Great Managers Care About Their Employees

DiscussionEvery employee wants to work happy. I don’t know anyone that believes that they enjoy their job more when they are sad or angry. It’s up to managers and supervisors to create an atmosphere that supports happiness and productivity.


In my early stages of managing people I ran projects that clunked through to the finish line. It was perturbing and eye opening. I was so worried about myself that I forgot to be a leader.


This confession was inspired by Penelope Trunk’s post How to be a good manager: Be generous. I was afraid to help others while I was struggling. The problem with this attitude is its lack of foresight. When a good manager listens to his/her employees and empowers them to do great work, they will help the manager succeed.


A good manager pops up all the time, just to check in. Not because you are micromanaging and you don’t trust anyone around you. But because you can’t know how to help people if you don’t know how they are doing. And take time to chat when things are going fine, because that’s when it’s clear that you’re just talking because you care as much about the person as the work they’re doing.”
– Penelope Trunk


Not every manager will be good at the personal stuff, but in today’s business environment these skills must be developed. The managers that get great work out of their staff are the ones that care about who they are. It will take practice and stubborn discipline to make this a habit, but once you do you can create a team that will walk through fire for you and you for them. That’s the type of relationships that a manager can build a career on.


Every manager must find his or her own way to learn to encourage employees and help them through difficult spots. It’s not easy to give away time and energy, but it will help you and your staff work happier and become more productive. If you are managing right now, what techniques are you using to become a better manager?


Does your supervisor or manager check in with you on a regular basis?


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Image courtesy of aloofdork


  1. Hi Karl,

    My husband and I are self employed and my husband works side by side with the employees. He’s not the type to give too many “atta boys” but he’ll tell me, so when I see the employee I will tell them that I heard what a great job they did. It works good for us as we balance each other out.

    When our employees are left alone on a job, we do check up on the regularly, or else call and make sure everything is going well. We’re only a phone call away if a problem arises.

    I think employees like knowing they can be trusted to do the job right, but they also enjoy the interaction with “the boss”.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..I Can’t Read It, If I Can’t See It

  2. Hey Barbara, it sounds like you have a really good system going. Not every boss can be everything to everyone, so that’s good that you compliment the employees. They probably already know that they are appreciated, but it’s always nice to hear it.

  3. Good points. I think great managers lead by example. They spend some time in the trenches with their employees on a regular basis. They don’t just run the team, they get things done with the team.

    Marc and Angel Hack Life’s last blog post..How To Save Your Health and Wealth at the Same Time

  4. I’m very much in agreement. It’s something that should be started as soon as possible. Nothing’s weirder than suddenly being asked personal “How’s it going?” questions from a previously distant manager. If employees understand that you’re going to be involved from the beginning, you’ll get less defensive answers.

    Sara’s last blog post..Writing Down the Rabbit Hole: Eight Ways to Keep Your Blogging Habit Simple

  5. Hey Marc and Angel, teamwork is sometimes neglected from a managers perspective. He sees how well each individual works with him, but fails to see how they work with each other. He needs to lead each individual and also lead them as a team, together and separately. It’s not easy to be a manager. That’s why there are so many books and websites dedicated to them.

    Hey Sara, when people are open and honest right from the beginning we know what to expect. I don’t like to play games and I want to be treated accordingly. When a manager is consistent he will win over their hearts.

  6. One huge quality that I see lacking in not only managers boy many, many individuals is Responsiveness. Great post

    Mark Salinas’s last blog post..Domain Name

  7. Hey Mark, we need to be responsive to other people’s needs especially when we are trying to lead them to do great work.