“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.” – Ronald Reagan

The 40th president of the United States had some good advice about how to be the boss. His thoughts can be applied similarly to what managers do in the everyday working world.

A great manager leads by example.

Like the phrase “monkey see, monkey do,” employees copy the boss — which can be both a good thing and a bad thing! As someone who sets the tone for everyone in the workplace, employees look up to those in management and often model their behavior. Leading by example in a positive manner is a strong quality to have in a manager. On the other hand, if a manager displays negative behavior, employees will pick that up as well.

A great manager has an internal network within the workplace.

You don’t want to be a stranger to your employees, so get to know them on a personal level to show that you care. You will build rapport with your employees by having an interest in their lives outside the office. An added bonus is that your employees will become more engaged in the office. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, employees who received little to no one-on-one time with their manager were more likely to be disengaged in their jobs, while those who received twice the number of one-on-ones with their manager are 67 percent less likely to be disengaged.

A great manager is clear with their expectations.

Employees want authentic, direct and honest behavior from their manager. Instead of leaving employees to focus on the process of a manager’s expectations, they can focus on the job at hand to give you the results you need. Some positive behaviors may include:

  • Maintaining the same expectations over time and have a rationale if the expectations need to change.
  • Understanding why you have those expectations and how it will positively impact the workplace.
  • Being fair to all employees, regardless of their status.

A great manager gives credit where credit is due.

Everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done. Although not everything needs a major “thank you,” some projects that employees have worked long and hard on should get recognition. A simple shout out in the next office-wide meeting can go a long way.

A great manager is responsive.

As a manager, it can be hard to have time to respond to everyone’s emails, especially if you’re handing many people internally and externally. External emails tend to be handled first, but you shouldn’t forget about your employees. If some internal emails are urgent, make sure to respond to those. If others aren’t as urgent, you can respond to them during your downtime.