When you’re in a position that needs you to manage employees, there’s a lot of pressure to handle your responsibilities correctly. Whether you’ve managed a team before or it’s your first time doing it, every supervisor has areas where they can learn tips and improve their skills.
Having the ability to manage people correctly is what allows you to manage employees successfully. While it can take time to master these skills and become the manager you want to be, knowing ways to improve can make you feel more successful immediately!
Of course, in order to improve, you need to know what makes a successful manager and what it truly means to manage employees. Fortunately, we’ve pulled together tips on how to do just that!
What it Means to Manage Employees
When we talk about managing employees, we’re discussing tasks like organizing, problem-solving, and developing the people who are under you but part of your team. In order to successfully manage your employees, you have to look past just their performance and look at their overall well-being in the workplace. Doing this well allows you to give your employees the tools they need to grow in their positions and become an essential part of your team.
It can be hard to find the balance between micromanaging everything your employees do and just sitting back and letting them figure things out for themselves all the time. Your goal is to help enforce the structure and guidelines of the company in a way that allows your employees to freely suggest changes and improvements. The best way to do this is to shift your focus from the problem itself to the person with the problem. This change in mindset can help you manage your employees efficiently!
Tips for Managing Employees
Now that you understand what your goal is when managing your employees, you need to learn how to reach those goals. There are plenty of ideas out there on how to be the best manager possible, but they all come down to the same main idea: improving your people skills. Doing this can help you nurture a challenging yet supportive environment for your employees, helping them to feel that they are being managed well.
Let’s look at some of the most proven ways to improve your skills in managing employees now!
In Order to Manage Employees, You Have to Listen to Them
The most important part of being a manager is taking the time to actively listen to your employees when they come to you. Whether they are coming with a problem, giving feedback, or simply sharing a personal experience, it’s important to engage with them. Make sure to keep eye contact with your employee when they’re talking, don’t interrupt them, and take notes when it’s appropriate.
However, it goes further than those listening skills. In fact, your listening starts before your employee walks up to you. Make sure you never enter a conversation with an employee with any kind of bias towards them or the situation at hand. Instead, come to them with a fresh set of listening ears, not letting yourself to jump to conclusions or make assumptions about their motives.
Your goal should be to learn something when you are listening to your employee speak. You should ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand their intent instead of simply assuming you do. Don’t give them a solution until you fully understand their viewpoint, so you can make sure the solution works for everyone involved.
Manage Employees by Getting to Know Them
In order to manage your team to the best of your ability, you need to know who the people on your team are. While you can’t get to know everyone on a deeply personal level and likely shouldn’t, you should make an effort to understand their personality types and learning preferences. With this key information, you’ll be able to determine the type of managing approach that works best for each individual.
Everyone works differently, and, therefore, they need different managing approaches. Some of your employees may need to be managed in a very hands-on way. However, you may need to manage other employees by giving them more freedom in their position. To become a great manager, you need to be flexible in your approach style based on whom you’re working with. This will allow you to develop every individual on your team in a way that works best for them.
Manage Employees Through Consistency
If you want to manage employees well, you need to earn their respect. One of the best ways to do that is by being consistent in your approach to leadership and your behavior overall. When you say you’ll take care of something, make sure you do it in a timely and thorough way. Being consistent about approaching problems, fixing situations, and listening to your employees will make a huge difference in how they see you.
Not only that, but being consistent leaves little room for bias or favoritism, two detrimental habits to great managing skills. Even though every employee likely needs their own management approach, you need to still be consistent about the quality, effort, and time you devote to each employee. Doing so will allow your employees to all feel equally valued, leaving much less room for any resentment towards you.
Manage Employees Through the Right Mix of Criticism and Praise
A common issue that managers have is finding the right balance of praise versus criticism when it comes to giving employees feedback. Your team needs both of these to perform their best in their position, so it’s important to master both skills.
If you’re only giving praise, you won’t be giving your team areas where they can grow and become better in their position. While they might feel like they’re doing a good job, they will be left stagnant in their position, which can cause harm to your company and their career goals over time.
On the other hand, you can’t only come to your employees with criticism. This can leave your employees feeling worn down and like they aren’t fit for their job position. Receiving only criticism can lead to burnout and high turnover rates, which can be detrimental to your company’s bottom line.
Research shows that it’s better to give mainly praise and then give criticism mixed in. In fact, the best teams studied receive more than five compliments for every criticism they receive! Of course, this may seem difficult if you have a member who is struggling, but it simply takes effort and understanding of when to give praise and how to give it.
Praise should be given in a timely fashion, so it’s always a good idea to give it as soon as you think about it, or the next time you see that employee. Most employees prefer both public and private praise as well as recognitions like employee of the month or other titles. When you give praise consistently and often, the morale in your workplace will be noticeably better!
Criticism should also be given as soon as possible but should never be given publicly. When it’s time for criticism, don’t just simply state what the problem is, but give feedback on how the issue can be improved. It’s a great time to talk to your employee about any issues or roadblocks they may be experiencing so that you can work together to solve the issue at hand. And always end any critique on a positive note, so your employee leaves feeling motivated to improve.
Manage Employees by Checking in Regularly
It can be easy to not talk to some employees because they are doing well in their position and they prefer a more hands-off management approach. While these may be the “easiest” employees to manage, they are also the employees that may be silently struggling.
Your highest-performing employees are more likely to have issues voicing their concerns. They may also feel like they can’t tell you if they’re overwhelmed because they’re known for being a go-getter. This is why it’s crucial to make time to check in with all of your employees on a regular basis.
Schedule check-ins bi-weekly or monthly to see how your employees are feeling about their workload or see if there are any challenges they’re facing. Make sure to keep track of what is discussed in each of these check-ins so you can catch a pattern before it becomes a full-blown issue.
When you host these check-ins on a regular basis, they will become a more comfortable experience for all of your employees. This will allow them to feel like they can be honest about how work is going for them, so you can know when there are changes that need to be made. It will also help you build a stronger relationship with each of your employees, which is crucial to managing them well!
There’s a lot involved when you need to manage employees. While it can be overwhelming at first, the biggest key is to remember that your employees are humans first. Manage your team how you wanted to be managed when you were starting out in your company, and you’ll be impressed at the differences it can make in morale, productivity, and more!