Regardless the type of business you are in, big or small, the most important asset you’ll ever have are employees. They will also be one of your largest recurring cost. While you may be at the helm of your company, it’ll be your people who will be powering your company forward. In order to run a successful business, you need to have a good team in place and be able to lead them where you want them to go. Unfortunately, staff management isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially if you’re new to business.
So, we have highlighted 6 tips to help you with managing employees, and creating a happy and productive work environment for everyone
#1: Set Goals and Focus Efforts
As we’ve mentioned, it’s very important that employees know what success in their jobs looks like. The only way to accomplish this is to set clear, achievable goals. However, at times, the company’s vision and goals become blurred. To keep everyone focused and aligned with the company’s vision, you need to set a quarterly theme. How do you do this? Basically, each quarter, your team can choose a fun and engaging theme that will motivate them work together, monitor their progress, and hit the goal they’ve set for the quarter. Once you’ve set the theme and goals, you need to set a reward to keep your people motivated. It can be simple like aa pizza party at the office, an early cutoff time on a Friday, or a company outing. Another positive effect of goal setting is a feeling of ownership. Since employees become part of the decision-making and goal-setting process, they feel more empowered and invested in ensuring the company succeeds.
#2: Have an Open Door Policy
Keep communication lines open. Be accessible. If employees are free to give their feedback, ask questions, and share concerns with their managers, it helps develop employee trust. This in turn helps create closer working relationships. It also provides you with a better understanding of what’s happening in your company and the ability to tackle problems as they arise.
#3: Teach Employees Not to Need a Manager
When running a small business, it’s difficult to not hover and micromanage. After all, this is your baby. But, as you may have heard, helicopter parenting is never a good thing. The best thing you can do for your employees is to give them the knowledge and skills they need to perform their job and do it well. How do you do that? You offer proper training and support. Becoming their coach and mentor helps empower employees. Aside from teaching them how to do their tasks, you’re also setting expectations. This allows you to measure their performance. Even better, it allows your employees to track their progress themselves.
#4: Use Efficient Management Tools
As we’re discussed, part of the recipe for success is helping employees take ownership of their work and become more independent. The other part of the recipe is to automate the simple things so that you as a business owner can focus more on leadership tasks. Efficiency is key. For example, instead of manually writing down the hours each employee works, figuring out who is out to lunch, or how many vacation days they have left, you can implement an employee time clock system. Also, using a project management software such as Basecamp, allows you to keep track of all projects without making your employees feel you’re constantly looking over their shoulder.
#5: Culture Is King
The importance of company culture is at an all-time high. Create a working environment that motivates, excites, and rejuvenates employees is important. Since people spend a large portion of their lives in the office, it is important to have a balance. Companies such as Google are a great example. Their offices include pinball machines, fun furniture, breakout rooms, a cafeteria, and more. Making employees your priority will ensure their happiness, and when they feel part of a community, a family, they’re more interested in its success as a unit.
#6: Conduct Team Building Activities
Okay, team building events have a reputation for being lame. Trust fall, anyone? But there’s a reason why they’re still held by many companies. Team building activities promote trust, open communication, and increase collaboration. A more cohesive unit will mean a better company culture and an increased bottom line. But before you start planning the next company picnic, take a step back and think. What activities would be fun for your employees and not make them feel annoyed about having to attend a company event? And take note, it doesn’t have to be activities that build trust. It could be a night out together. While it would not be about lessons on communication or productivity, you’ll be fostering deeper bonds with team members. Make sure that whatever team building activity you choose, it’ll involve excitement, fun, and laughter. Add in a sense of accomplishment and you’re bound to get the very best out of your employees and yourself.
About the Author:
Margarita is a communications specialist working with AMGtime – a time and attendance tracking solutions provider for small to large businesses. Her goal is building and maintaining a positive relationship between organizations and the public through developing effective communication strategies.
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