Managing people is a tricky job, even for the most skilled business school grads and experienced professionals. Running a business and managing staff is more than just delegating tasks and supervising employees; it means you are accountable to both your clients and your staff.
Here are a few tips for managing people:
Delegate work according to skill level and capability
As an entrepreneur your staff is there to help you achieve your goals and grow your business. Being in charge is doesn’t give you the right to palm off tasks you don’t enjoy on your staff. You must delegate work according to your staff’s skill level and capabilities. Each member of your staff is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses; it is your job to recognize their strengths. You need to get to know your staff and their capacities in the workplace. Remember to be fair in your delegation, resist the urge to pile work on your strongest staff members and delegate easier tasks to those who might be struggling. Make sure everyone has a fair share of responsibilities within their assigned roles.
Schedule open door time
The “Open door” policy isn’t always the best approach to increase productivity. As a business owner and manager, you may need time alone in your office to work, brainstorm, meet tight deadlines, and sort out your thoughts. However, your employees will have questions and concerns to discuss with you, designating a time when you will be available to address these concerns is a great way of showing your concern and approachability, which in turn improves morale and motivation. According to STL, creating an open and honest culture is one of the most effective ways to motivate your team, and communication is key to establishing this kind of atmosphere.
Exercise open and effective communication
Open communication is the key to effective management. Some business owners feel that they should only share information with certain employees who they determine “need to know it” or for whom it is “relevant”. However, this scenario often results in closed door meetings between bosses and just a few staff members, leaving other employees feeling left out, suspicious and anxious. Of course, some information needs to remain confidential but as a business owner you must be discrete about how you go about disclosing information to staff.
Keep it professional
Sometimes as a business owner it may be tempting to befriend your employees since you hired them, and they work directly for you, but it’s important to keep it professional. You may be closer to certain members of your staff than others but attempt to maintain the same level of interaction with all employees. Avoid going out to lunch with the same staff members every week or sitting next to the same people at meetings. This makes others feel like you’re playing favourites and will result in jealousy, competition, and workplace conflict as everyone wants to be close to “the boss”.