When it comes to business, you want to get the most out of your employees. You want them to work as quickly and efficiently as possible so you can see a return on your investment and make more money. You want them to be able to handle any curveballs that come their way without taking you by surprise or letting them impact productivity. Working smarter, not harder, is the idea here, but how do you actually do that?
It's not as simple as getting everyone in a room together and coming up with some new ideas for streamlining workflow; there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to managing other people. Working smarter means breaking routines and paradigms in order to get more done with less effort. Here are some tips for managing employees in ways that will increase your company's productivity.
Communication is key
Communication is key when managing employees, and it's not just about communicating with them on a one-on-one basis. There are many different forms of communication that you should be utilizing as a manager. There are regular one-on-one meetings, group meetings, weekly progress reports, one-off emails, etc.
The trick to all of this communication is to be mindful of your employees' time. You want to be succinct and to the point whenever possible, and you want to try not to overburden employees with unnecessary meetings. When communicating with employees, keep the following in mind: - What is the goal of this meeting or communication? - Who are you meeting with, and for what purpose? - What is the overarching goal of this company?
Create a Culture of Collaboration
You want to create a culture that values the collective intelligence of all your employees. To do this, you have to actively encourage collaboration. You can't just expect employees to know that they should be collaborating with one another and that they know who they should be working with. You have to actively create a culture where employees feel safe to share ideas with one another, collaborate and pivot as necessary based on what they're learning.
You have to create a culture where employees feel safe to take risks and make mistakes. You want them to feel empowered and motivated to seek out different ways of doing things because the current ways aren't working for them.
Create Clear Expectations
It's not enough to create a culture that values collaboration if employees aren't clear on what you expect from them. You have to make it clear to your employees what is expected of them on a day-to-day basis. You should be communicating these expectations throughout the company, not just in a single meeting or during onboarding.
You want these expectations to be obvious to employees, and you want them to know if and when they are not meeting those expectations. Communicate with your employees regularly – not just during their review periods. Make sure that they know where they stand and what they can do to improve.
Establish Realistic Deadlines
Deadlines are important, but they should be realistic. Establish clear deadlines for your employees, but make sure they are realistic. It's important to understand that employees come to the table with different skill sets and abilities. They're all going to process information at different rates. Some may be exceptionally quick at getting tasks done, while others may need more time to get up to speed.
When establishing realistic deadlines for your employees, keep the following in mind:
What is the priority of the task?
How much time does the employee need to complete the task?
Is this deadline realistic for the employee?
What can you do to help the employee meet their deadline?
Give Employees Room to Fail
Failing is part of learning, but we don't want to foster a culture where employees feel like they can fail as much as they want to. You want to give your employees room to fail – just not fail your company in the process. Make it clear that you don't want your employees to fail but that you want to foster an environment where they feel safe to try new things and experiment with ideas.
Experimentation is where innovation thrives. If your employees are coming up short on ideas or are getting stuck, take the time to brainstorm with them. Be open to their ideas, don't shut them down before they've had a chance to fully explain themselves.
Encourage Employees to Advance Their Skills
Your employees likely come to the table with a set of skills, but they may be able to expand these skills and advance further if given the opportunity. Ask your employees what sort of training they would like to pursue. Offer to pay for or help them find the resources necessary to further their skill sets. This will not only help your employees advance their skills and make more money, but it will also help your company by providing better service to clients and more opportunities for growth and expansion.
Rotate Employees to Different Roles
You want your employees to see the big picture here. You want them to understand that every action, task, and decision made in one department or department affects all other departments in some way.
To help them see this, rotate your employees to different roles across the company, so they have a better understanding of how each department works and the role they play in the grand scheme of things. Rotating employees to different roles is also beneficial in that it gives you a chance to see which departments they are most comfortable working in and where they may be more effective.
Hold One-on-One Meetings
These meetings are a great opportunity to check in with your employees and get a better understanding of how they're feeling, what they're working on, etc. Hold regular one-on-one meetings with each of your employees. Schedule them at a time that works for both you and your employees, and make sure to stick to that schedule, so they don't become haphazard or unplanned.
These one-on-one meetings are a great way to build relationships with your employees and get a better understanding of where they are in their careers and what they need to succeed and advance. They also help you identify problems and solve them before they become larger issues.
Provide Meaningful Feedback
Feedback is important, but it's not something that we naturally do or are good at. To help your employees receive meaningful feedback and learn how to receive it, be mindful of how you give feedback. Make sure that you're giving feedback in a way that feels constructive and meaningful to your employees. Your feedback should help your employees improve, not make them feel worse about themselves.
When giving feedback, keep the following in mind:
What do you want your employees to do differently?
What do you want your employees to change about their behavior?
How can you communicate this in a way that will help your employees improve rather than hurt them?
As a manager, your goal is to make sure that everyone on your team is as productive as possible. In order to do so, you have to learn how to implement these tips. Let your employees know that you're there to help them succeed, and they will be more likely to take your suggestions and feedback as helpful rather than critical. Follow SYP.net for more informative blogs on how to manage and grow your business.