Whether you’re a rookie manager or have been around awhile, reading up on management techniques is always smart. Let’s discuss how to manage your employees effectively. In no particular order, here are my top ten steps in being a good manager.
If your people can’t depend on you to be honest, you may as well give up right now. When they do good, praise them publicly. When they screw up, take them aside and tell them what they’ve done wrong and why. Chastising someone publicly builds resentment and will undermine your ability to lead very quickly. You simply cannot managing employees effectively without trust in the workplace.
Be fair with your employees. If you must chastise someone for doing wrong, you must do the same for everyone… even the star who accomplishes twice as much as everyone else. If everyone is vying for overtime, don’t dole it out just to favorites – give it to those that are more troublesome, too. If you don’t, they’ll definitely make you pay for it later. Lots of people thrive on accusing the boss of favoritism, but if that accusation comes from all sides, then you’re probably being fair.
Keep Some Distance
Getting too close to your subordinates can make it difficult to control them. There must be a line between the manager and the managed. Being friendly and chatting with them is fine, but once you’re eating with their family four nights a week, you’ve gone too far.
Most Americans’ pastime is complaining. Being a good manager is to never complain downward. Listen to their complaints with an open mind. If it is within your power – and their complaint is reasonable – promise to act on it, and then do it. If the complaint is unreasonable or out of your control, suggest a way for them to deal with it or volunteer to bring up the issue with someone who can solve the problem. Getting into the gutter with them and whining just grows the negativity.
When the job must get done and everyone is in a panic, a calm manager can make all the difference. Running around and barking orders doesn’t help anything. Taking a smoke break to de-stress leaves your team without a leader at the critical moment. Keep your cool and reasoning ability intact. Strategize with other managers if necessary to get your thoughts straight. But present a calm, in-control exterior to your team.
Have the confidence to learn from your subordinates. Oftentimes your team will know the details of a given job, or process, better than you. They are down and dirty with the nitty-gritty of the job every day… they should know better! So there is nothing wrong with getting input from them when the need arises. Insecure managers strut around acting like they know everything. Your team will realize this and snicker behind your back at your arrogance.
Maintain a Steady Disposition
Being up one day and down the next is confusing to subordinates. They never know which boss they’re going to get, so they quit going to the boss. Problems go unsolved, and quality and productivity will suffer. Turnover will likely go up as people get tired of dealing with a difficult manager and quit.
Learn from Your Superiors
You may have an amazing manager that you can take notes from, bounce ideas off of, or ask advice from. You are lucky. If you don’t have that kind of boss, you can learn from that as well. Analyze what they don’t do well and make that a focus of yours. Whatever cards you are dealt, you can make the most of.
Communicate With Your Team
Whether it is instructions for a given task, or their job performance in general, don’t be shy. Performance evaluations are not the only time to discuss your team’s strengths and weaknesses. In fact, no one should ever be surprised when they receive their evaluation. A good manager has been coaching them all along. Consider a sports analogy. What if a football coach waited until the end of the season to tell his players what they were doing wrong? Chances are he’s already lost most of his games. Daily coaching builds strong teams.
Do not, under any circumstances, gossip about anyone who works for you or with you. People always find out and it ruins relationships. It also is not right. You are in a position to know more about your subordinates than their peers and must act accordingly.
Manage employees effectively by using these simple tips. Your staff will appreciate it!
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