Now that we’ve established the realities of being a manager, what are the real rewards? Being a manager is a tough job, so what keeps us going? It’s not power, money or being able to get your own way all the time and you’ll likely be expected to lend a hand to the team from time-to-time. The rewards of being a manager have very little to do with you. Once you are a manager, the rewards should come through the success of your team and/or the business.
Challenging the team to learn, grow and do their jobs better. If you are as lucky as I am to have a team that wants to learn, you need to help them take opportunities to try new things and coach them through the process. Once they have mastered the new skills or developed to a new level of responsibility, acknowledging their success is the part of my job I love the most. The acknowledgement needs to be appropriate to the achievement and can be as something as simple as sincerely saying “You’re awesome” ranging to a bonus, raise or promotion. Whatever form it takes, showing sincere recognition for well earned success is one of the pleasures of being a manager.
Positively affecting business metrics. Every organization has one or more ways to measure success. Whether it is increasing revenue, reducing costs, achieving customer satisfaction or meeting some other organizational target, management has a direct roll in affecting those metrics. Coming up with simple, practical solutions to meet business needs is a core part of a manager’s job and these solutions tend to be even more successful when they are developed in collaboration with the team. When the result has a direct influence on the bottom line, being a manager has a lot more meaning than just being an administrator.
Sometimes holding up the umbrella is its own reward. A big part of a manager’s job is dealing with a lot of challenging personalities, company politics and other things that just are not fun. However, if you deal with these things successfully you are preventing them from getting in the way of the team. As a result, the team can focus on getting their job done. If you have ever had a manager who did not do this part of the job, you know that succeeding in this area is its own reward because you know you are helping the team.
All of the above are achieved through countless little things every single day. Once in awhile there is a big victory that reminds you that being a manager can be a rewarding experience.
To my fellow managers out there, or to anyone who has a great manager: what are the rewards of the job for you? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
I also want to thank Adarsh Khare for suggesting this topic in the comments of my last post. Great suggestion!