At every level of management there are challenges when it comes to getting the most from your team. The key is to recognise these problems as soon as possible and set in motion a plan of action. And it can’t hurt to have a few tips handy to help you along your way.
Communication is underrated
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. You can’t expect your staff to complete a list of objectives if you haven’t given them one; you can’t be angry at staff for not completing a task correctly if you didn’t specify the criteria; and you can’t assume that everyone is on the same page as you. More importantly you need to give your employees the opportunity to respond, so ask for feedback regularly, make sure their opinion is valued and that everyone has a chance to be heard. If the communication within your workplace is up to scratch things will run much more smoothly.
Keep an eye on organisation
Making sure your employees are happy and healthy is all well and good, but it should encourage a better working environment as a result – and therefore, more effective work. Being able to measure an employees’ or department’s performance will let you know if your management efforts are paying off. Consider investing in some HR software like HR3 or Exolvo to make tracking all that data easier.
Encourage a friendly working environment
If you run an all-work-no-play environment, work life will be as difficult for you as it is for the rest of the team. When staff hit their targets, ease up on them: strict stressed boss versus easy going boss can speak to staff more effectively and you’ll soon find that they will work harder just to create a friendlier working environment.
Set out the rules from the beginning
Let your employees know what is expected of them, how they should behave and what standard of work is expected of them. It’s much more difficult to ask a member of the team to do a few menial tasks if they think it’s not part of their job description.
Nip mistakes in the bud
Being lenient towards minor mistakes and errors could let some staff think that they can get away with anything. That’s not to say that being five minutes late one day is punishable by death, but let your employees know that if it becomes a regular occurrence they’ll need to have a better excuse than “oops sorry”. This is the same for larger problems too, whether it’s missing deadlines or doing a less than great job, employees need to know where the line is.
Treat all employees as equals
When staff step out of line or fail to do what is expected of them, management need to set standards of discipline. Follow the rules of verbal and written warnings and disciplinary action, but most importantly you need to keep the workplace an even playing field without favouritism… even if that office junior brings you breakfast every morning without fail.