Employee Management 101: Tips On How To Manage Your Staff
A crucial step to the success of running your small business is good employee management. Staff management is a skill that you gain over years of experience.
Your staff are the people that power the growth of your company and help to operate the business on a day to day basis. Productive and hardworking employees will help your business succeed whereas unhappy and lazy employees can cause your business to fail from the inside. Without a good team in place, your business will be going nowhere.
However, we understand that managing your employees isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially since there is no “right” management style. Being a controlling and harsh leader can lead to resentment and demotivation, but being too soft can lead to bad habits or laziness.
But don’t worry!
We understand the struggle and we’re here to help!
Keep reading for everything you need to know about managing your staff and some of our top tips that’ll help you!
What is employee management?
Before we begin, let’s make sure we all understand the basics. What is employee management?
Employee management involves:
- Selection – choosing the right people to hire
- Measurement – measuring staff performance, how well they are meeting their goals and what needs to be done to reach it
- Monitoring – overseeing employee performance on a day-to-day basis
- Interaction – how well you and your staff communicate and work together with each other
- Reward – rewarding staff for excellent performance
- Discipline – training staff to obey rules and appropriate behaviours, and if not, what methods of punishment and discipline should be undertaken?
Don’t underestimate the importance of good staff management
Staff management is the backbone of every business.
Having enough and the right employees for the job is very important. Employee’s that are managed and trained well are better prepared to do their jobs and serve customers.
Ultimately, this can lead to higher profits, happier customers and an increase in customer loyalty.
If staff productivity and motivation are low, then turnover will be higher and more costs will be spent on hiring. How unfortunate would it be if you spent tons of money and effort into hiring and training someone, only to have them leave the company and start the process all over again with someone new.
Good employee management also helps staff thrive in their work every day in order to reach the goals set by the company. This will not only allow them to reach their individual goals but also the overall company goal.
10 tips to manage staff effectively
So how do you effectively manage staff? Here are our 10 top tips:
1. Hire the right people
From the very beginning, you have to be very careful when finding the right employee to hire. Other than finding someone that fits the job description and has the qualificiations, here are a few other qualities to look for:
- Honest – someone who will tell you the truth and keep to their word. Avoid people with fake personalities.
- Humble – they understand their strengths and weaknesses. Doesn’t think too highly or lowly of themselves.
- Enthusiastic and passion – desire to learn and go out of their comfort zone to excel.
- Emotional Intelligence – deals with their emotions well and are emphathetic to others around them
- Motivated and ambitious – Willingness to work hard at the job
- Team Player – works well with other people
- Reliable – someone you trust that willl get the job done
- Receptive – someone who takes direction, criticisms and praise well
Many businesses just focus on hiring someone with the right qualifications, but just because they have the right skills, doesn’t mean they are the right person to hire. By spending more time and effort on the recruitment process, this will eliminate any potential risks of hiring the wrong employee or someone that could potentially cause a disruption to your business operations.
2. Measure and monitor staff performance on a regular basis
This is a hard thing to do, especially since people don’t like the feeling of being constantly watched or checked up on.
As a manager, you should avoid:
- Micromanaging – constantly telling employees how to do their job and picking on every little thing. Not only will this add stress and tension to their life, but also to yours. You hired the person to do the job, so trust them to do it without micromanaging them.
- Constant positive/negative feedback – Too much of anything isn’t good. If you give too much positive feedback, the employee may get over-confident and start slacking off. Constant negative feedback also isn’t good as they may start feeling unconfident and demotivated. Find a good balance by doing monthly meetings to review their performance and give them praises and discuss how they can improve at the same time.
- Lack of privacy – Are you always watching over your staff on everything they’re doing? Employees under continuous supervision will develop a feeling of fear and resentment. Show your employees that you can trust them to do their job and respect their privacy.
When it comes to measuring employee performance, make sure to set predetermined goals for them to meet every month or quarter. Communicate this to them so they are aware of what needs to be reached and the steps to get there. Check up on their progress every month or quarter, readjust the goals if needed and give them support on anything they may be struggling with.
3. Interact with your employees
Don’t be the manager that everyone shivers at the thought of and dreads to see every morning. Interact with your employees and gain their respect and trust. Getting to know your staff on a personal level allows you to understand them better, and it also makes them feel like you value them as a person.
