Top Management Techniques and Strategies for Managers (2023)

Table of contents

What are Management Techniques?Top management techniquesManagement StylesTop management techniques to improve productivityTop management techniques to motivate employees

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What are Management Techniques?

Being a great boss means helping to boost employee productivity and job satisfaction through effective management. Good management techniques involve creating a supportive atmosphere where employees have autonomy and are motivated to excel. We’ve all had bad managers. Ineffective managers might micromanage, be overly controlling, focusing too much on details and what hasn’t gone right, or fostering poor work/life balance.

Whether you want to hear it or not, employee productivity starts with good management. According to the Bureau of National Affairs, U.S. businesses lose $11 billion a year to employee turnover, often resulting from disenchanted workers. The good news is that there are simple things you can do as a small business owner to manage your employees more effectively to keep your team motivated and productive.

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In this article we’ll cover effective management techniques, as well as management techniques for new managers, management techniques to improve productivity, and management techniques to motivate employees.

Top management techniques

  • Dole out recognition when it’s deserved.
    An employee study by gamification and behavior management platform Badgeville found that 70 percent of workers are more motivated by recognition than by monetary rewards. Employees who are acknowledged for their good work tend to feel more of an emotional commitment to their job, which results directly in increased effort (i.e., better productivity and improvement to your bottom line). What’s more, a study by TINYpulse, an employee engagement firm, found that only 21 percent of employees feel strongly valued at work. So don’t be shy — bring out the warm-and-fuzzies for a job well done.
  • Make company goals transparent and provide consistent feedback.
    Sharing the company’s goals and vision with employees helps them understand the meaning of their day-to-day tasks and the value that they each bring to the job. Set up monthly or quarterly check-ins to provide honest feedback — even if that includes constructive criticism. When you hold your employees accountable, they’re more likely to deliver if it’s crystal clear what they’re expected to achieve.
  • Provide training and career development.
    Work with your employees to identify areas of growth and learn what parts of the business they’re most interested in. By providing training and career development, you help employees develop new skills which is an asset for your business and a way of showing you care about your employees future, which in turn builds loyalty.
  • Troubleshoot problem areas.
    Be clear with staff about your expectations. When you hit a trouble spot, give them specific, timely feedback about what isn’t working. Together, try and find a solution that works for everyone. For example, if an employee is consistently late to work, talk to them about how their tardiness impacts other people, learning more about the root cause. Once you have more empathy about what’s going on it will be easier to come up with an appropriate solution together.
  • Know when to let someone go.
    One underperformer on the team can reduce the team’s productivity by 30 to 40 percent, but if you do come across a few bad apples, don’t be too quick to hand them the pink slip. Instead, show them you’re willing to help them get better before giving up. (See number four.) If their behavior doesn’t improve, or gets worse, it could be time to part ways. This can be especially hard if you used to be able to really count on them and their work ethic has deteriorated, or if they’ve been working for you for a while and you like them personally. It’s not easy to fire people (be sure to consult with a professional to make sure you’re checking all the right legal boxes), but sometimes letting go of a problem employee is what’s best for the business, and perhaps for them as well, since they may find a new job which is hopefully a better fit.

Management Styles

What are management styles and how do they differ? The consulting firm Hay-McBer identified six different management styles which were popularized in Daniel Goleman’s best selling book Emotional Intelligence. Their research states that the most effective leaders use four management styles, typically in combination. Some styles are more productive than others depending on the situation. We’ll go through each in turn:

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Most effective management styles

  • The Authoritative Style
    The most effective management style, the authoritative leader is a “firm but fair” visionary who gives their employees clear, long-term direction. This approach works in most work environments, especially when the business lacks direction.
  • The Affiliative Style
    The goal of this type of manager is to create harmony between employees, keeping everyone happy. This style is especially good to pull out of your management toolbox when you’re building a team, need to boost morale, or foster better communication.
  • The Democratic Style
    This participative style aims to build consensus and commitment in the group. Perhaps most effective with more experienced employees, the democratic style can contribute to high morale, and the feeling that everyone has a stake in the business’s success.
  • The Coaching Style
    A highly effective management style, the coaching style’s main objective is to foster long-term professional development in their employees. This style works best with motivated employees who want to grow. It’s challenging when the manager is less experienced and may be less effective with employees who are poor performers.

