It’s about to be a New Year. 2017. Wow. Are you ready? Are you the manager you wanted to be by now?
Relax. We can help you get ready for a great New Year, so you can be the manager you always wanted in 2017.
We dug into our analytics and took a look at what managers like you have been reading most and searching for on our blog this year. There were 5 that stood above the others that are worth a read, and maybe a bookmark, to help you be a great leader in 2017.
The Top 5 Posts Managers Loved Most on the Lighthouse Blog in 2016
One of the biggest challenges with being a manager is not knowing what to do. You usually get limited (if any) training, have conflicting examples all around you, and are expected to figure it out largely on your own. Then, you’re judged how well you figured it out. Kind of unfair, isn’t it?
So many of our posts are inspired by questions we hear from managers like you. When you sign up for our software, Lighthouse, we ask you to take a quick survey. It’s amazing how often managers courageously share their biggest fears and challenges. I feel honored to have the opportunity to help them with challenges they’re often unable to ask others.
Between the conversations around those answers, and what we hear from managers as they use our product, there’s an amazing supply of questions to answer on the blog. It’s exciting to see many of the toughest questions we answered here resonated most with so many of you. Thanks for sharing our posts and reading them! (Email us anytime with topics / suggestions at [email protected])
Without further delay, let’s dive into these questions and their answers.
[Ed note: Click the post titles to read each post.]
The top mistake managers make when they’re generally doing the fundamentals right is not growing their team. As Dan Pink’s theories from his TED Talk (above) highlight: people want to grow and advance.
Unfortunately, that’s not always easy. Over and over we heard about managers in situations where the company didn’t have a lot of new roles, or there was not a lot of room for promotion.
Rather than accept those excuses as answers, we pulled together all the ways we had seen and could think of that helped people grow without requiring promotions.
If you want to provide growth for everyone on your team, you’ll need some of these approaches in 2017. Read the full post here.
Further Reading: Looking to dive in deeply to growing your people? These 2 posts can help, too:
- 3 Approaches to having a career conversation with your team
- Even more ideas for growth without promotions from engineering manager Tom Bartel
When I started my career, I thought how I felt about work was all up to me. If I came with a good attitude and worked hard, everything would be okay.
That worked right up until my first bad manager. Then, I learned how others can crush my morale and those around me. Despite my best efforts, they took the joy out of work many days, and made every task harder.
After speaking with hundreds of managers as we started Lighthouse, we started to notice patterns in those that struggled; there were certain things they were doing or failing to do that were leading to problems with their teams. This post helps unpackage those situations and what to do about them. Read the full post here.
Further Reading: Looking to dive in deeply on what engages people and drives morale? These 2 posts can help:
This post is really our mission statement. We started with the belief that if you make someone a better manager, you make work better for everyone on their team.
What we found was that there’s an overwhelming amount of evidence that shows that the single most important person affecting how you feel about work is your manager. After 2 years of work on Lighthouse talking to managers, looking at studies, and researching & writing blog posts, we had everything we needed to make the case.
Our post “Why people leave managers, not companies” is a culmination of all that evidence, and in true Lighthouse fashion, includes exactly what every company and manager can do to combat it. Read the full post here.
Further Reading: Want more data and lessons on managers and their effect on employee engagement, and turnover? Start with these two:
- The results of Gallup’s State of the American Manager study on managers and engagement.
- The 3 surprising habits of the best managers according to Gallup & Marcus Buckingham
Unfortunately, not every employee is a self-motivated, happy, engaged, go-getter. No matter how good a manager you are, you’re bound to run into employees who are disengaged and/or underperforming when you’re managing them.
Whether you’re partially responsible for their current less than top performing state, or you inherited them, there are some key steps you can follow to turn them around. This is a lot cheaper than the painful cost of replacing someone (estimated to be as much as $65,500)
Our post gives you a battle tested, step by step process to tackling this challenging situation. With the right mindset, they are far from a lost cause.
It’s clear the popularity of this post comes from both the interest in overcoming such challenges, and the effectiveness of the approach. Read the full post here.
- If you’re having trouble with your team and need to fix things with a whole group of people that are disengaged, this is for you.
- How you can use the Elephant and the Rider to motivate your team.
Ah, the one on one. If you’ve read our blog for very long, you’ve seen us sing the praises of this critical management tool. Over the past 2 + years we’ve written more on one on ones than I ever thought possible when we started this blog.
As we’ve written so many of them, it became important to organize all the concepts into a master guide. That’s where this post comes in.
We’ve taken all the best lessons, best practices, the frequently asked questions with answers, and organized it in one easy to follow place. Whether you’re brand new to one on ones, or a veteran looking to take them to the next level, this post is for you. From this post, you’ll find links for you to go deeper into any area you want to learn more about or have a question. Read the full post here.
Further reading: Can’t get enough on one on ones? Here’s two posts that answer the two most common questions we hear:
- Starting one on ones? This post gives you a step by step guide for starting one on ones with your team.
- Having trouble getting your team to open up? This post will help you get your team to open up in one on ones
These posts represent some of the biggest questions we’ve been asked by managers. We want to answer even more of them in 2017.
Please leave your burning questions in a comment below, or email us privately at [email protected] You might just see it answered thoroughly based on the latest research, and long-standing best practices in a future post.