Be emphathetic when they are communicating a problem across to you. Try to see things from their point of view so you can suggest a proper solution. However, don’t let employees walk all over you! Some people may take advantage of your compassion and be give you excuses or lies just to avoid the real issue.
So be empathetic but don’t let them fool you if something seems off.
As a manager, you should be the one resolving conflicts instead of causing them. Respect your staff’s privacy and try to avoid shaming them in front of others.
4. Encourage people to voice out their opinions and ideas
Following on nicely from the last point, try to create an environment that allows people to participate in discussions and voice out their opinions. With your staff members actively participating, it shows that they are motivated by attempting to make improvements to the business.
Never shut someone down for voicing their opinion, even if you don’t agree with it. By doing that, you will build resentment and tensions will arise as your staff members will be discouraged from sharing any of their thoughts.
Everyone’s thoughts and voice is important! Make sure that your staff members feel heard!
5. Have clear goals and objectives
To do this, you should first know what you want and need for your business. Establish a goal to reach, calculate the numbers of sales and output needed to reach it.
Then tell your employees what you want and the steps to get there. Give them a deadline so they know when to reach this goal by.
Be specific when communication and setting individual/team goals. For example, describe the behavior, attitude, output per shift needed etc. Remember to keep your objectives SMART:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-based
Without giving employees a clear direction, they will become confused and demotivated as they won’t be working towards achieving anything.
This will also help with tracking their individual progress as you can easily tell when someone isn’t meeting expectations.
Remember that if employees don’t know what you expect, they won’t meet these expectations!
6. Reward and recognise hard work
Everyone loves to be rewarded, esepcially when they have done exceptional work. If you see someone really excelling or working hard, reward them with a small bonus, a small prize or even vocal recognition.
Do this infront of the whole team as it will make the recipient feel good and show everyone else that hard work is rewarded, motivating them indirectly.
Many businesses use regular reward systems such as employee of the month, monthly staff outings, special benefits etc.
But remember to be consistent and fair with your rewards so you won’t get accused of having favourites.
7. Staff should enjoy their work
Play hard, work harder!
Think about it, your staff spends the majority of their days at work.
By making the workplace a more enjoyable place to be, staff will be more motivated to do their best work and it will also boost productivity.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go all out by getting a table tennis table or anything luxurious. You can make work enjoyable even with simple things like surprise birthday celebrations for your staff members, dedicated break room for coffee breaks or even just encouraging an environment where everyone can be friendly and have casual conversations instead of talking about work related topics all the time.
People will be more likely to work hard and do their best when they feel that you, as a manager, and the company, cares for their wellbeing.
8. Set the example
As the manager, your employees will look up to you in terms of behaviour.
If you show up late, then your staff will start thinking it’s okay to be late. If you treat your staff badly, then others will think it’s alright to treat co-workers the same way. If you start slacking off, then your staff will think its okay to do so too.
To have employees behaving in the way you expect them to, strive to become that ideal worker yourself. Especially when you’re in front of your team, you have to set a clear example.
9. Never lie to your staff
Be as transparent as possible. Being upfront and honest with your team builts trust and respect as it shows your integrity as their leader. Lying about something (especially regarding something concerning the business), or withholding information, could jeopardise the respect you earned and your relationship with your employees.
10. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ management style
Your team is filled with different people of different personalities, strengths, weaknesses and ideas. Because of this, never use the same approach to motivate or manage everyone.
For example, one of your staff members may do well under immense pressure and tight deadlines, whereas another one of your employees may not.
Understand this and treat everyone as individuals. Try to customise your approach with each person according to their needs.
Make your life easier – Use an employee management system!
So as you can see, there are many things to consider when it comes to employee management. Hopefully, these tips have been helpful to help grow and empower your business!
However, there is a way to make all this so much easier!
Much like everything else that technology has taken over, there is now an automated way to automate all employee management processes. How?
Through an employee management system!
An employee management system is a useful tool that many business owners use to organise and streamline HR tasks. It helps optimise your operations by automating all the time-consuming admin tasks. Aside from the essential HR features, this system can also onboard staff, automate payroll, track staff performance and shift times etc.
A good employee management system will save you time, effort and money, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your operations that need more attention.
What’s better is that all this can be done and seen in real-time. You can have constant access to staff management data no matter when or where you are. This way, you can keep track and monitor staff activity without being seen as micromanaging. It’s also easier to see if there are any suspicious activities happening when you aren’t around.
What are you waiting for? Get started on an employee management system today!