When you get promoted to a management position, you are excited. However, you also notice that you no longer do the tasks that are part of your team's work description. As Emma Bruden from Hubspot has put it, becoming a manager takes you from a point where you go from "getting things done" to "getting thinking done."
As a manager, you quickly find out, you spend a lot more time in meetings. You'll need to have strategy meetings, weekly team meetings, 1-1 feedback meetings and so on. Soon, you also need a meeting to decide what meetings you'll have next week. This is probably one of the reasons most managers in the US are not engaged. Being passionate about my profession, this is unacceptable for me.
Don't spend your days in meetings.
When I became a manager I decided that my most vital resource is my time. And as I already manage most of my time with online apps, I decided to move my meetings to an online setting as well. There are many benefits to holding all your meetings online. Most important of them the cost of holding a meeting (in both time and money).
I asked myself, if I really want to spend most of your time going from meeting to meeting? Do I really want to be catching up on your paperwork after hours? Is this the best way to use my team's time. While a lot of managers love meetings, one should ask, are they all worth the time. If your only value is that you can run meetings, are you really worth your salary?
Automate time-consuming 1-1 meetings.
I started with moving 1-1 meetings online. They are very time consuming and yet vital for my team's performance. I knew that if I could get this right, I'd be golden.
The aim of a 1-1 meeting is to get insights into your employees work. Also, you'll get first hand feedback about their tasks and their opinions. I also need to track their mood, general engagement and focus. As most of my team is pretty young, I also need to give them clear review of their work (because that is what millennials want).
With online 1-1 review, I can be comfortable in knowing my team is doing well and I don't bother them too much. 30 minute meetings I had to have with every employee, have turned into a 5 minute review process every week. My employees know: if they have something that really needs my full attention, I now have the time to see them any day of the week.
Save time with online tools.
After trying a few things, I settled for Weekdone's status reporting and 1-1 review features. It is a goal setting app that lets me monitor employee's work every week. You can use it to easily give feedback and make sure they keep their long term goals in front of them. And it isn't only my team. Henry Mason from TrendWatching said: "Automated status reports save our managers up to 4 hours a week."
You can easily move most of meeting online with status update reports and goal setting tools. That saves a lot of valuable time for doing strategic thinking and impactful decisions that are expected from you as a manager.
Stay true to yourself.
I do everything in my power to do hands on work. While I love managing a team, I know both me and my team love doing meaningful work more. Automating our meetings has given us a chance to spend most of our time doing the tasks we are most passionate about and stay engaged even through stressful times. And our calendars are not filled with meetings.