We get it, employee management is never an easy task.
Projects and companies have been destroyed, time and time again, due to inability of managers to properly lead their teams to success.
Historically, 37% of projects fail due to a lack of a common goal. Employees cannot be sure what their job is if managers are unclear themselves.
What’s more alarming, 75% of employees who voluntarily leave their job cite bad bosses as the contributing factor, not their work!
Good employee management skills are especially important to the small business owner. Crucial, even. When your entire company lies on the back of less than 10 employees, it is paramount that the team works together flawlessly to achieve the company’s goals together.
Today we have garnered 4 quick tips to be a better manager to your employees. Read on:
In this day and age, it is important for managers to let employees know what they are contributing to. Now wait, I know what you’re thinking, “What do you mean, of course my employees understand what they’re doing here!”. Let me explain:
Employees need to be able to see their contribution to the business.
Humans are hardwired for a “goal-work-reward” cycle; being able to see the product of one’s hard work is fulfilling and gives a strong sense of satisfaction. At the workplace, employees are no different.
It is important to let employees know how to company is doing and how their work has impacted the company meaningfully.
This keeps them engaged in their work, and studies have shown that employees who are engaged are 87% less likely to leave the company!
What’s more, engaged employees also achieve twice as much more net income for their organisations compared to unengaged ones.
How does this translate to concrete actions?
At the hiring phase, every employee has a list of duties and performance expectations.
As a manager and business owner, it is important to have performance reviews for your employees every few months on a set schedule.
This allows them to see their own contribution: where they’re doing well, where they’re lacking and what they can improve on.
Take this opportunity to talk to them one on one and recognise their contributions: don’t forget to praise their merits!
2. Flexibility & Grace
Be flexible and accommodating to their needs as far as possible!
All managers have had cases of employees reporting sick on the day of work, falling short of expectations or just minor lapses in their work. Most managers will tell you their terrible story of berating a particular employee for their lackluster work standards, only to realise later on that said employee just lost a loved one.
Managers need to be tactful.
Furthermore, while this is inconvenient for manpower planning sometimes, they need to be empathetic to their employees.
This could be in the form of asking them about their situation, whether they need help with anything in their lives. Employees will definitely appreciate the gesture, in the process increasing staff morale and camaraderie.
However, not all employees are the same and different people have different needs. Some prefer leniency with their schedule, others might prefer having a regimented work schedule.
A good manager finds out the needs of each employee and tailors his style of management to accommodate to them as much as possible.
Definitely do not understate the power of grace and flexibility once in a while!
3. Have an employee perspective
Have you ever been a participant in an activity or project and found yourself wondering, “Why haven’t they improved that?” or “There’s definitely a better way of doing this”. As a manager, these are the things you should actively look out for when you’re trying to manage your employees.
Find out what improvements can be made from them!
Put yourself in their shoes and find out what you can improve on in yourself, try your best to be those things as far as you can.
You could go even further by regularly inquiring from your employees what changes they think should be implemented to further improve either the company or their well-being. Just the act of you reaching out to find out the needs of your staff already shows them that they are valued in the company.
4. Encourage Spontaneity & Creativity
The best managers allow spontaneous things to happen in the workplace.
Take them out for lunch at your expense once in a while. Employees will remember and appreciate that. Have a public suggestion board and encourage generation of fresh ideas.
People like feeling like they have a say and that their work can make a difference. Give them that.
Most people enjoy sticking to the status quo. But in every workplace, there will always be a 1 or 2 people who are the “rockstars”, socially speaking. Give these geniuses some freedom to think outside the box and make changes to benefit the rest.
Don’t stop there, encourage the rest of the team to follow suit!
Also, never shoot down ideas. Even if it sounds like a bad idea, listen to them and consider them carefully. It goes a long way.
You’ll be surprised at the ideas that can come up when you listen to your employees and carefully consider their viewpoints. They’re the people doing the work and no one but them could understand the difficulties and intricacies better.
Furthermore, they’ll respect you more! If someone actually sat down and listened to your viewpoints and implemented change, you’d feel very much appreciated too. It’s the same for manager-employee relationships!
On the Other Hand
While the tips mentioned above serve as a guide on being more relational and committed to your team, there are also a few pitfalls to watch out for when working with your employees:
5. Don’t get too Friendly
At the end of the day, you are still their manager and they are your employees. While it is a nice gesture to buy lunch for them or go out for the occasional hangout session, it is important that the professional boundary exists.
Imagine seeing your boss at the club getting wasted and incoherent while trying to get you to take shots with him? Would you find it difficult to respect his authority at work the next morning?
Be friendly, but don’t forget your boundaries!
6. Don’t throw employees under the bus
It may seem like a simple tip, but we’ve seen this happen more times than it should have. When something goes wrong in the areas that you manage, take responsibility.
Blaming employees or putting the responsibility on them might make you look better in the short term, it leaves a dangerous precedence:
Your employee will never trust you again.
What’s worse? News spreads, they’ll tell their colleagues and word definitely spreads fast in office spaces. When no one trusts you and no one respects you, it is next to impossible to lead them.
Also, your senior managers might even start to question your ability to lead. Really, not taking responsibility for your actions does not help your career at all – it jeopardizes it.
Managing people, coupled with running a small business, is no easy feat. We hope the tips outlined here have helped you in your journey to a cohesive team and strong bonds with your employees. Remember, its all a balancing act in the realm of people management! Keep everyone focused and following a singular goal, then drive them to achieving it.
If you liked this article, why not find out how to increase your company’s efficiency?
“Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.”