15 smart ways to manage employees better in 2021

There are multiple strategies you can apply to become a better people manager – ranging from avoiding micromanagement to transparent and frequent communication.

While managing employees, you may have realized that what works for one individual or team does not always apply to all. This makes employee management rather challenging, especially for beginners.

The key to effective employee management is understanding people. As a manager, you need to know what makes your employees or teams tick, how, and when they are most productive as well as what motivates them. 

Trethowans
Trethowans

Whether you are in a crisis or not, you must be able to communicate well and often with the employees you are managing. In this guide, you will learn what employee management entails and 15 smart ways you can manage your employees. 

What is employee management? 

Employee management is an assortment of strategies and procedures that are used to monitor, measure, and interact with the workforce. It is not just about ensuring that the employees do their jobs. As an effective manager, you should help transform the underperforming employees for the better, and ensure that top-performing employees maintain their performance. 

Employee management is a crucial role in any company or business. As such, you just have to do it right. Here are the fundamental aspects of employee management: 

  • Selection – ensure that you choose the right candidates for each role during the hiring process
  • Measurement – determine whether each employee is meeting his/her goals on time
  • Interplay – be able to interact with, and communicate with the employees, and even ask for feedback
  • Monitoring – continually monitor the measurement aspect for each employee in the organization 
  • Discipline – apply the right strategies to discipline poorly performing employees and those who exhibit misconduct at the workplace
  • Reward – acknowledge exceptional employee performance, and reward the top performers 

To be effective at your job, you need to accomplish all these simultaneously and for each employee. Whether you are new at the job or just want to be a better people manager, the following tips will come in handy: 

Set clear expectations

As the manager, you need to have a clear understanding of exactly what you want your employees to deliver. This could be in terms of work quality, specific sales, work hours, or office culture. Once you know what you want, you need to communicate it to the employees in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. 

Let them know what you want, when and how you would like it done. In this regard, it is advisable to be clear and detailed. Communicating your expectations to the employees will prevent confusion, and motivate them to achieve the pre-set targets. 

To be effective at the job, you should avoid beating around the bush and just tell them what you expect from them. 

Foster open communication

By promoting two-way dialogue between the managers and employees, you will ensure that their communication efforts actually support engagement. Open communication ensures that the workforce understands the organization’s decisions as well as their implications, especially when undergoing a change. 

Foster a two-way communication model that equips the employees with the perspective and information they need. It should also allow them to express, and even process negative emotions at the workplace for enhanced control. 

Effective managers set up a system of communication, whereby the employees have a voice. The manager should also listen to their thoughts, ideas, and even complaints, and deal with them accordingly. The right system of communication should focus on: 

  • Transparency – Should allow for easy sharing of company information, updates, and announcements with the employees. Make them feel included and always in the loop.
  • Visibility – Be around your office when you are supposed to be there; let the employees see you around. You also need to enforce an open-door policy, whereby the employees can approach you whenever they need to talk.
  • Open feedback – A good manager should be open to criticism. Ensure that there is a proper system in place for the employees to express their opinions. You should then use their feedback to identify potential problems and address them accordingly. 

You also need to keep up with the internal communication trends at your workplace, engage with the employees, and always stay ahead of the curve. 

Help your employees develop 

According to a poll by Monster, about 72% of employees feel like their managers do not care about their career growth. A good manager should allow his/her employees to grow within their respective roles. This strategy has been proven to keep employees engaged. 

It will also encourage them to build their skill set, hence contribute even more to the company. As the manager, you can Forster employee growth by offering in-house training, and sending them to seminars and conferences. Additionally, you need to allow the employee to adapt to their roles based on their interests and strengths. 

Build trust

Smart employee management should also include establishing a trust-based culture at the workplace. This means that you should trust the employees to act as mature individuals who can make responsible choices with appropriate guidance and agreement.

Various research findings have revealed that trusted employees are more loyal and willing to go the extra mile in delivering the best results. The following tips will help you establish a trust-based culture at your workplace:

Avoid micromanaging

Telling an employee how to do every tinny bit of their work makes them feel like you do not trust them to deliver on their own. This will also make your job more strenuous and stressful, especially if you are managing many employees. 

You are simply the manager, give them some space and let them do their jobs. To avoid micromanaging, you should put the right processes and tools in place. In this regard, you should create a set of standard operating procedures that explain how to run various areas of the company. 

