Employee management is, for all intents and purposes, the day-to-day engagement of employer-employee relationships on a professional, work-related level. To manage your employees well, you need to think of them less as the physical incarnation of their job roles and more as the people who make your business' success possible.
In the past, employee management was something of a more rigid experience. These days, successful businesses find that employing a little finesse to their management practices is much more effective. To that end, your friends at Dale Carnegie Training came up with six tips to get you started down the path to becoming a stronger leader:
1. Establish An Open Line Of Communication - The first step, if not the very foundation, of great employee management is to establish a line of open, honest and comfortable communication between employees, leaders and managers. The more uncomfortable an employee is with their employer, the less likely the two are to be on the same page. Comfortable communication comes from familiarity, so get to know your team. This will make working together feel much less like pulling teeth later down the road.
2. Focus On Strengths, Not Weaknesses - Every employee has individual strengths and weaknesses. It stands to reason that you hired them for whatever their strengths may be. That is why spending more time correcting their weaknesses or shortcomings is a waste of time and energy. You didn't hire the employee to spend all your time fixing their shortcomings or to fit a square peg in a round hole, so instead focus on actively fostering the growth and development of their strengths.
3. Be Reasonable With Your Expectations - Part of being a leader at your business is being a visionary - someone with big goals and big ideas. Unfortunately, it is easy to forget how much time, effort and energy goes into executing a new initiative or project, which can cause leaders to unintentionally overwhelm or overload an employee with too many expectations. This in turn can cause undue stress and frustration for the employee, negatively affecting your ability to manage them.
4. Plan Accordingly When Expanding Roles - The business world is still in a state of financial flux. With many companies regularly downsizing, many employees are required to pick up the extra workload. The trick to effectively managing the assignment of additional responsibilities is to plan accordingly so your employees don't feel they have been thrown in the deep end. It is better when an employee has time to acclimate to his or her new role and responsibilities.
5. Be Consistent And Reliable - As a leader or manager at your business, you have a lot on your plate-no one questions that. Information and ideas channel through you from a hundred different directions, not to mention new initiatives and projects that fall on your shoulders to develop. But even in spite of your own heavy workload, it is imperative that you be consistent and reliable when interacting with your employees. It may prove difficult, stressful even, but it is crucial that employees feel they can rely on you to get something back to them promptly.
6. Invest In Employee Training - Providing opportunities for employees to improve and strengthen their skills shows your genuine interest in investing in them. Naturally, any employee who feels valued is likely to be reciprocal when being managed. Paying for employees to attend skill-strengthening classes like those offered by Dale Carnegie Training reinforces the idea that you are invested in them as an employee and as a component to your business's continued success.
Employee management is by no means a walk in the park. It takes a lot of hard work and concentrated effort on the part of leaders and managers. But as with all things that come as a challenge, the end results of your labor will strengthen your company significantly. Good employee-employer relationships allow for better communication, which in turn allows for fluid, dynamic management.