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The Importance of Being an Approachable Manager

As a manager, much of your success rests on the shoulders of those working for you.

by Other Author
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Sponsored by Lab Manager Boot Camp, October 25, 2007

As a manager, much of your success rests on the shoulders of those working for you. Therefore it is very important to maintain a positive, productive relationship with your employees, and one of the most important things to strive for as a manager is to remain open and approachable.

The editors at share these tips to becoming an approachable manager:

  1. Leave your door open: The times when you shut your office door to conduct sensitive business or ensure privacy should be the exception rather than the rule. An employer who does most of his or her work behind closed doors does little to promote a sense of connection with his or her staff. Employees can feel alienated and cut off by such an imposing physical barrier.
  2. Chat up your staff: These are the individuals whom you've hired to help run your business. It therefore behooves you, as their boss, to know a bit of what their all about. You don't need to engage in deeply personal interactions to create an environment where workers feel you take an interest in them beyond the work they do. A simple "Good morning, how was your weekend?" can work wonders in getting an employee to feel the boss cares.
  3. Set your staff up for success: While last minute tasks or projects are inevitable, plan carefully so as to give sufficient lead time to employees whenever possible. Ensure that all assignments are explained carefully, with clear instructions as to what needs to be done, by whom, and within what time frame. Inform your staff that you are available for guidance when needed, and answer all questions with a mind toward enabling them to accomplish the goals you have set for them.
  4. Don't punish the messenger: If you present yourself as a boss that only wants to hear good news, you run the risk of extra work or unpleasant surprises down the road. Let your staff know that they can come to you with potential problems or suggestions on how to improve their processes. Show them you recognize that since they're the ones on the ground doing the day-to-day work, they may have a better insight into what is really going on.