Least effective management styles

  • The Coercive Style
    This extremely controlling management style demands employees do what the boss tells them to. Employees don’t learn much from this approach and can become frustrated not having autonomy. It should generally be avoided, though it is effective when there’s a legitimate crisis.
  • The Pacesetting Style
    This management style should be used sparingly at most, and if used, should only be deployed alongside other styles from the top section. The goal of this style is to complete tasks to a very high standard. The pacesetting manager takes on many tasks themselves so they can exert greater control over results and expects employees to follow their lead. It can create a toxic work environment and low morale.

Top management techniques for new managers

If you’re haven’t managed people before, you might feel overwhelmed and uncertain how to lead. Here are some top management techniques for new managers.

  • Manage, but don’t micromanage.
    No one likes the feeling of having a boss constantly looking over his or her shoulder. Make the conscious choice to be the kind of manager who gives employees enough autonomy to feel encouraged, motivated, and trusted to do a good job. Empower them by providing direction and offering assistance, then step back and let them work in their own style.
  • Lead by example.
    If you’re always stressed and disgruntled, what kind of standard does that set for your employees? Hold yourself accountable, first and foremost, and be genuine with your team, instilling in them a sense of trust in your working relationship. Good habits at the top have a way of organically trickling down to the bottom. Be the kind of manager who employees admire and they’ll work that much harder not to let you down.
  • Get to know your employees.
    Everyone has different communication styles and different ways of working. It’s important to get to know your employees to build a strong rapport, and understand how to best communicate with them. Lindsey Pollak, author of the management book Becoming the Boss, stresses the importance of face-to-face communication rather than being overly reliant on email. Talking in-person can help you work through issues that need to be discussed and it can lead to productive problem solving.

Top management techniques to improve productivity

As a manager you want your employees to be productive and efficient, using their time effectively. Of course you want to be as productive as possible too, which can be hard with the various responsibilities you’ve got competing for your attention. These management techniques will help improve your productivity so your business can run more smoothly.

  • Let technology do the heavy lifting.
    We’re lucky to live in an age when technology makes work life easier and more efficient. All companies, no matter how big or small, can benefit from hardware and software geared toward increasing productivity. Cloud storage and collaborative applications like Asana, which can help teams manage projects and work flow, could be well worth the investment, as are things like remote access and mobile device connectivity.
  • Focus on the big picture.
    As a manager you need to focus on your business’s larger objectives as opposed to shorter-term personal goals. Good managers trust their capable employees to execute projects, while they take care of higher-level objectives and support their direct reports. This strategy will help everyone be more productive.
  • Model good time management.
    Take care of urgent tasks as soon as possible and encourage your employees to do the same. It’s a good habit to start the day with the most pressing or unpleasant tasks, so you get them out of the way. You’ll feel better knowing that task is taken care of. As a manager it’s important to help remove any roadblocks for your employees so they can do their work effectively.

Top management techniques to motivate employees

Motivated employees take more pride in their work and are more likely to stick around. The TINYpulse study discovered that the two top reasons employees feel motivated to excel and go the extra mile at work, are “camaraderie, peer motivation” and an “intrinsic desire to do a good job”. That means creating a friendly, supportive work environment where people feel valued can go a long way to motivate employees. Here are some other management techniques for motivating your staff.

