According to research from Gallup, only about one in ten people have the unique combination of talents needed for management. These lucky few have a natural skillset that allows them to improve their employees’ performance and enhance their team’s culture.
Of course, the findings also note that some people can learn the skills they need to thrive in the role. In other words, even if managing employees doesn’t seem to come naturally to you, the right tips and tricks can help you grow in your role. No matter your talent or background, here are five essential tips you need to know.
- Hire and Onboard With Care
Successful management should always begin when you’re hiring employees. Though your main focus will likely be on finding someone whose skills and talents match the job description, don’t forget to consider their soft skills and personality as well.
You’ll want to hire team members with strong emotional intelligence and a wealth of enthusiasm for the job. It’s also crucial to bring in people who add to a healthy team culture. If you don’t feel comfortable with your own hiring skills, an HR expert or recruiter can help you find the right candidates.
In addition, make sure you create a detailed plan for onboarding, ensuring that you stay on track at a comfortable pace while giving new employees all the help they need to succeed. Onboarding is also a crucial way to show new team members they’ve made the right decision to join you, making them more likely to stick around.
- Communicate Clearly and Often
If your employees cringe when you reach out to them, it’s a sign you’re not doing your job well. Poor managers reach out only when something has gone wrong; good managers communicate often and encourage their team to do the same.
You’ll want to have several different methods of communication between you and your team:
- Employee one-on-ones: These regular meetings allow you to check in with each team member, ensuring that they feel they can approach you with questions and concerns
- Team meetings: Whole-group meetings are a good time to go over the progress of tasks, projects, and goals, and they give your team a chance to report back to you
- Online messages: Designate set platforms for messaging and communication, ensuring that all employees know how to reach out
- Employee feedback: Whether anonymous or otherwise, you should offer a method for employees to give feedback without feeling judged
While you should be open and transparent as often as possible, there’s one exception to this rule. When offering criticism, always default to a private meeting instead of a more public setting. When offering praise, make sure to celebrate in public.
- Set Clear Goals
It’s hard for employees to reach a destination if they don’t know where they’re going, which is why goal creation is a key part of employee management. However, vague goals with ill-defined benchmarks won’t help anyone.
When possible, consider using a strategy like the SMART goal-setting framework to make sure your objectives are effective. You should also break larger goals into smaller milestones, especially if it will take months or even years to reach your final objective. Be sure to check in on your team’s progress during meetings.
In addition to team goals, you may want to break larger project or company goals into individual goals as well. This ensures that every member of your team understands how their work should impact your initiative.
Last, don’t forget to help your team set individual career goals as well. During your one-on-ones, you should work with your employees to develop their careers, creating plans to grow their skills and explore additional roles. Not only can this help you grow your team, but it also boosts employee morale and engagement.
- Measure Performance and Offer Feedback
Performance measurement can be tricky, especially for new managers. One crucial way to improve your performance tracking is by using the right system for the job. There are a few tried-and-tested methods worth implementing, depending on your workplace:
- Self-evaluation: the employee’s appraisal of their own skills and performance
- Manager, peer, or team appraisal: an appraisal of the employee’s skills
- 360-degree feedback: a collection of feedback from all or multiple supervisors and peers
- Management by Objectives (MBO): a measurement of the employee’s progress toward set goals
- Work quality or quantity: collects metrics around the employee’s work output or quality
Beyond these classic approaches, you’ll also want to consider modern solutions, like employee performance review software. In addition to offering a quick tool you can use for both in-office and remote teams, you’ll also reap these benefits from the right software.
Whatever you decide, don’t wait until your annual employee reviews to measure performance and offer feedback! This process should be a constant in your office.
- Celebrate Success
When employees are performing well, make sure to celebrate their success. Not only is this a good way of boosting employee morale, but it’s also crucial for retaining employees.
There are countless methods of recognizing employees, including public praise in your office or on social media as well as small prizes or bonuses. You can even implement a structured reward program with point-based rewards for motivation. With the right effective leader, even one-on-one verbal praise can be a great boost after a small win.
Follow These Tips for Managing Employees
Whether or not you feel you have the inherent talent to manage a team, hard work and the right strategies can help you build your skillset. These five tips for managing employees can boost your leadership skills and help you support your team for success.
If you’re looking for more business tricks, tips, and tools, we’ve got you covered. As you work to improve your skills, check out our other business content for ideas on enhancing your workplace knowledge.