Image credit – Calita Kabir (Flickr)
Your employees play a large part in the success or failure of your business — and it’s up to you to motivate them to give their best efforts. These six tips will help you to succeed with managing your employees.
These tips were compiled by a retail store manager with extensive experience incorporating methods suggested by Gallup’s business journal in their “Feedback for Real” study. However, the same tips will work for most managers in just about every sort of business environment.
1. Empower Your Employees to Manage Their Time Well
Encourage employees to keep a to-do list, and to prioritize it daily. Emphasize that it’s important for them to accomplish the most essential tasks on the list first thing each day.
Permit only the most essential meetings to take place, and make sure that each meeting has an agenda, starts on time, sticks to the agenda, and adjourns promptly once the agenda has been addressed.
Tracking work hours via a time clock is helpful for most businesses. Routine tasks such as rostering and making company-wide announcements can be automated with software such as Deputy’s time tracker Kiosk.
2. Set Clear Expectations and Goals
Your employees will be more likely to meet their goals if you clarify the goals for them upfront, and give them actionable advice on how to meet those goals. If they know what you expect from them, they can focus on meeting the expectations laid out for them.
3. Delegate Important Tasks, and Follow Up
Give your employees realistic deadlines for accomplishing the tasks you expect them to do. Before the deadlines have passed, schedule time for following up. Ask each employee: Where are we with the task? Have you encountered any problems? Is this task on track for completion? If there are problems, enlist the employee’s suggestions and insights for solving them.
After the deadline has passed, follow up again. Be sure to give the employee appropriate feedback at this time. If the task was completed successfully, praise is appropriate and beneficial. If the task was not completed, it’s essential to troubleshoot and solve the problems hindering its completion.
4. Give Regular Feedback on Performance
Engaged employees are more productive, sell more products and inspire more customer loyalty than their disengaged counterparts. Correctly-administered feedback is an important component of employee engagement.
It’s helpful to schedule regular employee evaluations, perhaps at six-month or yearly intervals. These are opportunities for discussing past employee performance, giving appropriate praise, and setting goals for addressing areas that need improvement.
5. Empower Your Employees to Do Their Jobs
Give your employees the necessary supplies, software, support and / or funding to meet the goals you’ve given them. If that isn’t possible given your budget, the next best thing is to invite them to share in the challenge of accomplishing their tasks given the allotted budget. Empower them to take any necessary steps to work within your budget, perhaps by finding new sources of supply, or negotiating discounts with your existing suppliers.
If an employee found a way to save your company large sums of money, or to creatively cut significant costs, reward accordingly. Bonuses or raises might not always be possible, but you can certainly reward productive employees with days off, or at least an afternoon off or a lunch invitation.
6. Recruiting Is Never Done
Good people are the best assets of any business, and this is particularly true for startups.
Even if you think your business is fully staffed, it’s important to keep recruiting talented people who would be a good fit for your team. Employees come and go, and you need to be ready to fill vacancies at any time.
The old cliché is true: your team is only as good as its weakest link. If there are any team members who aren’t performing up to expectations, recruit their replacements and get the right team in place. It’s essential for your startup’s success.