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  • Provide supplemental training and educational opportunities.
    Don’t let talented employees hit a plateau. Build training and educational opportunities into the framework of your business. If you’re a small company, this doesn’t have to mean spending big dollars on career coaches, conferences, or fancy seminars. It could be as simple as designating mentors within the company. Making the effort to develop high performers means less turnover in the long run. The TINYpulse study discovered over a quarter of employees feel they don’t have the tools they need to succeed in their roles. Better training can help. According to Business Know-How, a 10-percent increase in workforce training can result in an 8.6-percent gain in productivity.
  • Offer bonuses to reward good performers.
    Cost of living raises are expected and don’t serve as much of a motivator for employees. Indeed, 90 percent of businesses offer annual raises across the company on a fixed annual rate, according to a study by Mercer. Bonuses, also known as variable pay, are increasingly used to reward individual employees for a job well done, and based on a Aon Hewitt survey, they make up 12.7 percent of compensation.
  • Make employee happiness a priority.
    A happy employee is a healthy (and productive) employee. Eighty-nine percent of workers count office rapport as important to their overall quality of life, according to Globoforce’s Fall 2014 Workforce Mood Tracker survey, and the more friendships employees have at work, the less likely they are to leave for another job. Plus, these emotional connections are directly related to a more productive and engaged team. In addition to fostering interpersonal relationships, schedule team happy hours or outings, and plan team-building exercises at least once a year. Put a vacation policy in place that actually allows your staff to take time off. Encouraging these “brain breaks” allows your team to come back feeling refreshed, recharged, and more productive.

Image credit: “Women in Tech 61” by WOCinTech Chat, Flickr, CC by 2.0, cropped from original.

Top Management Techniques and Strategies for Managers (2)


What is the most effective management strategy? ›

The Authoritative Style

The most effective management style, the authoritative leader is a “firm but fair” visionary who gives their employees clear, long-term direction. This approach works in most work environments, especially when the business lacks direction.

What are the effective strategies of managing by example? ›

Here are examples of some of the most effective management strategies used by top managers:
  • Employee engagement. ...
  • Rewarding outstanding performance. ...
  • Being accessible. ...
  • Staying committed. ...
  • Seeking clarity. ...
  • Facilitating training. ...
  • Holding regular meetings. ...
  • Clarify your vision.
Dec 9, 2022

How can a manager improve their performance? ›

How to improve your performance as a manager
  1. Build trust with your team. ...
  2. Host regular check-ins with employees. ...
  3. Develop strong decision-making and delegation skills. ...
  4. Develop your delegation skills. ...
  5. Communicate your goals with your teams. ...
  6. Reflect on your performance. ...
  7. Take management courses. ...
  8. Explore performance management tools.
Feb 3, 2023

How do managers manage to improve efficiency? ›

Tips to improve manager effectiveness
  1. Communicate with your employees. ...
  2. Listen to your employees. ...
  3. Set goals. ...
  4. Recognize your employees for their performance. ...
  5. Lead by example. ...
  6. Be transparent. ...
  7. Know your employees. ...
  8. Help your employees enjoy their work.
Feb 3, 2023

What is the #1 rule of management? ›

Primum non nocere, or “first, do no harm” is a universal principle among healthcare professionals worldwide. It essentially means this: given a (bad) situation, your first priority is to not make it worse through your actions.

What are 4 grand strategies in strategic management? ›

There are four types of grand strategies, these are as follows :
  • Expansion Strategy.
  • Stability Strategy.
  • Retrenchment Strategy.
  • Combination Strategy.
Dec 6, 2021

What is the one best style of management? ›

1. Authoritative management style. In this style, managers dictate exactly what they require their subordinates to do and punish those who do not comply. Employees are expected to follow orders, not question the authority of management, and perform their tasks the same way each time.

What makes a good manager and leader? ›

Good managers need to be open to new ideas, they need to adapt to unsuspecting change, expect excellence from their employees and communicate regularly and efficiently. Likewise, leaders need to be able to demonstrate these skills too.

What are the 3 skills effective managers need? ›

Robert Katz identifies three types of skills that are essential for a successful management process:
  • Technical skills.
  • Conceptual skills.
  • Human or interpersonal management skills.

What are the four things managers must do? ›

Originally identified by Henri Fayol as five elements, there are now four commonly accepted functions of management that encompass these necessary skills: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.

What are the 5 strategies for strategic management? ›

What are the 5 steps of the strategic management process?
  • Goal setting. The strategic management process is all about creating a roadmap to help you achieve your vision. ...
  • Environmental scanning and analysis. The next part of the process is analysis. ...
  • Strategy formulation. ...
  • Strategy implementation. ...
  • Strategy evaluation.
Jun 28, 2022

What are the 5 strategies of management? ›

The five stages of the process are goal-setting, analysis, strategy formation, strategy implementation and strategy monitoring.

