Good managers can be hard to find. When they are, they can make a huge difference to enjoyment of a job and influence decisions to stay or leave a team.
However, if you have only ever had poor managers, how do you know what you should be looking for in your next manager?
Community Care analysed the responses from over 300 social workers, in a range of local authorities, who had submitted anonymous survey responses as part of our retention work with their employers.
Key manager qualities
Those who felt their manager was effective more often cited the following qualities were present:
- Always being fair and transparent, particularly around managing workload.
- Listening and empathising, both in supervision and meetings.
- Taking action where needed such as when social workers felt fearful or upset.
- Praising good work whenever they saw it and encouraging team members to praise each other.
- Knowing each member of their team and their strengths, weaknesses and career aspirations.
Those who felt their manager was ineffective and had contributed to their unhappiness at work often cited the following reasons for this:
- Prioritising the needs of the organisation over the needs of their team.
- Criticising staff in public.
- Dismissing fears and emotional distress as ‘part of the job’ or by saying that ‘everyone has to deal with it’.
- Frequently postponing or cancelling supervision sessions.
More insights from this research can be found in Community Care’s free downloadable guide: How to be a better manager.
If you’re looking to make a change from your current manager check out Community Care Jobs or use Community Care’s Employer Zone articles to find those organisations prioritising the support they give to managers. Check out open days and ‘meet the team’ opportunities to assess the quality of your next manager.