Every employee on your team has unique talents and skills that your company needs to succeed, and for them to reach their full potential, you need to dedicate yourself to being the best manager they’ve ever had. Improve productivity and boost morale by making these eight tactics part of your management approach.
Develop a smart recruiting process.
There are plenty of tools designed to make recruitment more efficient and attract top talent to your company, but one thing these platforms can’t do is evaluate how well a potential hire fits your existing team. A candidate with a stellar resume, impressive educational background, and mind-blowing skill set might have it all together on paper, but if he or she isn’t willing to work hard and participate in effective collaborations, it could make employee management more difficult. Along with talent and a team spirit, the best employees:
- Have a strong desire to learn.
- Want to grow as part of the company.
- Are genuine and open.
- Consider the job more than just a paycheck.
Work with your HR department to establish a recruiting process in which potential candidates are evaluated for more than just their credentials. Look for other beneficial traits while using interviews and follow-ups to determine which applicants can benefit your company the most with their useful knowledge, dynamic personalities, and strong levels of commitment.
A survey conducted by Entrepreneur revealed only 15 percent of employees “are satisfied with the quality of communication” where they work. This means a staggering 85 percent think their employers don’t pay attention to them or just plain stink at communicating.
Good managers recognize employees have needs and concerns and they foster a work atmosphere where open dialogue is encouraged. Let your team know they can come to you with their problems and ideas and set up a system designed to ensure everyone has a chance to be heard. Show them you value employee input by correcting problems and giving serious consideration to suggestions for improvements in various areas of the company.
Open communication goes both ways, so you have to be prepared to share with your employees when you’re experiencing setbacks with the potential to affect their jobs. Be real and honest in your discussions; people can tell if you’re hiding something or trying to put on a front. When you’re willing to be a little vulnerable, your employees will be more comfortable coming to you.
Listening to your employees will inevitably bring some workflow issues to your attention. With all the rapid changes taking place in business technology, everything from the way you accept credit card payments, to the management of customer data has become more complex. If any part of the system is slow or your employees aren’t familiar with the way modern tools work, it could be a hindrance and prevent them from reaching their full productive potential. Periodically ask your team about the issues they encounter during the normal course of doing their jobs and connect with the IT department to correct the problems as soon as possible. Be open to making continual adjustments to refine the system and provide training whenever new applications are introduced.
Offer continual opportunities for education.
Young professionals are looking for workplaces where managers care about personal and professional growth among their teams. According to Monster, about 72 percent of employees think their managers don’t care at all. Imagine going to work every day and doing the exact same thing, never improving or getting anywhere. You’ve probably had this feeling, like being a hamster on a wheel without direction in your career. If you’re honest with yourself, you couldn’t wait to get out the door and into a better job where you could use your talents to accomplish something worthwhile. Don’t subject your employees to the same experience. Provide as many opportunities as you can for them to attend educational or career seminars, spend time at trade shows, or take college courses relevant to their jobs. Supporting them in a continual process of learning not only builds their skill sets but also provides your company with a workforce knowledgeable about the latest industry tools and trends. Any investment you make in employee education should more than pay for itself as you pull ahead of the competition.
Keep an eye on time.
Yes, your employees are wasting time on Facebook or making the occasional online purchase when they should be working, and no, there’s probably no way to achieve total elimination of these distractions. What you can do is identify the biggest time sucks in your company and take the initiative to address the underlying causes. The most basic approach to better time management is to use a time clock or time tracking system for your team. It makes scheduling and payroll easier, ensures employees are properly compensated, and reduces time spent correcting errors. You can also delight everyone by declaring an end to pointless meetings. Before yanking people away from their desks yet again, determine if you really need a meeting or if the issue can be addressed in another, more efficient way. When a meeting is required, work up an agenda with blocks of time for each topic, and stick to the scheduled timing.
Monitor performance continually.
The days of the annual performance review are over, or at least they should be. If your company is still living in the stone age and waiting 12 whole months to look at how employees are doing, something is seriously wrong. It’s time to drag yourself into the modern era of performance monitoring systems and consistent, constructive feedback. An employee monitoring platform gives you a window into the strengths, weaknesses, efficiency, and productivity of everyone on your team. Instead of waiting until the end of the year to weed out the people who are underperforming and drop a nasty bombshell on them, you can look at where team members are struggling and offer options to help them grow. Find a platform suitable for the structure of your business and use the included reporting tools to map your employees’ journeys. Provide regular feedback to everyone on the team and let them know their success is your main concern.
Recognize a job well done.
How should you react when all the monitoring you do only serves to prove just how awesome your team is? Show them you really appreciate all they do! Reward the people who have been working hard, seeking new educational opportunities, and pursuing paths of professional growth. Make sure they know you’ve been paying attention by:
- Providing compliments on jobs well done.
- Giving bonuses to top performers.
- Highlighting a different special employee every week or month.
- Offering small tokens of appreciation, such as a gift card for a free meal out.
- Throwing a party for the entire team to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments.
Tangible recognition from managers reminds employees of their worth as part of the company. The resulting boost in morale should translate to even better performance because people will feel that their jobs are important!
Build a culture of trust.
Trust is way more than just a buzzword. After all, a huge part of marketing is building trust with customers and clients. Why wouldn’t you do the same with the people you employ? Nobody wants to work for a sneaky, underhanded, double-talking manager. Furthermore, no manager wants a team of people who always eye him or her with suspicion. What’s the solution? Be a role model. Work hard, say what you mean, mean what you say, keep your promises, and be consistent. Always treat employees with respect. Your display of integrity shows what you expect from your team and prompts them to behave the same way. Let this commitment to being trustworthy influence the company culture. Create a place where:
- Teamwork is encouraged.
- Management is responsive to problems.
- Conflicts are resolved quickly.
- Employees have a measure of freedom.
Following the other best practices for good employee management given here will naturally support these elements of establishing an environment of trust. When you become a better manager, you help employees leverage their strengths and give them opportunities to grow. In return, your company as a whole enjoys greater productivity and efficiency. This trade-off makes good management a worthy investment, especially if you want to see your team grow and become more dynamic over time. To sum up: Be the kind of manager you always wished you had and watch your employees flourish!