6 Expert Tips On How To Help Your Managers Succeed

Choosing the right managers is one of the most critical decisions an organization makes. But what makes someone a great manager? While a lot of research have identified qualitative traits of great managers and the different ways they contribute to business success – there is still a lack in understanding of what great managers actually do on a daily basis.

Our most recent panel in the Helping Managers Become Better Managers series was held in Berlin. We welcomed expert speakers from TAM Trainer Akademie (Lorenz Illing, MD), Marley Spoon (Cindy Rubbens, Head of Culture & People Operations) and SoundCloud (Jennifer Beecher, Learning & Development) to discuss the importance of managers in organizations. Below we’ve summarized a few key takeaways:

What behaviors do great managers exhibit?

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Rethinking Objectives – A New Browsing Experience

We are exited to announce that today we have launched a completely reworked version of Objectives into beta status! Setting goals and objectives is crucial for accountability, learning and personal development in the workplace. It’s also a great way to keep the feedback loop going in between review cycles. In the past few months we’ve focused our energy on reworking the way Objectives work in Small Improvements. Of course you could create and track objectives in Small Improvements already. But it wasn’t as easy to view what other people at your company were working on or track your own progress as we’d have liked it to be. So we’ve listened, tackled some user experience challenges and created a whole new browsing experience. While we were at it, we’ve rebuilt the technology Objectives are based on from scratch! Please note that for now, the changes will be live for all new signups. Existing accounts will be changed over to the new Objectives later this year. If you are interested in exploring our new objectives prior to the official launch, please get in touch to test drive the beta.

Introducing a New Objectives Browser

Discover what your colleagues are working, filter by dates In the new objectives browser you can quickly see an overview of the objectives of the people around you. You can choose to see just your own objectives or check out what your team and coworkers are working on – view their objectives as a group, or choose an individual person to look at. You can also check out everyone’s public objectives to get a better sense of what different teams at your organization do. Best of all, it’s possible to view, comment on, and create objectives right there in the Objectives Browser.

We’ve also improved the sorting and filtering of objectives. It’s now possible to see objectives across all cycles together, filter by cycle or cycle group (current or completed), and sort objectives by month or cycle.

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Viewing, Updating and Commenting on Objectives

You can now view objectives in an overlay, without switching context. It’s easy to track progress and discuss an objective right in the overlay as well as update the rating, status, and completion percentage all inline. You can also simply click the pencil icon to switch to edit mode and change the objective’s details. You’ll also see an activity log with a record of exactly what’s been happening with the objective –who changed what and when– and write comments or discuss the objective with coworkers. Comments can be shared publicly or you can choose to restrict who can see a comment and give feedback privately.

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Creating Objectives

You can also create objectives without leaving the screen. When you click Create Objective, an overlay opens where you’ll be able to choose who the objective is for and which cycle to create it in. The cycle details and timeline are then displayed on the left-hand side of the overlay, so you have all the information you need when creating the objective. Next you add a title and description, set a due date, and choose who will be able to see the objective; you can make it visible to everyone at the company or open a user picker to quickly choose a team or specific coworkers. You could also keep it private if you’d prefer, or make it visible only to your management chain.

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Single Objective Page

Of course it’s also useful to have a single page view of an objective – that way you can send a direct link to a coworker if you want to share the objective or ask for feedback. CMD + Click (Ctrl + Click on Windows) will open a new tab with this single-page view. This screen is very similar to the overlay view, with the objective’s cycle details on the left-hand side and the objective itself on the right.

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Viewing Objectives Elsewhere in Small Improvements

Objectives are also accessible through profile pages and as reference in the resources panel at the bottom of performance reviews and 360 feedback. Here the new overlay view also comes in very handy. Simply click on an objective to view or update it right there, without leaving the page.

On a user’s profile page, you can also sort objectives to find exactly what you’re looking for. If you have the right permissions, you can even create objectives for another user right from their profile page!

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What’s Next?

The beta version of the new Objectives marks the beginning of a whole new Objectives experience in Small Improvements. Lot’s of customer feedback has already been considered but the work doesn’t stop here. We’re asking for your feedback to fine tune the screens and further encourage meaningful objectives setting with ongoing tracking and year round communication. While we’re awaiting user stories and conduct more tests, we’re also continuing the work on incorporating key results for objectives to facilitate basic OKR’s. Stay tuned for more not-so-small improvements.

If you are interested in joining the beta, keen on conducting a user test or simply have any feedback or questions, please get in touch with us. Happy exploring!