Employee Management: How to Unlock Your Staff’s Potential
A business’s success requires strong employee management skills. But not all managers are great at managing people.
Fortunately, employee management isn’t that difficult. Not every person needs special treatment and resolution. Still, taking the time to treat your employees appropriately is worth it.
Let’s learn how to ace the art of employee management and unlocking their potential in this post.
Aspects Managers Need to Work on
Hiring the right person for the job sets the foundation for successful employee management later on. The recruitment process and the preparation before that should be taken seriously.
Before the recruitment process starts, you should:
- Define the job: Clearly define the requirements and objectives for the position.
- Define the right match: Clearly define the qualifications needed for the job.
- Research: Do research on that position to define the responsibilities and compensation package.
- Design a plan: Identify your hiring strategy, make a timeline and goals for your recruitment process.
Now that you are prepared, refer to this checklist to carry out your recruitment:
- Write and post a job description: make it simple, precise, and compelling. Identify the suitable platform to post your job description.
- Review and source candidates: Choose the best-suited candidates for further proceedings.
- Conduct test/interview: you can design tests or interviews for selected candidates.
- Make the final selection and inform: choose the best candidate for your job and make the offer. Be sure to inform the selected and rejected candidates of your decision as soon as possible. And, express your wish to keep rejected candidates’ information for later opportunities.
How to manage employee performance is the question that concerns every manager. Performance management includes 3 fundamental tasks:
- establish goals and performance objectives
- provide training
- monitor employee performance
Establish Goals and Performance Objectives
Management without goals and objectives is a mess. It’s like asking your employees to go to the office without giving them either the address or directions. Assigning tasks without clear goals and objectives diminishes efficiency.
Goals and performance objectives let employees know what you expect from them. They help managers instruct, monitor, review employee performance more consistently.
Refer to SMART criteria to create effective goals and performance objectives for your team:
- Specific: Keep your goals and objectives simple, clear, and specific to avoid any unnecessary hassle and misunderstanding.
- Measurable: Set the qualitative and quantitative measurements to track and evaluate your progress.
- Accountable: Clearly designate the person in charge of each task and avoid overlaps.
- Relevant: Research, evaluate, and make your goals and objectives realistic and reasonable.
- Time-bound: Do not let things slide. Make an achievable time frame and track your goals and objectives accordingly.
Now that you have a great set of goals and performance objectives, don’t forget to get them across. Communicate your goals and objectives in lunch meetings, weekly team meetings, sharing stories, team retreats, etc.However you choose to do, remember to have full attention from your employees. Link your goals and objectives to their benefits.
Provide Employee Training
No matter how great your goals and objectives are, chances are that your employees won’t get the job done perfectly right from the start. You will need to train them to make sure they understand and get enough practice.
Training sessions, when done right, are opportunities for employees and the team as a whole to grow. According to research by LinkedIn, learners at work are 39% more likely to feel productive and successful, and 21% more likely to feel confident and happy.
The most important training that you must do is new employee training. Successful new employee training clearly communicates company values, goals, performance objectives. It gives new employees clear ideas of why and how to do their jobs. Refer to this checklist to organize your successful new employee training:
- Educate your new employees on company culture: company culture is always first! Let new employees know how they are expected to behave and what your company’s norms are.
- Communicate goals & performance objectives: to prevent arguments with new employees on their performance later on.
- Introduce necessary personnel: Introduce new employees to their line managers, supervisors, and co-workers. Encourage them to get to know each other personally.
- Assign simple tasks, provide support & feedback: This helps new employees quickly get used to their jobs. And it helps you to evaluate and plan for on-the-job training later on.
New employees are not the only ones who need training — current employees also need on-the-job training to perform their jobs better. On-the-job training can be done when there’s a new technology/procedure establised, or periodically to enhance employees’ skills and expertise. Get more on-the-job training ideas here.
Conduct Performance Monitoring
Employee performance monitoring can be exhausting. Managing employee performance takes lots of time and effort, and can affect both sides’ emotions.
But despite how much you might hate it, it’s still a necessary task to ensure team efficiency. We’ve gathered a list of effective ways to conduct performance reviews on your employees:
- Set up a monitoring system: Based on your business goals and needs, you can use a suitable monitoring system (reports, software, etc). Make sure that system is manageable for you and works for your employees without over-stressing them.
- Establish periodic performance reviews: Performance review gives you an opportunity to show recognition to employees, discuss their shortcomings, and plan strategies to improve their performance together. So bear in mind these do’s to ace your performance review.