You may also need to come up with procedures for the normal day-to-day tasks you would like to offload.

Offer privacy

As the manager, you do not need to see what every employee is doing on the computer at every moment. It helps to give them some physical privacy at their workstations. Do not make them feel like they are being watched all the time. 

Offer feedback occasionally

While feedback is essential, you should only offer it every once in a while. Offering feedback on every task an employee has completed will make them feel like they are being micromanaged. 

Recognize Good Performance 

As the manager, you need to understand that employees value specific and genuine recognition for a job well done. Using the right measurement and monitoring strategies, identify the top performers and acknowledge their efforts or better still reward them. 

This motivates the top-performing employees to keep doing the good work and encourages others to be just as good. Based on research findings, managers who understand the value of recognition and gratitude are far more effective. 

Well, this does not need to be complicated—you may just write them a personal note, or give them a public shout-out during a meeting. 

Ensure clarity using objectives 

During a crisis, role definitions in your company may begin to fall apart as a result of the disruptions. This may leave a considerable number of employees unsure of where to focus their attention. Using well-defined objectives, stipulate that every employee needs to be accomplishing.

To achieve greyer clarity, managers should emphasize objectives rather than the process. This will also result in a higher level of engagement for the employees. You should arrive to make every employee understand how his/her work contributes to the overall company goal. 

Enforce virtuality and flexibility as a norm  

Unless there are compelling reasons, flexibility in location and time should be made open for everyone. To reap the full benefits of smarter working, you need to work around the traditional regular-hours or office-based way of working. 

You need to enforce a single working culture for all employees, where possible. Additionally, you should try and integrate people working in different ways into one framework. The common framework should have feature common methods and expectations with regards to work organization. 

This will, in turn, facilitate a happier and better working environment for the employees. 

 Be a role model 

As the manager, you need to lead by example. Demonstrate to your employees Smart working in practice whenever possible. For instance, you may show them how effective you are at managing from different locations and at different times. 

You also need to show them how well organized, and result-oriented you are at work. You may also need to couple these with a number of collaborative techniques for enhanced efficiency. 

Use team agreements

Changing work patterns offer more choice, with regards to how work is done. However, you need to have team agreements – often referred to as ‘team charters’ – while doing this. The agreements should let the employees know what is expected of them whenever they are informing others of when and where they are working. 

The expectations for when updating calendars and workflow systems, expressing availability for meetings and making work-in-progress available should also be stipulated. Team agreements should also make it easy for problems to be reported in good time. 

They may also cover such things as providing office cover when the need arises, either remotely or in person. Basically, your agreements should attempt to protect the work-life balance for the employees while allowing for a certain level of flexibility. 

Focus on results rather than presence 

As mentioned earlier in this guide, trust is an essential part of effective employee management. Managing by results means that you should not necessarily focus on employees turning up and remaining on their desks. Instead, you need to focus on the quality of work they deliver. 

In most cases, this will require systematic planning, monitoring, and organization of work. It will also require you to know what the outcomes and outputs for the various employees should be.

Build and maintain team identity

It is easy for the employees who work remotely, or have different time patterns to feel left out. To prevent this from happening in your company, you need to take the appropriate measures to support teambuilding and foster team identity. 

Some of these measures include:

  • Regular conferences/calls to promote interaction between team members through various channel
  • Implementing a team agreement covering collective goals and featuring strong input from the team
  • Flagging up the achievements of each team more regularly
  • Encouraging the team members to share knowledge and even assist with each other’s workload
  • Applying social networking platforms to encourage interactions beyond the workplace 

Compensate people accordingly 

As you may be aware, poorly paid workers are less motivated, and are not willing to go the extra mile to deliver exceptional results. If you want your employees to show the required level of dedication, it is advisable to pay them what they deserve. 

Research the market to get an idea of the prevailing market salary range for each employee and compensate them accordingly. 

How can you manage your people better?

There are just a few things in life that can actually prepare you for a management position. As the manager, your employees look to you for leadership, guidance, and day-to-day work instructions. To be effective at the job, you need to apply different strategies in different scenarios. Particularly when you are handling a constructing business, a workforce management solution can help you to manage your employees well.

While understanding and communication are critical components, remember that you are still the manager. A certain level of superiority and control is still expected of you. 

Written by the experts at POSQuote.com.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator