedback without also asking for feedback.

Essentially, effective managers will have high levels of integrity and demonstrate fairness and trustworthiness. Even before they are managers, they will have teams that follow their lead and look to them as an example.

2. Empathy

Employees—especially managers—who are empathetic toward others tend to be more effective communicators and collaborators. They listen and practice fairness, and they are highly emotionally intelligent.

They’re also especially adept at mitigating conflicts, lessening levels of workplace stress, and generally fostering practices of positive and productive communications with their clients, partners, bosses, peers, and subordinates.

3. Transparency

Managers who are transparent with their employees are more likely to have their employees’ trust. Their employees trust they will notify them of any important news, feedback, projects, etc., and know they will receive important feedback and information that’s relevant to their performance and everyday work.

Employees who have transparent managers don’t worry about being terminated at a moment’s notice due to office politics or knowing where they stand at work.

4. Authenticity

Authentic managers earn their employees’ trust. They also tend to be more emotionally intelligent and inclusive and can significantly mitigate workplace stress, harassment, and bullying.

5. Ability to Trust and Connect with Others

Good managers will respect their employees’ autonomy and won’t micromanage them. They know how to delegate effectively and how to build highly effective and productive teams.

They also show their employees appreciation and know each of them on an individual level, encourage their employees to take time off, and recognize their employees in positive ways.

6. Willingness to Learn

Highly effective managers always show a willingness to learn, especially in the modern world, where rapid change and technological innovation are inevitable. They always seek out new soft skills and hard skills to learn as they become available and important.

Managers are the backbone of any successful organization, especially because they foster high levels of employee retention and engagement. So, make sure your organizations’ managers have the six traits and characteristics highlighted here if you want them to be effective.