So, you are planning to be a manager? Congratulations! But also: are you sure?
60 percent of new managers fail within the first 24 months of their new position. Not because they don’t know the company or their skills in their field are lacking, but because they fail in managing people.
One of the most important things you’ll need to learn as a manager is how to effectively deal with people. The ones who gave good days, bad days, expectations and ambitions–yes: complete minds of their own.
Managing employees can be a tough task. You want to get the most out of your team while also ensuring that they’re happy and productive.
It’s a delicate balance, but there are some tried-and-true management techniques that can help you achieve it. Here are four employee management tips every manager should consider.
Before we start, start with yourself
Before we dive into how to treat your employees, let’s look at how you should treat yourself in order to become a good manager–it all starts with you, right? So, find out what type of manager you’d like to be.
Some people gradually grow into a management role, without ever really thinking about managing other people. They’ve become so good and senior at their jobs, that it simply is the logical next step. Or they’re business owners that start hiring more and more people.
In that case, you’ll have to think about how to run a business that people will love working for. But regardless, If you want to become a (better) manager, think about what type of manager you would like to have–and try to become that. Look for role models, speak to them and speak to other employees to find out what they need.
Tip 1: Provide feedback—both positive and constructive
Regular feedback is essential for employee growth and development. Make a point to give both positive and constructive feedback on a regular basis so that your team members know what they’re doing well and where they need to improve.
It can help to put a performance management solution in place that will help you keep feedback structured and on set times. Plus, it makes it a lot less abstract than a pat on the back in the hallway.
Be specific in your feedback so that there’s no room for misinterpretation, and always take the time to listen to feedback from your employees as well!
Tip 2: More importantly: ask for feedback
Feedback is one of the most valuable tools that managers have at their disposal—yet many of us are still reluctant to seek it out. Why? Because we see it as criticism, or a reflection of our own shortcomings.
But feedback actually helps us to get a more accurate assessment of our strengths and weaknesses, it also helps us to identify areas where we need to improve so that we can become better managers overall.
If you’re a manager who wants to continuously improve your skills, then asking for feedback should be a top priority.
Tip 3: Set measurable goals and objectives
It’s not enough to simply tell your employees what you expect of them—you need to back it up with concrete goals and objectives. This will give them something tangible to work towards and help you track their progress over time.
Don’t be afraid to be specific: if you require a certain number of hours to be done, give your employees tools like phone time tracking timesheets to easily track and report back to you. Goals like these shouldn’t come across like too much pressure: it all comes down to giving your employees the tools they need to succeed.
Plus, remember to make all goals achievable—setting unrealistic targets will only lead to frustration on both your part and your employees’ part.
Tip 4: Define roles and responsibilities clearly from the outset.
When you’re putting together a team, it’s important to make sure that everyone understands their role and how it fits into the big picture.
This will help prevent confusion down the road and ensure that everyone is working towards collective success. Take the time to sit down with each member of your team and explain what’s expected of them.
And be sure to keep the lines of communication open—encourage your team members to come to you with any questions or concerns they may have about their roles.
Tip 5: Encourage collaboration and teamwork.
No one likes feeling like they’re working in a silo, so it’s important to create an environment where collaboration and teamwork are encouraged.
When employees feel like they’re part of a supportive team, they’ll be more likely to go above and beyond for the sake of collective success.
There are a few different ways you can foster teamwork within your team, such as pair programming, regular team lunches, or sharing responsibility for group projects.
Tip 6: Get to know your employees.
The better you know your employees, the better you’ll be able to manage them. Spend time getting to know their strengths and weaknesses, what motivates them and what causes them stress.
This will help you delegate tasks more effectively and provide targeted feedback that leads to improved performance.
Tip 7: Communicate regularly and clearly
Effective communication is key in any relationship, and the manager-employee relationship is no different. Make sure you touch base with your team regularly to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Take a good hard look at how you communicate as well: do you walk away from meetings with more information, or more confusion? How do you communicate over email and chat? It all adds up!
Tip 8: Encourage input
If you want your employees to feel invested in their work, ask for their input. Whether it’s brainstorming ideas for a project or giving feedback on a process, involving them in decision-making will make them feel valued and appreciated.
Tip 9: Delegate effectively, and don’t micromanage
One of the biggest mistakes managers make is trying to do everything themselves. Not only is this inefficient, but it’s also impossible.
As a manager, it’s important to delegate tasks so that you can focus on more important things. But delegation is not as simple as just assigning tasks randomly.
You need to think about who would be best suited for a particular task and whether or not they have the time and resources available to complete it. Delegation is an art form, but once you master it, it will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run.
In the meantime, do not micromanage. One of the quickest ways to create an unhappy team is by micromanaging their every move.
If you’re constantly looking over their shoulders and second-guessing their every decision, they’re going to feel stifled and resentful. It’s important to trust your team members and give them the freedom to do their jobs without constant interference from you.
Tip 10: Never play favorites
When working with people, It’s natural to develop friendships with some members of your team while others rub you the wrong way.
However, as a manager, it’s important to treat everyone fairly and equally regardless of how you feel about them personally. Playing favorites will only breed resentment among your team members and make them less likely to trust or respect you as their leader.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have friends at work: just be super aware of how you treat everyone equally and communicate whenever there seems to be a misunderstanding.
Tip 11: Support professional development
Investing in your employees’ professional development shows that you are invested in their future at the company.
Whether it’s offering opportunities for training and development or covering the cost of relevant courses and certifications, supporting their growth will pay off in the long run.
Tip 12: Be flexible if you want people to stay
With today’s technology, more and more employees are working remotely, and it’s no longer because offices aren’t open. Research shows that 97.6 percent of remote workers want to continue to work remotely–fulltime or part-time for the rest of their working lives.
It’s not hard to see why. We all have different schedules and lifestyles, so accommodating these differences can go a long way in keeping your team happy and productive.
If possible, offer some flexibility in terms of where and when employees can get their work done.
You can be the best manager in the world, but if you’re not giving people the flexibility they need, it worn’t work–and they won’t stick around. Not just allowing remote work but enabling it and empowering employees is one of the ways to retain talent.
Tip 13: Promote a healthy work-life balance
It’s important to encourage your team to maintain a healthy work-life balance. After all, burnout is real, and it can lead to decreased productivity, engagement, and morale.
Encourage your employees to take advantage of flexible hours or work-from-home days when possible, and try not to schedule too many late nights or weekends unless absolutely necessary.
Tip 14: Recognize birthdays and anniversaries
Small gestures like recognizing birthdays and work anniversaries can make a big impression on your team members (not to mention making them feel appreciated).
Something as simple as sending an e-card or taking them out for lunch can go a long way in showing your appreciation for their contributions to the company.
Tip 15: Show your appreciation, often
Finally, don’t forget to show your appreciation for your team’s hard work. A simple “thank you” goes a long way, but you could also consider more tangible forms of recognition, like gift cards, bonuses, or paid time off.
Whatever you decide, make sure that your team knows that you are grateful for everything they do.
Ready to start managing?
It’s crucial to understand that every person is different and that these tips are therefore not necessarily a recipe for success. What works for one person may not work for another.
It’s important to take the time to get to know each member of your team so that you can figure out what motivates them and what management style will work best for them.