Everything You Need to Know About Employee Management
Small businesses that practice various employee management strategies have on average a 22% higher revenue, 23% higher profits, and a decrease of over 66% in employee turnover.
What is Employee Management?
In order to properly address employee management, business professionals must thoroughly understand what it encompasses. In its simplest terms, employee management is the method industry leaders use to reach their business goals and optimize employee productivity. Employee management contains the majority of human resource (hr management) activities.
The three key sections of management are employee onboarding, retention, and performance management. Onboarding includes everything involved with hiring new talent onto your team. Retention focuses on employee engagement, satisfaction, and longevity in their respective role. Performance management concentrates on optimizing their labor and productivity.
The Importance of Proper Management
Proper management has been proven to greatly improve overall business operations. The efficiency of a manager directly correlates with the success of individual employees, which then trickles down into the customer and client experience. On the one hand, both employee productivity and morale are heightened when employees are managed efficiently. Contrarily, when a business has poor management the entire business will be negatively impacted.
Effective managers lead their employees by example and create a positive working environment for their employees. Management plays an indispensable role in establishing company culture, for better or for worse. Management that is overly punitive, micromanages, or lacks trust in their employees will breed a toxic workforce. Management that promotes transparency, clear communication, and acknowledges great work on behalf of their employees, will breed a positive work environment. Employees respond much better to management that they feel comfortable with and respect, and this response will be reflected in your business's bottom line.
Attributes of an Effective Manager
Knowing how crucial proper management is to the productivity of your entire industry may be intimidating. Thankfully, regardless of the industry type, there are universal skill sets that an effective manger can focus on cultivating in order to optimize their managerial skills. Some of these skill sets include-
- Communication- 57% of employees report that they do not receive clear directions while 69% of managers report that they are not comfortable interacting with employees. Beyond communicating role expectations, managers should be comfortable working directly with their employees to ensure continued accountability and productivity. Giving and receiving feedback in a productive way is imperative to boosting trust between employees and their managers.
Constructive discussions that encourage transparency are much more productive and comfortable than punitive formal conversations. If you anticipate a conversation may be challenging, consider inviting your employee for a walk or sitting down somewhere more cozy for and chat. A welcoming and calming environment lessens the likelihood of employees shutting down when receiving more critical feedback or concerns about their performance. More casual in-person conversations increase receptiveness, display strong management skills, and demonstrate to your employees that they are more than merely a worker to you.
- Background experience- Prior experience leading a team and working in a business setting will make the transition into a managerial role much easier. If you have not had the opportunity to hold a leadership role yet in your career, you may consider volunteering with a nonprofit or getting an internship focused in the area of management that you'd like to pursue your career in.
- Education- Although experience is a great teacher, having proper credentials will further assist you to navigate a managerial role. Most managers hold a bachelor's degree in human resources, business administration, or project management. If you do not have a degree, you can earn a certificate in a variety of different specializations, ranging from human resources to ethics.
- Resolution- In order to effectively manage others, you must be able to manage yourself. Self-confidence and resolution in your abilities will organically encourage employees to trust and respect your leadership capabilities. It is important to make sure your resolution does not come off as arrogance though, as this has the potential to damage your reputation. It is much more effective to demonstrate your abilities and qualifications through leading by example.
- Respectfulness- Regardless of their job title or duties, a great manager will show respect to all of their employees. When employees feel respected, they will likely respond by showing you that same respect. Disrespectful and arrogant managers breed anxiety, miscommunications, and unproductive power dynamics. Both you and your employees will be happier and more satisfied at work when respectful relationships are foundational.
- Task delegation- Managers should delegate labor that does not necessitate managerial expertise to individual team members as often as possible. Doing so promotes your employee's abilities self-management and self-sufficiency, demonstrating to your employees that you trust them to do a great job on whatever tasks you delegate to them. Additionally, proper delegation lessens the time spent on labor that could have been outsourced to other employees and allows you to focus on tasks that you must perform yourself. Proper delegation decreases unnecessary micromanagement and shows your team that you believe in their abilities.
The Benefits of Proper and Effective Management
Key benefits to managing employees properly include-
1. Optimized bottom line-
- Increase productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of the entire business.
- More profitability with resources being utilized most efficiently.
- Fewer resources expended, allowing businesses to focus on expanding their enterprises instead of cutting them down.
- Customer service improves as a result of happier employees.
- Provide employees with a clear expectation of a project or task whenever possible. Additionally, incorporate consistent standardized performance measurements and actionable feedback.
- Promote the open-door policy and inform employees that management is easily accessible and ready to listen. Employees give honest feedback on business processes and feel more motivated when respected by their company and leadership.
- Encourage constructive conversations over punitive formal conversations. Casual face-to-face conversations increase receptiveness and employees are appreciative of being shown that they are valued and cared for beyond the work they produce.
- Onboard a new employee with skill sets and experience valuable to your team and complimentary to your companies culture and core values.
- Establish communication channels to decrease communication gaps.
- Incentivize and recognize employees who have gone above and beyond their role description.
- Seamless delegation and tracking of tasks and projects.
- Streamline work processes for ideal business operations.
Problems with Poor Management
Ineffective management has the ability to destabilize your entire business's bottom line and ability to retain great employees. In fact, 50% of business professionals report having quit a job to get away from their boss. Common poor management strategies that cause major problems for businesses include-
1. Insistence on unproductive meetings- The average business professional spends over 31 hours a month at unproductive meetings. If the message the meeting is meant to cover can be covered adequately in email format, phone conference, or video conference it is wise to consider doing so as an alternative.
Often times, managers feel meetings are a way to get updates and show their team that they care about what they are doing. However, managers should be mindful that this check-in comes at the cost of interrupting workers in whatever task they were engaging with prior to the meeting.
There are many more productive alternatives for managers to check-in with their employees rather than forcing a meeting at the cost of the entire business's productivity. When meetings are unavoidable, consider standing meetings, where everyone is on their feet and ready to jump back into their work.
2. Stressing out employees- There are many ways that managers create stress in their employees by their behavior. Managers that delay information from reaching certain staff members, clearly choose favorites, or manipulate situations will likely create stressed-out employees. Micromanaging and over surveillance will also decrease employee productivity.
Employees are less happy, less effective and more likely to make mistakes when they feel they are being consistently and harshly judged. When employees are stressed they are much more likely to look for another job.
3. Not recognizing successes- Managers who do not take the time to recognize their employees for their accomplishments result in employees who feel unconfident and unmotivated. Poor management will not make employees feel valued or apart of a team.
How to Effectively Manage Employees
With so many small businesses entering the market, effective management can be the deciding factor on whether or not your business succeeds. Regardless of the size of your company, there are certain tips that all managers and business owners can use to make sure they are managing their employees as effectively as possible-
1. Incentivize- Managers who implement incentivizing employee reward programs are met with average profit increases of $104,000 a week. Additionally, 85% of employees feeling report feeling more motivated when they know their good work will be recognized and tangibly rewarded. Recognizing teams and individuals for their accomplishments boost both employee performance and overall workplace satisfaction. Employees respond better to a culture of positivity rather than one the focuses on micromanaging and disciplinary actions.
2. Setting realistic goals- Employees work much better when they are provided with clear and actionable objectives. Setting realistic goals has the additional benefit of getting everyone organized and focused which allows your business to reach set benchmarks more quickly. Clearly communicated goals permit collaboration to run more smoothly, with each person understanding what tasks they are responsible for completing in order for the entire organization to reach their goals.
It is helpful to frame goals not only on a company-wide level, but also to brainstorm goals for departments, teams, and individuals whenever possible. Beyond outlining clear goals, make sure that goals are challenging enough to keep your employees motivated and stimulated in their roles. Ideally, your individual employees and teams will align their goals with larger company objectives that reflect your core values.
3. Engaging employees- Management must find a balance between maximizing productivity and advocating on behalf of their employees. Listening to employee feedback and carefully considering their opinions when making important decisions demonstrates to your employees that they have a voice in your business operations. Effective employee engagement improves productivity, customer service, and decreases employee turnover.
4. Creating a constructive culture- Create a positive workspace in which your employees feel motivated and supported. Foster trust, open communication, and transparency whenever possible. Treating employees with respect, regardless of their role titles will likely result in your employees respecting both you and the company more.
The Benefits of Employee Management Software
Employee management software systems can help managers to more work more effectively. Automating administrative tasks whenever possible allows for resources to be diverted towards tasks that need more intensive or specialized attention and focus. Listed below are some ways in which investing in a management system improves your business operations-
1. Compliance- Regardless of your industry type, your business must be able to procure records if requested by a qualified agency. With ever-increasing regulations and audits, failure to supply the correct paperwork can land you in court or force you to close your business's doors. Management can avoid costly violations and litigation by proactively installing employee management software that can instantly collaborate reports and requested data requests on demand.
2. Optimization- Employee data can be analyzed electronically to look for places that management can improve efficiency and productivity. Software can highlight problem areas so that corrective action can be taken, whether the issue is a department struggling to retain employees or a reduction in a specific product type. Additionally, software can effortlessly generate reports and infographics to share with shareholders and investors.
3. Security- With increases in database hacks, employee management software can help to keep confidential information safe. Multi-factor authentication and encryption are just a couple of the security features that are offered by software programs to help human resource and management professionals keep their employee and company information secure. An additional benefit is a decrease in the need for paper files, and ease of access when confidential information must be accessed by the authorized professional.