Executives acquire many skills on their way up the corporate ladder. One of them is knowing how to prepare themselves to be good managers. A good manager is always looking for ways to hone their skills to help their climb to the next rung, according to AllBusiness.com:

Communicate the big picture. Keep employees in the loop. Open communication helps foster loyalty and gives employees a sense of pride. It helps them understand how their work contributes to the company’s success

Delegate. Delegate projects according to employee’s strengths and weaknesses, and let employees develop their own good work habits and leadership skills.

Work with employees to set goals. Setting deadlines and goals helps keep employees focused, busy and motivates them to do their work. Talk to each of your employees about the company’s goals, and work with them to set individual goals directly linked to the company’s mission.

Recognize problems. Stay tuned in to your employees so you can be proactive and resolve situations before they escalate. If you notice a change in an employee’s work habits or attitude, try to get to the root of the problem before it starts affecting the rest of your staff.

Reward employees. Everybody appreciates raises and bonuses, but monetary rewards aren’t the only way to thank employees for a job well done. The easiest way to recognize a worker’s contribution — by saying “thank you” — is often the most overlooked. Whether you do it with words, money, an employee-of-the-month program or other incentives, make sure your employees know you value their efforts and contributions.

Be a mentor. One of the greatest gifts you can give your employees is sharing your knowledge and experience. Showing your employees firsthand how you close a deal or forecast sales is far more effective than just talking them through it.

Give reviews. Employees need feedback about their performance to improve their skills and grow professionally. Set up a formal review program and give performance appraisals once or twice a year

Have a heart. Family emergencies, illnesses and other unplanned events always arise, so get used to it. Show employees some compassion by being flexible with work hours and time off so they can tend to important matters. Employees always appreciate a sympathetic boss, and as long as your business won’t suffer, make every effort to accommodate workers who have special needs.