10 Qualifications for Managers (With Tips for Meeting Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 1, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Managers are instrumental in making sure companies operate smoothly. Becoming a manager can allow you to expand your skills and take on more responsibilities in your organization or a new company. If you are considering becoming a manager, it is important to first understand the role and its required qualifications. In this article, we discuss what a manager does, the qualifications for being a manager and tips for meeting manager qualifications.

What does a manager do?

A manager leads and supervises employees in their company. Daily tasks include planning, directing and controlling resources to achieve a strategic goal or complete a project. They are also responsible for overseeing the productivity and quality of employee projects. Managers work to create a safe environment for employees by listening to their needs and helping resolve conflict. Some of their other common duties include:

  • Setting employee work hours and schedules

  • Reporting to higher-level executives, such as the CEO

  • Managing projects and delegating tasks to employees

  • Assisting the human resources department in hiring and firing employees

  • Creating a positive workplace culture that aligns with the company's mission and values

10 qualifications for being a manager

If you are interested in becoming a manager, there are certain skills and characteristics that can help you excel in the role. Here are 10 qualifications for being a successful manager:

1. Leadership mentality

Being able to lead your employees is essential in manager roles. A good manager can step into the role of a leader and issue authority to their fellow employees. As a leader, managers don't wait for things to get done. They take the initiative and ensure everything is completed on time, either on their own or through delegation.

Related: Top 10 Qualities of Effective Leadership in the Workplace (& How To Implement Them)

2. Time-management skills

Because managers have many tasks to complete and deadlines to meet each day, they must be able to manage their time well. Staying organized can help managers prioritize tasks in order of importance. In addition to managing their own calendars, managers also work around their employees' calendars when delegating tasks.

3. Problem-solving capability

Managers need to find a solution when challenges arise. By staying calm and using analytical skills, a manager can resolve problems that occur in the workplace. To prevent problems from escalating, managers should watch for signs that a conflict exists and keep in constant communication with employees.

4. Decision-making skills

To ensure projects progress and stay on schedule, managers must be able to make decisions quickly and effectively using whatever resources they need. Whether they are choosing who to give a big assignment to or deciding if they should report an issue to an executive, managers keep the company's best interests in mind.

5. Communication

Managers need excellent written and verbal communication skills so that their employees can understand their directions at all times. In addition to talking to their employees, managers must be able to speak with their supervisors and customers effectively as well.

Related: 7 Tips for Improving Communication Skills

6. Mentorship

Managers are in charge of many employees and need to be able to provide them with mentorship and guidance. As a superior, managers share their knowledge with those in their department to enhance performance and provide leadership growth. Managers coach their team members and provide them with career development and new opportunities starting at the onboarding process.

7. Ability to work under pressure

Working under pressure successfully helps motivate other employees and keeps the workplace from becoming stressful. Managers who assess problems when they occur and use their abilities to resolve them make things easier for the entire team. To thrive as a manager, you need to learn how to be flexible and deal with constraints, such as time limitations or unexpected changes that are out of your control.

8. Team-oriented mindset

A good manager instills a teamwork environment to reach the company's goals. Equality-focused leadership allows employees to feel that their voice matters and shows that the manager cares about them. Creating a team-oriented environment also leads employees to get more work done, be more engaged and have higher morale.

9. Strategic planning abilities

Managers need to be able to organize projects while following set guidelines and constraints. To achieve goals, managers develop strategies and plan tasks. They use strategic thinking to plan for the future through an intentional focus on factors that influence success.

10. Effective feedback delivery

Giving feedback helps employees grow. Managers must be willing to critique employees on their skills, work and behavior regularly. Managers who have consistent one-on-one meetings and check-ins with employees to assess how they are doing are more approachable and better able to initiate conversations in the future. Feedback can also be positive, praising employees for areas where they excel.

Related: Tips for Offering Feedback To a Peer

Education and experience needed to become a manager

A manager should have a bachelor's degree in business administration or a field related to the department they work in. For example, someone looking to become a manager for a finance company may have a finance degree. Larger companies typically require a manager to have a master's degree in business administration. Even if it is not required, however, pursuing an MBA or similar master's degree can help you gain the necessary qualifications for this role and improve your chances of getting hired.

In addition to education, previous experience in the industry from related jobs allows managers to better understand their business's overall operations. Managers who have prior knowledge of the department they are leading can better understand the tools and resources needed to perform effectively. Companies often look to hire from within as well, so having a few years of experience with an organization may eventually lead to a promotion to a management role.

Tips for meeting manager qualifications

Whether you are looking to get promoted at your current company, find a management role elsewhere or just improve your management skills, there are some practices you can start applying to your work. Use the following tips to meet the qualifications you need to become a great manager:

Create a time management system

Whether you prefer using a sticky note for your daily to-do list or organizing your meetings on Google Calendar, find a time management system that works for you. Try blocking a specific amount of time for each task, and make sure to take brief breaks before switching to your next task. Creating a way to manage your time now will help you later on when you take on a higher-level role with more responsibilities.

Learn how to set SMART goals

By setting a clear goal to aim for, you are more likely to be successful. Try making your goals SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Outline what you want to accomplish, what data you will examine for success, what resources and skills you have available, why the goal is important and the time frame to accomplish the goal.

For example, you could say, "By mid-April, I will finish 90% of my one-on-one meetings with my employees to help provide feedback and foster a positive learning environment."

Become a mentor

Practice and improve your leadership skills by becoming a mentor. Ask your employer if there is an opportunity to mentor in the workplace, or else seek an outside organization. Mentoring can help you improve your communication skills and practice providing feedback to individuals.

Highlight your accomplishments

If you are interested in showing your employer that you are ready for a higher role, consider setting up a meeting to discuss your accomplishments. During this time, you can show your employer real-life experiences of how you helped the company, with data to back up your claims. For instance, you could tell your employer how you increased client engagement by 40% this past year. Making your employer aware of your contributions to the company will help them remember you when an opportunity for a manager position arises.

Related: How To Become a Manager

Ask for feedback

To get an idea of your performance and what you need to do to reach a management-level position, ask your employer for feedback. Ask for an evaluation on how you manage conflict, handle stress and lead group settings. Also, examine your strengths and weaknesses to determine what you need to improve. Asking for constructive feedback shows you are interested in self-improvement and open to feedback from others.

Assess your skills

It's also helpful to do a self-assessment of your skills. Look at the qualities and skills needed to be an outstanding leader, and decide what areas you need to improve. Examining your skills allows you to create a plan going forward and identify what specific areas you need to address to become the best possible manager.

For instance, perhaps you notice that your problem-solving skills could use some improvement. Practice brainstorming ideas and becoming more solution-focused to improve this type of skill.

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