Being a good manager takes a lot of time, effort and self-reflection. There are so many things that you can do to help support your team members: like coaching for development, recognizing them for their success and helping them grow in their positions.
Most new business owners and managers know the basics of what it takes to manage a team and over time they become more fluent in those skills. But there is often one thing that is overlooked in the management process, especially by inexperienced leaders-- protection.
Part of your job as a manager is to help your team find a good balance with their workload. You want to keep them focused on the company goals and objectives, and having a team that can handle any task or project that comes up will go a long way to helping you scale and reach your goals. But, unfortunately with that comes a long list of tasks that aren't really necessary.
As a manager, there are two ways that you can handle stupid, pointless tasks and projects that don't create value in your business. You can dish it out and hand it off to your team members to deal with on a daily basis. Or you can protect your team members at all costs. You can probably guess which one the best managers do.
A good manager will look at what they have their staff doing for them on a daily basis and evaluate it to see if it really creates value in their business. If it doesn't, then it needs to be phased out, eliminated, reduced or just taken off their plate altogether.
How to Protect Your Team's Time
For example, do you really need to have Cathy do a touch base meeting every other day? Or is her time better used elsewhere? If so, give her permission to take charge of her calendar and eliminate meetings that don't serve the project or the business. It seems like such a small gesture, but it goes a long way to let your staff know that you value their time and are willing to protect them from time-waster tasks.
Again, do you really need that four-page report from your marketing director every week? Are you even reading it? Or do you skim the report for one or two key performance indicators and then file it away with the others that have gone unread? Let your marketing director know that their time is valuable and that that report would be eliminated or pared down to the essential numbers that you need to make decisions. Again, it's a tiny thing for you, but a large gesture for your marketing director who just gained back four hours of their time.
If you spend time looking at all the places where you're wasting your resources of your team's best time, talent, and attention, it makes a difference especially cumulatively and compounded over time. And the fact that you are taking the time to look at their workload and make adjustments when you see your staff doing things that aren't of value, goes a long way to making them feel valued and appreciated on your team.