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ADP Suggests the Top 5 Characteristics of a Great Manager

To piggy back off an article that ADP put out via Forbes, discussing what they believe are the top five characteristics every great manager either posses or should have.

The first skill they've listed is the commitment to developing employees. I can agree that this is argumentatively one of the most important skills a great manager has. Why? A great manager does not want to have a team they have not fully developed. Reason being, if they're absent for a while, or say the company has a position to fill, they want to be able to promote someone from their team. A great manager does not want to keep their team as stepping stones, they want to be able to develop them past the current job and give them substance to take throughout life. Consult Kelly recommends getting to know your team members. Find out what drives them. What are their passions and goals? Use that knowledge to enhance their future and drive them to their next step in life.

The second characteristic ADP suggests is the next of importance, is communication. If a manager cannot communicate openly with their team and also unable to relay the teams concerns to appropriate upper management, it can potentially wreak havoc. The team can become misinformed or out of date with company changes. Lack of quintessential communication between manager and employees also creates a skeptic relationship, which in turn slows production and causes a negative trickle down effect. Communication is a skill that goes back to characteristic number one, becoming a fully developed employee.

The willingness to innovate is the third quality suggested to be important. In this day in age, it is important to be able to think outside of the box. With the new "millennials" entering the work force, innovation is something that they, or we, are bringing to the table that employers and investors haven't seen before. Being innovative means that you are willing to test the limits, always thinking of how you can reach your market in different ways, and also taking some advice from your team members of all levels.

The fourth quality was being diverse. I agree that being able to have a team full of people of all different backgrounds, applicable to the job, is great. Each one can bring something different to the table and that is what creates the niche within your team. This can become tricky however, if you're not careful. What I mean is that sometimes we can become so focused on casting a diverse background that it becomes muddy with diversity. We have to remember to capture people who are diverse but also has those few qualities that connects everybody together. In the wise words of a former supervisor I've had, "Think of the law of a revolving door. If there are more talented people coming in and less talented people leaving, you have a bright future. If there are talented people leaving and less talented people coming in, you have a dark future."

The last characteristic but certainly not the least important, the ability to motivate. This goes back to quality number one, being able to develop employees. In order to be able to develop your team you have to be able to motivate them. You have to build rapport with them. Make sure your team even trusts you enough to lead them in the right direction. One of my favorite quotes to live by "One hand washes the other, both hands wash the face." In other words, if we care about each other enough to want to see them become their greatest potential, then we will help each other develop by sharing our knowledge, encouragement, and being selfless. If our team is developing, we are also developing. Each day we should be learning something new.

I like this article with ADP because sometimes we lose sight of what's important when looking for employees. If we build the expectation that we are willing to help each other achieve our dreams and success then we will all become successful together. This also links back to Kelly Tip #1, making sure that companies keep their employees number one. If you are developing your employees on all levels, this creates the environment that they know this company cares about them. This company does not consider them as just another employee, another number, another means to profit. This will change how long employees stay with companies, finding that they stay for longevity as they feel valued. Again, by helping wash the hands of the employees, you are washing the company clean in morale, positive vibes, growth and success on all levels.


Contributor, ADP. “ADPVoice: 5 Characteristics Of Great Managers.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 Dec. 2017,

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