Five smart ways to manage people

25 March 2013

Good employee management is one of the cornerstones of a successful business. Which means, as a manager, you need to know how to bring out the best in the people around you. Here are five ways to get the most from your team.

Equip for success

Even the best employee cannot do their job properly without the right tools. Take a good look at what your team is working with. Does your sales team have the best CRM software your can afford to do their jobs properly? Effective customer management is essential to good performance.

Remember the two to one rule

You have two ears and one mouth, so employ the two to one rule and listen more than you talk to your team. Ask questions and then sit back and listen to the feedback. People feel empowered when they know they are being listened to. You’ll learn a lot about what your people are thinking, and they’ll know they can come to you and talk through issues at any time. Building an open policy for talking through issues means people will bring issues to you when they crop up – allowing everyone to deal with problems more quickly.

King Kong
There are more subtle ways to voice your concerns.....

Quit the blame game

Don’t get involved in the blame culture. Everyone makes mistakes and the smart way to deal with mistakes is to find a way to rectify them quickly, rather than engaging in protracted blame sessions. By ditching the aggressive approach to people management you’ll create a culture in your office where employees will own up to a mistake more quickly. Problems will be solved faster and you can all get on with the business of making your company more successful.

Give responsibility

The flip side of not playing the blame game is to give people responsibility. A person who knows their every move is being monitored cannot grow and accept responsibility for their job. Obviously you need to work closely with trainees, but when you employ someone to do a specific job, have confidence in your hire and give them the space to get on with your job. Weekly meetings should be enough to find out if everything is on track.

Don’t be afraid to fire

Effective people management can mean making hard decisions. As a manager it’s your responsibility to ensure your team works at its optimum levels at all times. One person can ruin the productivity of the whole team. Ideally you’ll have already tried to talk to them, discover why they don’t gel with the rest of the people in your office. But if you continue to have problems you have to consider the bottom line – a bad employee can impact the financial future of your company. In these cases you have little choice but to either find them another position in the company that suits their personality, or to fire them. Be cautious that you do it in the right way so that you don’t leave yourself open to a protracted employment tribunal.

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