- Create a fixed schedule for performance review and inform your employees beforehand: Nobody likes surprises when it comes to being “reviewed”. Give them a clear date and time of the performance review so they can be prepared.
- Encourage two-way conversation: Top-down, one-way performance review is the quickest way to demotivate and raise resentment from your employees. If you don’t know what to say in performance reviews, we’ve got 340 phrases and examples for you.
- Make sure your workplace monitoring activities are legal: Let your employees know and get their consent to workplace monitoring. Should you conduct any type of workplace monitoring, do research on what the legal restrictions are. Check out this guide for more information on this.
- Allocate reasonable time and effort to monitoring employees: You can try to keep a close eye on your employees to make sure they are heading in the right direction, but it’s a physically and emotionally draining task. Too much micromanagement nourishes the sense of mistrust and damages the team’s potential for growth.
True leaders keep team members’ spirits up and guide them toward better things.
You may think it’s easier said and done. Motivating your team takes much time, effort, and dedication, but you can always start with simple practices.
A basic principle of motivating people is to give them what they need. No matter how grand the things you do for them may be, those will all go to waste if the recipients don’t need those. The Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a practical and helpful guide to help you figure out your employees’ needs.
Find out the needs listed in Maslow’s theory and what you should do for each below.
Definition: food, water, warmth, rest.
What to do: provide a reasonable salary, offer help plans with necessities, design manageable workload.
Definition: personal security, financial security, emotional security, well-being.
What to do: offer employee savings plans, maintain a fair work environment and sustainable business, take care of employee physical and mental health.
Belongingness & Love Needs
Definition: intimacy, acceptance, connection to co-workers.
What to do: connect personally to team members, organize team-building activities, encourage participation in teamwork, acknowledge and appreciate each individual’s contribution.
Definition: competence, self-confidence, respect from others.
What to do: organize training sessions and performance reviews, assign challenging but doable tasks and responsibilities, compensate and provide benefits fairly.
Definition: achieving one’s full potential and desires as a human.
What to do: design career development plan, allow participation in goal setting and decision making, create challenging and exhilarating opportunities, connect work to employees’ life goals.
Top Problems For Managers in Employee Management—Do’s and Don’ts
Team conflicts are hard to deal with, especially when you’re the leader. Whether you’re part of the argument or not, you still need to take the role of a mediator.
Knowing the common types of team conflicts helps to develop your own strategies for dealing with them. The four common types of team conflicts that you may face are:
- Work style
- Personality conflicts
Each type of team conflicts is different in nature and takes different ways to resolve.But, whatever kind of conflict you are involved in, prepare your mindsets and practice your conflict resolution skills. These are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to team conflicts:
- Practice active listening and understanding towards team members
- Maintain positivity
- Resolve in the team’s best interests
- Avoid conflicts
- Stress over conflicts
- Take sides
We live in an era where job hunting can be just as simple as clicking on an ad. High turnover is an obvious consequence. Managers need to be prepared to say goodbye to their employees, even the ones they respect the most.
The best way to let your employees go is not to hold a grudge and try to figure out the reason for their departure. Their opinions help reinforce your business and improve your employees’ working experience.Listening to leaving employees is also a great way of showing gratitude and appreciation to them, which may resolve and prevent resentment post-resignation.
This may not be an easy task — employees who quit their jobs for negative reasons may not want to disclose. Here are what to do and what not to do to best resolve this situation:
- Open a welcoming and honest conversation pre-resignation
- Publicly show appreciation for the leaving employee’s contribution
- Help ensure a smooth transition of work to other team members
- Set up a hiring plan
- Resent or badmouth the leaving employee
- Make unnecessary counter-offers
Confronting and Terminating Employees
This is one of the most frustrating tasks a manager faces. Any confrontation and termination bring discomfort and should only be done when there’s no better option.
What kind of employee needs to be let go? Those who cause more damage than value to the team, and don’t seem to contribute much.
The next question is, when is the right time to let that employee go? That’s when you need to have a clear set of performance objectives that have been agreed upon by your employees beforehand. Evaluate and make decisions in a fair and sensible way. At this point, here are the do’s and don’ts to best handle the termination.
- Make sure the process is legal
- Prepare for questions beforehand
- Provide strong and precise substantiation
- Maintain positivity and offer help
- Hesitate or delay the process
- Criticize the leaving employee’s personalities
- Badmouth him/her to the team
Improve and Refine Employee Management Skills
Being a manager is no easy feat as there are too many aspects that need your attention. And employee management is one of the most important skills you need to retain the top talents.
Take some time to improve your management styles and refine your employee management skills. You’ll soon see that thoughtful strategies and actions keep the best people with your business.