We know that managing a lab is no easy task and we admire those who take on this role. We have rounded up some of our favorite tips to help new lab managers hone their skills and find success.
Have a plan for supply orders
Have a strategy for placing orders for your lab. This will make day-to-day ordering easier and more efficient so that no lab member is ever left without what they need. It also means orders will be performed in the same way from person to person with consistent outcomes.
Maintain a good relationship with your PI
Communication and trust will be at the core of this relationship. In order for the lab to run as efficiently as possible, you need to be open with each other about ongoing operations and priorities. It will also make it easier to work through any disagreements that arise.
Focus on listening
You can learn so much from your lab members, you just have to remember to listen to them. When meeting with a lab member try not to be working on anything else, give them all of your attention. Keep an open mind to what they have to say. Doing so will help to generate more creativity and collaboration in the lab.
Be a good decision-maker
As a lab manager, your choices will affect the whole lab so you will want to make them carefully. However, don’t let this lead you to a place of decision paralysis. Instead, consider all of your options carefully and choose what will be best for the lab as a whole.
Enforce the rules and regulations
As the lab manager, it is your job to make sure that every new hire is properly onboarded so that they are aware of all rules and regulations in order to promote a safe work environment. You should also host trainings to refresh your lab members’ knowledge to maintain data authenticity and to remain safe.
Take a lap every day
Make an effort to spend time walking around the lab every day. This will give employees the chance to catch up with you if they have concerns. It will also give you the chance to ensure that safety rules and regulations are being followed.
Work on your management skills
While a science-based role, to be a successful lab manager the skills you need go far beyond this. You will also need to excel in communication, management, and leadership. We really like this article as a place to begin improving your skills.
Tailor your style for each employee
Every person is different and will have preferences for management style. Make an effort to tailor your style to each person to build healthy relationships with everyone. Some people will like a stricter approach while others will hope that you are more friendly as you lead.
Celebrate successes together
Compliments are a major way to motivate employees, so if someone is doing very well make sure to let them know. If the whole lab has been particularly successful, you may consider bringing in a treat to share with them or organizing an after-work outing.
We hope these tips make you feel confident as a lab manager and save you some time in your day to day activities. Do you have a favorite lab management tip? Let us know on Twitter, @ConserisApp.
Conseris is a data collection app designed to help researchers collect, store, and analyze data more efficiently. Try it out: www.conseris.io.