As the manager of a group of staff members, you must walk a fine line between being friendly with your employees and indicating that you are in charge. While you may encounter occasional staff members who insist on being your buddy or who seem to dislike you for the sole reason that you are the manager, it is up to you to keep your up working professional relationships. By making sure that your employees know what to expect, you can avoid some of the pitfalls of not being in control of your department. Here are four ways to manage your staff.
1. Make Sure They Know Their Roles
A staff member without direction may be doing a good job with whatever he is doing, but he may not be doing the job that you actually need done. Communicate clearly with your employees, and give them detailed job descriptions. You don’t want your higher-earning employees to be doing the same job as those you pay less — if that’s what’s happening in your company, then you are throwing money away. Tell your employees exactly what they need to be doing, then stand back and let them do it. Provide clear expectations, and allow them to rise to meet those expectations.
2. Be Lavish With Praise
All employees want to know that they’re doing well. If a staff member rises above and beyond the basic expectations that you’ve given him, let him know. You don’t need to shy away from these discussions if you’re not offering up a raise; a hearty handshake and a “thank you” can be nearly as morale-lifting. You could also send a quick note or take him out for lunch. A staff member who receives recognition for great work is going to want to continue providing you with his best efforts on a regular basis.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Criticise
You’re the boss, and you have the right to ask that things be done your way. If a staff member is consistently not meeting your expectations, you can’t get upset unless you let him know. Make sure you have a policy in place for dealing with problems. This might entail an oral warning, a written warning, then escalation to a higher-up or employment termination. Be approachable and friendly, but make it clear that you expect improvements.
4. Set a Good Example
It can be difficult to expect your employees to be organised and have great customer service if you are lacking in these qualities. Lead by example by always treating clients the way you expect your staff to treat them. Use organisational aids, such as payroll software, focus boosters and scheduling techniques to keep yourself on task. In short, be your own exemplary employee, and soon your own staff will be following suit.
It’s not always easy to be the boss, but by keeping these tips in mind, you can be known around the water cooler as a fair and consistent manager. This will improve your staff’s morale and will help your department to be as functional and efficient as possible.
Bio: Rashed Khan holds an MSc in Software Engineering and in the past has been involved in running a business. Rashed enjoys guest blogging on business/technology related topics and is currently guest blogging on behalf of Iris who specialise in small business software and payroll software.