Managing a team is much harder than just telling people what they should do. It is a delicate art of knowing how to give orders and gather feedback, how to help your employees self-improve and how to create work conditions in which they can express their full potential. Other than this, it’s also about organizing your team and learning the difference between being a boss and being a leader. With all of this said, here are five simple tips to help you properly manage your employees.
1. Communication is a two-way street
This means that you have to learn how to properly communicate with your staff and there are two ways of doing so. First of all, try to be direct in your speech and avoid any ambiguities. If they misinterpret your words, it’s probably your fault for leaving something ambiguous or confusing, to begin with. Like Sun Tzu stated in The Art of War, if the order is unclear, the fault lies with the commander. The second thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to learn how to actively listen in order to be able to gather feedback.
2. Don’t be too quick to fire someone
If an employee underperforms, causes mistakes or tries less than they should, it would be the simplest to just fire them and look for someone new. However, who is there to guarantee that the second person will be better in any of the above-discussed ways? Think about it, everyone can ace an interview and it might take too long for a new employee to show their true colors. Therefore, the simplest path might not be the best one. Try to give the employee in question a second chance and they might surprise you both with their advancement and their loyalty.
3. Create adequate work conditions
By working in an inadequate office with outdated equipment and an environment full of all sorts of distractions, even the most talented of employees will start showing performance issues. To avoid this, you need to create adequate work conditions for your staff. Start with the equipment that your staff uses and check if there’s anything you can upgrade on this front. For instance, there are some options like OKI Pro printers which offer specialized printing services, thus eliminating at least one issue from the list. As for the rest of the office, you might need to do some remodeling or even relocate to a better place.
4. Get to know your team before you start delegating tasks
The next thing you need to understand is the fact that each of your employees has its own set of strengths, weaknesses and interests. It’s by far the best if you were to delegate tasks based on this. In smaller enterprises (or teams), you are able to get to know each individual personally. In bigger companies, you would have to rely on the competence of your HR team/representative. This is why it’s so important that the different parts of your company all work together towards a greater good.
5. Set a good example
The last thing you need to understand is the fact that you’ll be under the watchful eye of your entire team. This means that your inability/lack of willingness to do what you’re asking of them might be seen as hypocrisy. Even if they do as you say, your authority will be seriously undermined, which will come back to haunt you on a later date. So, start being the first to arrive at the office and last to leave, don’t be afraid to self-improve (by enrolling on courses and reading reliable learning materials) and take notice of constructive criticism. In other words, try to set a good example.
At the end of the day, there’s so much more you can do to increase your managerial abilities, yet, for beginners, the above-listed five tips are a solid starting point. Work on these areas and you’ll be able to see improvements in productivity, efficiency and respect (from your employees) in no time.