The relationship between a manager and an employee is one that differs in nuance from firm to firm. Socially, different methods are required to get the most out of people, and that responsibility will usually fall to the intrinsic people skills of the manager involved. There are many guides that have been written on business blog detailing the importance of squeezing the most out of your employees. This resource-farming approach to employee value, unfortunately, doesn’t work.
Tricking an employee to make them work harder with excess rewards, plans and targeted goals can work, and can work well. But for the most part, it’s a dime a dozen, and employees are so used to these methods by now that they can come across a little stale. You’ve probably some such program in your own business right now, and it probably works with varying degrees of results from week to week.
There are ways to optimise the interests of your own management as well as crafting your working environment to be one of mutual respect. Instead of the ‘carrot and stick’ approach to managing that often occurs with people who are unused to nuanced or complex management strategies, why not enact the following four tips? Experimented with and implemented into your functional daily management expertise, you might just find one of these methods hits a strike for you and helps you gain even further promotions.
It can’t hurt to try.
Without further ado:
Sprinkles Of Authority
As a manager of any size team, you have to understand and try to subvert the common attitude that employees have towards their managers. It’s nothing personal for the most part. People just intrinsically dislike being told what to do. They overcome this feeling for a salary, security, and career prospects. Even the most professional employees dislike being told what to do, and this is not a character flaw.
A working office environment is a strange, manufactured environment. This doesn’t give your employees the right for insubordination of course, but it does mean that a subtle and refined approach to your management strategy could pay off big rewards in the long-term.
Consider applying ‘sprinkles’ of authority in your daily communication with your employees. Approach them, learn their names and have all the time in the world for them. Allow them to see you running the business and tackling your own responsibilities. But when it comes to using your position of authority, especially when it comes to sensitive social work situations, be sure to apply this authority through subtle speech, private conversations and professional candor.
Using the analogy of ‘sprinkling seasoning.’ Too much, and the team becomes sour. Too little, and the team isn’t effective. Be a colleague first, and a manager second, but be absolutely sure that your team know you are both.
Refine Your Own Competence
An employee can only naturally respect a manager or business owner if their skillset is more expansive than their own. It’s likely you’ve had a job in which you believe you could do a better job than the manager telling you what to do. This could even be true. As a manager, it’s important you do not bring this attitude to anyone around you.
Constantly make the effort to refine your competence, even if that’s getting up to basic speed with the new methods those employees under you are using to become more effective thanks to a new method of working. Lead the team from the front, and they’re much more likely to gladly follow you.
Invest In Your Staffs Training
Earlier in this article we mentioned rewarding staff for their contributions to the business in novel ways. What better way to reward a staff member than to give them opportunities for growth? Not only are you respecting their career using this method, publicly trusting them to proceed through open doors you have now provided to them, but you have given them the means of applying even more competency to the role or future roles you have them hired in.
This can work for any firm, from the small coffee shops to the large multinational corporation. For example, customer service training can be beneficial in a plethora of ways. It allows your employee to navigate stressful customer situations with less intensity and more professionalism. This helps you trained, now competent employee to stay happy in their role, and the customer to feel like they were provided with a level of professionalism that could culminate in a return purchase.
Either way, you will have successfully created a more pleasant working environment for both sides. What better way to show you care as a manager or owner?
Draw Out Of Comfort Zones
Now, thus far in the article we have discussed the utility of being the best manager YOU can be. As mentioned before, this is where the emphasis is heavily laid in many articles about managing employees you can read around the web or business journals. But what about actually making sure the employee is pulling their weight in the first place? After all, they are there to do a job, and if they’ve accepted the terms of the contract, it’s likely that they feel satisfactorily rewarded for the work they undertake for you. To keep that position, they should do what they can to be the best employee for you.
Why not find ways to help them overcome stagnation? Drawing ‘hidden’ employees out of their comfort zone once in awhile can help them develop, and stay feeling connected to the team. It’s likely that you’ve noticed someone in your workplace who turns up on time, does the work assigned and goes home with a limited, but satisfactory amount of communication with their peers. Of course, this doesn’t mean they breach the terms of the contract. Employees like this are the glue that keeps the practical side of the workplace together.
However, why not draw them out of their comfort zones now and then? Taking them aside or asking for their opinions publicly allow them to feel like you are a manager that is dedicated to increasing their competitive standing within the group. It also allows you test that their knowledge is up to date, and that they’re not ‘resting on their laurels’ when it comes to their daily duty. A good employee is a dynamic, flexible and communicative employee after all. Foster the environment to create these.
WIth these tips, you’re likely to be the freshest face in the management world, bringing a feeling of vitality, charm and respect to every project you oversee.
Featured image source: Flickr