What are top 3 ways to improve on performance at work? ›

— take a look at these tactics, and decide which ones apply best to you and your job.
  • Limit distractions. ...
  • Set milestones. ...
  • Set clear and achievable goals. ...
  • Avoid multitasking. ...
  • Improve your time management. ...
  • Do important tasks first. ...
  • Delegate tasks whenever possible. ...
  • Clear your workspace.
May 26, 2022

What skills does a manager need to be efficient and effective? ›

6 Essential Skills for Managers
  • Good communication. Having good communication skills is probably the most important skill of all for managers to have. ...
  • Good Organisation. ...
  • Team Building. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Ability to Deal with Changes Effectively. ...
  • Domain Knowledge.

What is the golden rule for managers? ›

It simply states that managers are to treat employees as they would wish to be treated themselves. The rule is simple, not as complex as other business philosophies, but it undoubtedly has a hugely positive impact on people's engagement and overall trust in the workplace.

What is the golden rule in management? ›

The Golden Rule demands that every customer and situation be treated with kindness and thoughtfulness. Such consideration of others can lead to companies performing better than expected.

What is the 85% rule in management? ›

The 85/15 rule states that 85% of workplace problems have a deeper systemic cause, and only 15% of workplace problems can be attributed solely to individuals' personal characteristics and mistakes.

What are the 3 common grand strategies? ›

Grand strategies outline an approach to firm growth. The three grand strategies are growth, stability, and defensive, and a firm chooses one of these approaches in addition to their choice of business-level, corporate, and/or international strategies.

What are the three hierarchy of strategies? ›

The three levels of strategy are corporate level strategy, business level strategy, and functional level strategy. We explain the differences and how to apply them in your organization.

What are the 6 traits of truly effective leader? ›

What Are 6 Traits of a Great Leader?
  • Acting with Vision. A great leader can see the future and has a clear vision for where they want to take their business. ...
  • Taking Risks. ...
  • Effectively Solving Problems. ...
  • Having Accountability. ...
  • Creating a Positive Culture. ...
  • Building Strong Relationships.

What is 4 basic management style? ›

The four leadership styles managers use are autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire, and paternalistic, and each will be most effective depending on particular situations.

What makes an amazing manager? ›

Good managers are great communicators, active listeners, and amazing supporters. The good news is, these are traits you can learn. From learning to delegate to aligning your team's work with greater company goals, we'll show the 10 qualities the best manager's share, and actionable tips on how to develop them.

What are the 3 roles of a manager? ›

Managerial Roles: Interpersonal, Informational, and Decisional Roles.

Which skills do top managers need most? ›

7 skills for a successful management career
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Communication and motivation.
  • Organisation and delegation.
  • Forward planning and strategic thinking.
  • Problem solving and decision-making.
  • Commercial awareness.
  • Mentoring.
  • How do I develop these management skills?

What is the most needed skill by managers? ›

Building good working relationships with people at all levels. Recommended by 79.9% of managers surveyed. The most important management skill, the survey found, is the ability to build good relationships with people at all levels.

What is a good management? ›

Good management involves individualizing every employee to maximize their potential and best utilize their unique skills. Good managers can improve employee satisfaction and development by getting to know the employees personally, consequently promoting greater success and productivity with the rest of the company.

What are the 4 pillars of manager? ›

You will learn the four pillars of management: planning, organizing, directing, and controlling, and learn how to apply them to turn wishes, dreams, and ideas into reality. You will become a better manager and leader.

What are the five 5 primary functions of a manager? ›

Students will begin by thinking about what management means to them, and work toward building a comprehensive understanding of the specific types of responsibilities that fall under the five functions of management framework: decision-making, planning, staffing, directing and controlling.

What should a good manager stop doing? ›

30 management behaviors to avoid
  • Multiplying tasks.
  • Being unresponsive.
  • Failing to acknowledge emotions.
  • Not giving reasoning.
  • Acting contradictory.
  • Eating first.
  • Not contributing in times of need.
  • Taking credit instead of giving.
Feb 2, 2022

What are the 7 C's of strategic management? ›

The seven elements (7 C's) are: customers, competitors, capabilities, cost, channels, communication, and coordination.

What are the 7 framework of strategic management? ›

The seven factors are: strategy; structure; systems; shared values; skills; style; and staff.

What is the 3 3 3 rule for time management? ›

The 3/3/3 method

Three hours per day to work on an important current project; three urgent but less time-consuming things (including meetings); and. three “maintenance” tasks” (for example e-mails, but also micro-learning, etc.).

What are the 4 key stages of effective time management? ›

4 Steps to Managing Your Time and Work
  • Step 1: Create and keep a master to-do list. A master to-do list is a perpetual list of tasks and projects that need to be accomplished, with no firm time requirements. ...
  • Step 2: Prioritize tasks. ...
  • Step 3: Schedule your time. ...
  • Step 4: Update your plan daily.
Feb 24, 2023

What are the eight basic techniques of time management? ›

8 Essential Time Management Strategies
  • Start your day with a healthy morning routine.
  • Create a to-do list.
  • Start with the highest-value task.
  • Minimize distractions.
  • Understand why you procrastinate.
  • Stop multitasking.
  • Reduce meetings.
  • End your day with housekeeping.

What are the 11 types of strategies in strategic management? ›

Eleven types of strategies are listed (forward integration, backward integration, horizontal integration, market penetration, market development, product development, relation diversification, unrelated diversification, retrenchment, divestiture, and liquidation). Describe and give examples of each.

What are the four 4 key attributes of strategic management? ›

1) It is directed toward overall organizational goals and objectives; 2) It includes multiple stakeholders in decision making; 3) It requires incorporating both short-term and long-term perspectives; 4) It involves the recognition of trade-offs between effectiveness and efficiency.

What are management techniques? ›

A management technique is a recognized method of analyzing and handling a management problem in a detailed, constructive, and systemic way. Though the goals and management styles of organizational leaders may vary, management techniques are key to the success of every group.

What are the 5 best management styles? ›

There are many management styles, but five stand out above the rest: autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire, visionary, and servant leadership.

What management style is best suited for an effective manager and why? ›

Authoritative Management Style

The authoritative manager is one who has a grand vision for his team/organization. These individuals are highly motivated and confident. Using the authoritative management style, a manager can show his ultimate plan to his/her team and how they're going to accomplish that plan, together.

What is modern management techniques? ›

Modern management is the process of implementing strategies to manage endpoints in a consistent and unified way without compromising the security of endpoints. It is a comprehensive approach to easily manage Windows and Mac devices.

What are the 4 management strategies? ›

Tip. The four phases of strategic management are formulation, implementation, evaluation and modification.

What are the three 3 basic elements of strategic management? ›

The strategic-management process consists of three stages: strategy formulation, strategy implementation, and strategy evaluation.

What are the three strategic management techniques? ›

4 Strategic Management Tools
  • SWOT Analysis. A SWOT analysis is an internal analysis tool that businesses use to evaluate internal and external positives and negatives. ...
  • Operational Scorecard. ...
  • Value chain analysis. ...
  • Risk management.
Jun 8, 2022

What are the 5 essential of management? ›

Management is the process of getting things done through others with the help of some basic activities like planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling to achieve the desired goals and objectives.

What is a good manager style? ›

A good management style should have you regularly ask for employee feedback and actively listen to what your team has to say, no matter how you choose to incorporate their input. You should also have tools to evaluate your team's performance and give them constructive feedback.

What are the 7 types of management? ›

Types of Management Styles
  • Democratic.
  • Visionary.
  • Autocratic.
  • Coaching.
  • Laissez-Faire.
  • Pacesetting.
  • Servant.

What leadership style do managers use? ›

Authoritative leadership means a manager takes complete control of (and responsibility for) a situation. This directive leadership style can suit your team when members have little or no experience. Of course, it also becomes necessary in high-risk fields.


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