Managers have a great number of responsibilities and one of the most challenging and demanding of these is managing members of staff.
Most businesses are made up of people with different personalities, varying work styles and motivations. As a manager, it is your responsibility to bring this diverse group of people together to work as a collective unit. This is not always an easy task, particularly if taking the lead and ‘managing’ does not come naturally to you.
This article outlines a five simple step process that will make people management easier.
- Hire the right people
There is a saying, “a building is only as strong as its foundations”, and this is true when it comes to managing people. How well a business performs is dependent on the people who work within it. To create a strong foundation for you must hire the right people, and to make management easier, you should employ people you find it easy to communicate and interact with.
When it comes to hiring, it is important to get off to a good start with an accurate and effective job description. To do this, focus on keeping it simple, to the point and truthful about what the job entails. Many people think that by making a job description sound exciting they will attract more candidates. It probably does, but many of these candidates won’t be suitable for the role.
It’s also imperative that throughout the hiring process, you are very clear about the business’ vision and what the working environment and style is like at the company, so they know what to expect from you too.
- Set clear goals
A business that is working without a set of clearly defined goals is like a ship lost in the fog without a compass. They have no idea where they are, or where they are going, and your employees will pick up on this and possibly reflect it too.
At the top level you have the business or team goals, and under that you have the goals that are assigned to each team member. Both sets of goals need to be clearly written down and discussed as a team and with individuals in one-on-one meetings. Keep the goals close at hand, or pinned up in the office so that people can easily be reminded of them.
Some businesses use these goals as a method to monitor staff performance. They may even wish to create a staff reward or bonus scheme that is based on staff achieving certain goals.
- Be ‘visible’ as a manager
Ask yourself, if an outsider walked into the business, would they instantly be able to identify you as the manager? If they couldn’t, this means you are not clearly presenting yourself as a manager, which will again be detected by your employees.
This doesn’t mean you need to be seen bossing people around or sitting in your office while everyone else does the work. Quite the opposite, being a visible manager involves spending time with people, talking to them about what they are working on, asking if they need support, and showing gratitude for the work they do.
- Use effective channels of communication
Everybody knows that poor communication can cause a wealth of problems and not having easy and accessible ways to communicate with your employees will almost certainly effect productivity levels and ultimately, the bottom line of your business.
There are many different apps and tools available now to support managers in scheduling staff for work, sharing important information, and handling time-off requests, but it’s important you choose one that does indeed help everyone, rather than complicate these processes even more. Employee scheduling apps allow you to schedule when your employees work, process time-off requests (and display them on the same rota), and you can use both emails and a virtual noticeboard to share news, documents and updates with all or just a few of your employees. These methods ensure that important information is distributed, but communication is always a two-way process. Your employees should always be given lots of opportunities to communicate with you as well.
- Trust your staff
There is evidence that micro-managing employees is ineffective and bad for business, so be mindful of this as you go about supporting your staff. Trusting your employees to manage their own workload is a very successful way to show your employees respect and to improve staff morale and rapport within your team
Staff who feel like they are constantly been watched or quizzed about what they are doing will feel like you don’t trust them. In turn, this leads to employees feeling demotivated, disrupted, and subsequently difficult to manage.
To stop yourself from becoming a micro-manager, remind yourself why you hired them, delegate tasks and offer them support by being easily accessible and approachable.
This guest post is courtesy of Emma Saldanha. She is a content creator here at Findmyshift. Emma has more than 10 years experience in content creation, marketing and PR. In between writing for Findmyshift, Emma writes marketing and branding advice for small to medium business on her blog, writtenbyems. Connect with Emma on Twitter and Facebook.