The Slice

Guiding Principles: The 5 Core Responsibilities of Managers

September 8, 2023

In this post, we'll take a closer look at the five core responsibilities of managers as well as essential management skills that will help lead your team to success.

Being a manager isn't just a matter of overseeing the work of a team. This complex role involves competencies in several realms– organization, leadership, managing interpersonal relationships, technical skills, and much more.

While there's going to be a lot of variation between the daily tasks of managers depending on the company and industry, the truth is that there are core responsibilities that are shared by all managers regardless of the size of the company and the market they exist within.

What responsibilities must managers take charge of when they want to effectively lead a team? What skills can they work to improve in order to improve their team's performance and productivity?

In this post, we'll take a closer look at the five core responsibilities of managers as well as essential management skills that will help lead your team to success.

The 5 Core Responsibilities of Managers

As a manager, you are charged with organizing and driving concrete goals while helping to shape more abstract concepts, such as creating a shared vision and nurturing a positive team culture.

Let's dive in to learn more about the five most essential responsibilities that any manager must take under their belt to create the best possible outcomes for the team, department, and organization as a whole.

1. Objective and Goal Setting

One of the most important responsibilities of any manager is to establish clear goals and objectives for their team. These can't just be any goals– they need to align with the overarching mission and strategy of the department and organization.

By creating crystal-clear goals, teams can discover direction and purpose. They can understand what it is they are trying to work toward and what they need to do to get there. Beyond that, it can help them understand how the smaller tasks they take on daily are helping to contribute to a bigger, more meaningful picture.

2. Organization and Planning

By setting goals and objectives for the team, managers are helping provide a vision of the end goal everyone is working toward as a group. However, more is necessary than just that in order to actually achieve those goals.

In order to have the best possible efficiency and efficacy in obtaining the goals you've set, you'll need to help organize and plan how the team is working and what they are working on. There is a lot contained within this responsibility, including:

  • Creating work schedules

  • Defining the roles and responsibilities of each team member

  • Allocating resources

  • Keeping track of task progress and completion

  • Setting deadlines

  • Breaking goals down into smaller tasks that are delegated and organized in a timeline

3. Leadership and Inspiration

There's more to being a manager than just telling people what to do. In order to get the most out of your team, you'll need to utilize your leadership skills and work to inspire and motivate them at an individual and team level.

The best leaders are able to provide support, guidance, mentorship, and feedback to their team. They help everyone see what it is they are working toward and why it's worth pursuing. They paint a picture of the path that the team is walking together as a group and provide inspiration that fuels the completion of daily operations tasks.

There are a lot of components to being a great leader, and it's an area of human behavior where a lot of brain power has been directed in the last few hundred years. It's worth learning more about the different leadership styles and working to identify your unique leadership style. Some of the essential skills of effective leadership include:

  • Communication skills

  • Delegation

  • Strategic thinking

  • Adaptability

  • Organizational skills

  • Self-motivation

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Self-awareness

  • Integrity

  • Growth-mindset and a willingness to learn

Later on in this article, we'll take a closer look at some of these vital leadership skills.

4. Team Building

Another core responsibility of managers is team building. When you invest in team building, it has a direct impact on your team's performance, morale, and cohesion.

Spending time working to create stronger bonds within your team and improving teamwork skills isn't a frivolous expense– this is something that can lead to higher productivity, improved collaboration, and a more positive and healthy work environment.

Team building is important in every company in every industry, but it's particularly essential when you're managing a remote team. While there are countless benefits to our increasingly work-from-home world, one downside is that individuals are at increased risk of feeling lonely and isolated. Without the opportunity to organically build relationships with coworkers in the break room or grab a drink after work, morale and motivation at the individual and group levels can suffer.

As a manager and leader, you can take control of this issue and deliberately create opportunities for your team to get to know each other better. This won't just make them happier to show up to work and more engaged when they do, but it will also help them learn how to work together better and be more productive overall. The more your team is bonded with one another, the more comfortable they will be sharing their creative ideas and the more excited they'll be to give their all to a project.

At PizzaTime, we specialize in helping bring remote teams together. Through the power of food and shared experiences, we can help you boost morale, motivation, productivity, and performance.

5. Problem Solving and Decision Making

Finally, the fifth core responsibility of managers is the ability to efficiently and effectively solve problems and make decisions. This includes deliberate planning in regard to what your team is working on and how, as well as fielding problems as they crop up unexpectedly.

While problem-solving and decision-making are often lumped together due to highly related concepts, it's worth delving deeper to understand the difference.

