Managers are not necessarily the experts at every function within the business. But they know who the experts are and put the right people in the right places to create the best results in the most efficient manner possible. Then they provide those people with the resources they need to be successful. The skills to identify the right people and to put them in the right places are the most critical skills for a manager. Then those skills necessary to provide them with the resources they need are next in importance.
Managers need to know how to delegate responsibility and authority, and how to evaluate the judgment and maturity levels of those who will receive them. Then managers need to know how to make those recipients accountable for what they’ve received and for the productivity expected from said delegation. That usually involves goal-setting and the establishment of a series of objective measurements to determine the success of the employee in obtaining those goals.
Managers need to know how to give recognition to employees that deserve it, and need to do that on a regular basis. From a pat on the back and a “good job” to an interoffice memo describing what is being recognized, this is a very important part of a manager’s skill set.
Knowing how to put the right people in the right places, provide resources, delegate responsibility, delegate authority, judge an employee’s ability to handle those delegations (before-hand), create accountability, establish goals and measurements, and give recognition. These are critical skills managers need to master.