You may have noticed a trend with my recent blog posts. I’ve covered the entire interview, hiring and on-boarding processes and now I’m going to talk about management.
Here are five tips for managing employees.
- Communication & Motivation: Effective communication skills are a must for breaking down barriers, which promotes a collaborative atmosphere. A typical employee’s interest in work will vary from day to day, but a manager who frequently communicates with their employees will be able to identify the times when some extra motivation is needed. Also be sure to meet with your staff every quarter and ask them for honest feedback. Ask about their likes and dislikes about the job and environment. My employer implemented a “Be Better Box” where employees can deposit (anonymously if they choose) improvement ideas and suggestions on how to make the company a better place to work (we must be doing something right since we’ve been voted a Best Place to Work winner for several years in a row). Don’t just listen to their ideas and thoughts. You need to act on them as well.
- Strengths & Weaknesses: It takes time and effort to gain a full appreciation of an employee’s strengths and weaknesses. A good manager spends a good deal of time walking around, watching each person’s reactions to events, listening, and taking mental notes about what each individual is drawn to and what each person struggles with.
- Training & Continuing Education: There is always room to grow and learn. Many managers only focus on strengths, but come up short when it comes to focus on weaknesses. As a manager, you need to place your employees in jobs that allow them to use the best of their strengths while improving their weaknesses. Enroll your team in team-building exercises and continuing education classes so they can add skills and knowledge to not only develop and apply to their strengths, but also their weaknesses. For example, I used to have a severe fear of speaking in front of groups. My boss knew this and he went out of his way to help me conquer that fear. He signed me up for public speaking classes at the local community college and slowly incorporated me into joint presentations with him. After the classes and participating in the presentation a few times, I had enough confidence to handle the entire presentation on my own!
- Set Clear Goals & Expectations: Many times, performance issues come as a result of poorly communicated goals and expectations. When goals and expectations are clearly defined, the employee’s performance should improve as they’ll be more engaged. Hold them accountable to their goals and don’t forget to reward them.
- Rewards: This doesn’t necessarily mean monetary rewards. Some employees just like to receive recognition for a job well done. A simple “thank you” or “good job” can go a long way.
When it comes to management, you’re not only dealing with people, but also their personalities. By getting to know your staff, you’ll be better prepared when it comes to motivating and managing them.