Decision-making is the process of using judgment, facts, data, circumstantial information, and more to select the right solution. As a part of the decision-making process, you're working to avoid potential obstacles and problems down the road. In most cases, decision-making is an essential component of problem-solving.

Problem-solving, on the other hand, is the process of taking a thorough look at all potential solutions to an issue or situation. The end goal is to find the best solution to the problem, which can only be done by carefully considering every option. Beyond that, one must identify the cause of a problem to ensure it can be avoided down the road.

Essential Skills For Leadership as a Manager

Being a manager doesn't inherently make someone a leader. While some people are predisposed to having personality traits that make them successful leaders, many of us have to work to improve various leadership skills to best provide direction and inspiration to our teams.

Let's look at some of the most important skills managers can develop over time to help guide their team to success.

Interpersonal Skills

While many technical and hard skills are required for a manager to be truly successful, one of the most important leadership skills is mastering the art of interpersonal relationships.

This includes working to understand the unique personalities and work styles of individual team members, helping to shape a team culture that is welcoming and positive, and deliberately creating opportunities for your team to improve their skills and get to know each other.

Communication Skills

Communication is absolutely key in any business. Your team will be motivated and unified by your ability to effectively communicate, even when you're sharing news that is difficult or potentially problematic for the team.

The best managers are able to adapt their communication style depending on the person or circumstance. Teams will be better able to complete tasks on time, avoid miscommunication, and ultimately be successful when a manager's communication skills are on point.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of and manage one's own emotions while also recognizing and responding appropriately to the emotions of others. As a manager, you can utilize your emotional intelligence skills to exercise empathy, fairness, and sensitivity.

For example, if one of your team members is starting to show signs of burnout, you can talk to them and come up with a solution to help them manage stress and potentially even step away from work for a few days to recuperate.

Teamwork and Team Building Skills

A truly successful team is able to produce results that are, as they say, more than the sum of their parts. On the other hand, a disjointed and disorganized team that struggles to work together effectively can leave you wanting to rip your hair out.

As a leader, you can help boost your team's teamwork skills, offering guidance and education on how everyone can best work together. Beyond that, you can organize and host team-building activities to help create a stronger bond that results in increased motivation, satisfaction, morale, productivity, and performance.

Time Management

Managers are faced with a multi-faceted set of responsibilities, and one skill they can use in both their own work and in their management of the team is time management.

By establishing routines and systems for your team, you can ensure that time isn't wasted when regular, repeated tasks are being worked on. Beyond that, you can help your team learn how to better organize and manage their own time to ensure stress is kept to a minimum and productivity is at an all-time high.


Motivation is a bit of a mysterious phenomenon, but what is certain is that your team's performance will suffer without it.

Managers aren't just tasked with telling their team what to do and when; they also have to help them develop the motivation to really connect with their work.


Which person on your team should be responsible for what task? How will you dole out the different parts of a new project to your team members? How can you best offer your team a bit of a challenge to help facilitate their growth without burdening them with something fundamentally out of their wheelhouse?

These are the types of questions you'll want to tackle as you work to master the art of delegation. When you have excellent delegation skills, your team will be more productive and efficient. Beyond that, it can also help increase your team's responsibility and accountability.

Recognition and Feedback

Even the most internally motivated employees will start to drag their feet if they feel their hard work is going unnoticed. Furthermore, employees who are falling short of expectations have no reason to change their ways if they never receive any feedback.

Providing praise and constructive criticism are both important skills for managers as they work to lead their teams.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Change is the only constant in this world, and the business world is no different.

Though many of us are creatures of comfort who like to settle into our routines, the best leaders and managers are highly adaptable. They keep their finger on the pulse of their organization and industry to ensure they're ready to pivot on a moment's notice, and they aren't afraid to make big changes when it's the right thing to do.

Bringing Your Team Together, Wherever They Are

Managing a remote team comes along with a unique set of challenges. One of the most apparent issues that must be overcome is the distance and isolation team members can experience when they aren't working in an office context with their coworkers. Even when you're hosting weekly video meetings and regularly checking in with your team, performance and productivity can suffer when there isn't a strong bond within the team.

Are you searching for ways to bring your team together? If so, you're in the right place!

At PizzaTime, our mission is to help remote teams be as happy, productive, and team-oriented as possible. From hosting a virtual happy hour or pizza party to sending your team through a virtual escape room challenge, we're here to make it a reality. If you're ready to see your crew grow closer and more effective as a team, start your order today.

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