The Manager's Guide to Success: Making it to the Top Without Stepping on Any Toes

Discover the key tips and techniques needed to reach the top while avoiding the pitfalls of stepping on any toes.

December 22, 2022
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There are 300 more icebreaker questions at the bottom of the article
How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you usually eat for a quick lunch?
What simple food will you never eat?
Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
Would you rather stay at a hotel or an AirBNB?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
What is an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
What was your first job?
Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?
Show us your most-used emoji.
What was the most unique style or fashion trend you ever embraced?
What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
What is your favorite knock-knock joke?
Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

No matter the roles and responsibilities of a manager in your organization, they are typically expected to lead their teams successfully.

From communicating with direct reports to understanding how to get the most out of feedback, this guide will provide the tools necessary for mastering the art of incorporating idea management.

With a little hard work and creative thinking, managers can make it to the top without stepping on any toes.

Are you a manager looking to make a name for yourself in your organization? If so, you know that it's essential to understand a manager's job description and how to communicate effectively with your direct reports and the C-Suite.

Finding the best tools for productivity, engaging with your team, and getting effective feedback is also essential. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to success and making it to the top without stepping on any toes.

What are the Responsibilities of a Manager?

As a manager, it's important to understand the different duties and responsibilities you have. Your job is to set goals and objectives, motivate and inspire your team, and ensure that the team works efficiently and effectively.

An important leadership skill that managers need to learn is delegating tasks to their direct reports instead of trying to do everything themselves. This can lead to burnout and prevent the team from reaching its full potential.

You also have to give meaningful feedback to ensure your team members are improving on their opportunities for growth.

Here's a video to help you always give meaningful feedback:

What are the five of the most important responsibilities of a manager?

When it comes to effectively managing a team, communication is key. Developing a positive team environment where everyone feels heard and valued is also essential.

To make it easier, we've narrowed down the most important duties of managers to five responsibilities that will ensure your strategic goals align with the company's goals.

- Understanding the role of the manager – As a manager, it's important to be aware of your specific responsibilities and how they fit into the larger organization.
- Establishing goals and objectives – Setting clear, achievable goals is essential for any team or organization.
- Supporting and developing team members – Managers should strive to create an environment where team members feel supported and can grow.
- Making decisions – Managers need to be able to make quick decisions to move the organization forward.
- Avoiding the biggest mistakes that managers make – Common mistakes that managers make include micromanaging, lack of communication, and failing to hold team members accountable.

As a manager, listening and responding to feedback from your direct reports is essential. You should also take the time to understand their individual strengths and weaknesses and learn from them. Additionally, it's vital to be mindful of any power imbalances and to be aware of potential conflicts.

How Do You Effectively Communicate With Direct Reports?

- Developing a positive team environment – Managers should strive to create an environment where team members feel valued and respected.
- Listening and responding to feedback – Listening to feedback is essential for any manager, as it can help identify improvement areas.
- Learning from the direct reports – Managers should be open to learning from their direct reports, as they can often offer unique perspectives.
- Setting clear expectations – Managers should ensure that team members are aware of their responsibilities and what is expected of them.
- Being aware of potential conflicts – Managers should be on the lookout for any potential disputes between team members and take steps to address them.

How Do You Effectively Communicate With The C-Suite?

When communicating with the C-Suite, it's important to understand the company culture and to know the right questions to ask. It's also important to be transparent about any issues or challenges your team faces and to be open to feedback from the C-Suite. Additionally, it's important to remember that it's okay to ask for help when needed.

Successful managers should be able to build strong relationships with the C-Suite.

Here Are Five Tips For Communicating With The C-Suite:

Understanding the company culture – Managers should be aware of the organization's culture and how their actions will affect it.
Knowing the right questions to ask – Managers should be able to ask the right questions to get the information they need.
• Being transparent – Managers should be open and honest in all communications with the C-Suite.
Asking for help when needed – Managers should not be afraid to ask for help, as it can help them make better decisions.
Building trust – Managers should strive to build trust with the C-Suite, as it will help them to be successful in the long run.

Best Tools for Productivity

When managing a team, finding the best tools for productivity is important. For example, project management software can be an excellent resource for keeping teams organized and on track. Assembly as the flexible and fully customizable solution for team productivity – Assembly is an online platform that helps teams collaborate, manage tasks, and stay on top of deadlines. Book a demo to learn more.

Engagement and Icebreakers

Creating an atmosphere of trust and respect is essential for team success. It's important to find activities that promote team bonding and engagement. Icebreakers are a great way to get everyone comfortable and to help break the ice.

What Are Fun Icebreakers That Can Be Used To Foster Team Building?

1. The Name Game: Each person in the group states their name and a fun fact about themselves.
2. The Human Knot: Have the team form a circle and join hands. The goal is to untangle themselves without letting go of each other.
3. The Blind Drawing: Divide the team into pairs and have one person draw a picture while the other gives instructions.
4. Marshmallow Challenge: Give each team a marshmallow, a few pieces of spaghetti, and some tape, and have them build the tallest tower.
5. Two Truths and a Lie: Each person states two truths and one lie about themselves, and the others have to guess the lie.

How Do You Get Effective Feedback From The Team?

Getting feedback from your team is essential for continual improvement and growth. Utilizing surveys and other feedback tools are great ways to get honest and constructive feedback from your direct reports. Additionally, it's important to understand employee feedback's value and to ensure you are implementing their feedback and suggestions.

Ask your direct reports the following questions to get honest feedback:
• What do you think I could do better?
• What do you think I do well?
• Do you feel like I am an
effective manager?
• Do you have any ideas for
improving our team's performance?
• What do you think would make our team more successful?

Utilizing surveys and other feedback tools can also be an effective way to get feedback from your team. For example, surveys allow you to get a more comprehensive view of your team's feedback and make it easier to compare data over time. This can help you to identify areas where improvements can be made and also recognize where you are doing well.

Understanding the value of employee feedback is key to successful management. Not only does it provide you with valuable insight into how your team is performing, but it also encourages employee engagement and shows that you value their opinion.

Once you have collected employee feedback, it's important to know how to implement it. Start by breaking down the feedback into manageable goals and creating a plan for how you will achieve them. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it and don't forget to recognize your team's successes.

How Do Managers Influence Productivity?

To sum it up, effective management is essential for success. It's important to understand the manager's role and find the best tools for productivity. Additionally, it's important to communicate with your direct reports and the C-Suite and get effective feedback from your team. Finally, it's important to recognize the need for continual improvement and to take calculated risks. By following this guide, you'll be well on your way to the top without stepping on any toes.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered