Being a company leader has its perks, but it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The responsibility of successfully managing your team of employees is one of the more crucial tasks you must complete. Employee management extends beyond the quality of work team members complete and also is based on the team’s well-being and relations. Of course, a good team also leads to good results in the end.
With all that being said, let’s get into the top 6 employee management tips you should incorporate into your business strategy right now.
How to Manage Your Teams More Effectively: 6 Proven Tips
1. Start by listening
Listening is a task we all do every day, sometimes even subconsciously. But listening as a team leader or CEO is an entirely different skill set. It requires much more attention to detail and patience. As a leader, you must always listen to your team members’ questions and concerns. If you notice a particular employee not speaking up, try scheduling a small talk over coffee to ask them about their opinion.
Don’t sit back and wait for everyone to come to you; as a leader, you must be proactive and take the first step. Always be on the lookout, and always be listening. When you know the inner team problems firsthand, you can get a head start at bringing everything back to normal.
2. Identify problems before you solve them
As a leader, after you start really listening, you will discover many big and small issues in the workplace. Employees will be presenting you their problems and will expect you to help solve them. But in order to really eradicate a problem, you must get to its root cause.
These issues can be organized into two categories: personal and organizational. An employee’s workload, dissatisfaction with their process and unhappiness with team members fall into the category of personal problems. These problems are easier to correct with no major changes to the overall work environment.
On the contrary, organizational issues, such as teams not coping with the workload, hostility issues within the team and general workflow problems, can’t be solved by helping a single employee. The root of these issues is found with inherent problems in the company organization.
As a team leader, you will need to identify the difference between these types of issues and use this information to come up with a solution strategy.
3. Plan the work carefully
As a team leader, it is your responsibility to motivate and set your employees on the right path. In order to do this, you must always assign tasks and projects to the right team members. The next step is to begin work planning, which is going to help accelerate and organize the workflow.
A work plan will essentially be the roadmap for a project, where multiple people and tasks are involved. As a team leader and manager, it is your job to carefully design a work plan with realistic deadlines, tasks, roles, and so on.
4. Reward hard work
It’s good to have a smooth sailing project, but as a leader, you also must take a step back and look at the details of the bigger picture. If there is a certain employee really putting in their best work to help the team succeed, then they deserve recognition.
Psychology studies show that rewards are a significant part of positive motivation, so it is a win-win situation for everyone. Try to notice the team members that are doing the best work and reward them for their efforts. This will motivate them to continue on the same path, and other colleagues will also strive for recognition after witnessing that their leader is noticing.
The reward doesn’t have to be huge; it could be a small bonus, prize or even just vocal praise can really go a long way. Other traditional reward systems include selecting employee of the month, special benefits, gift cards and so on.
5. Balance praise and criticism
Coming back to the point above, compliments are a source of motivation, but this doesn’t mean you must be a walking beacon of praise. Your employees need a healthy balance of praise and criticism to ultimately succeed. Only giving out compliments won’t help your team members improve, but only criticizing them will create an unpleasant environment.
Research from the Harvard Business Review says that a regular flow of compliments is good for a workplace. The general rule of thumb is to offer more praise than criticism, but not overwhelmingly so. Criticism should be presented in the form of helpful feedback and help your employees work through their weak sides.
6. Check in with your team
This one may sound a bit obvious and on-the-nose, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to check in with their team. Many employees who don’t regularly talk to their manager hesitate to come to them with a problem. Instead, they will stress over the project and get stuck in one place.
For an effective workflow and workplace environment, you must make yourself approachable as a leader. Regular meetings provide for open communication and a generally comfortable space. Consider organizing weekly or biweekly meetings to keep employees engaged.
Your team is the heart of your project, and as a manager, it is up to you to keep the good energy flowing. In an uncomfortable environment, work isn’t done as efficiently. Keep these tips in mind when you are planning your management style for a new project.
Of course, nothing is set in stone, and it is up to you to decide what is best for your employees, but these tips work for most people. Remember to always be open to new suggestions and criticism from your team members, as open communication truly is key. With good management, enthusiastic team members and a solid work plan, nothing is impossible. We wish you luck with all your future projects and plans!