What is the most valuable asset a company has? Capital? Brand reputation? Property? Something else?
In my opinion, your most valuable asset is your team. Yet people management is often overlooked, and business leaders are just expected to know how to effectively manage others.
A common issue across all businesses, regardless of size, is managers who are promoted because they perform well in their job and suddenly find themselves with a team to oversee. These new managers don’t necessarily have the skills, training or support to successfully carry out their new role and are left struggling.
All too often they are not offered appropriate training, resources or guidance. They are merely expected to seamlessly lead a group of people (no matter the size). This can lead to poor performance or reduced employee retention
People management is often seen as something that can be quickly fixed, but in reality, developing the necessary and required skills is something most people have to do over many years.
In a 2018 YouGov survey, 80% of employees in the UK said that they have experienced poor management or a poor manager at least once, and 73% of those have considered leaving a job as a result. The time, money and energy allocated to replacing employees can be incredibly taxing, especially on a small business.
In our experience, many managers shy away from the human side of management because they feel out of their depth. Yet failing to address people issues can lead to situations escalating and becoming unnecessarily complex. Providing managers with the skills to deal with their team effectively brings with it benefits including increased employee morale, engagement, productivity and job satisfaction.
So how can this be addressed? Here are my top 7 tips for managers:
Establish clear expectations
Problems arise when goals are unclear, and constantly changing expectations can create unhealthy stress. Make sure your employees know what to do and how to do it – providing a specific framework will empower them to be successful.
Create a culture of open communication
Does your business solicit ideas and provide an environment in which people are comfortable providing feedback? If so, employees will feel free to contribute ideas and commit to continuous improvement. A process where employees can contribute ideas will result in them feeling valued and able to contribute to the growth of the business.
Make employees feel valued
Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Make sure employees are treated fairly and that management consistently acknowledge team members for jobs well done and the effort they put into their work.
Give the right direction
Given the correct direction and motivation, employees can achieve most things. Make sure your team understands fully the company vision and future aspirations. As a manager, it is your job to provide clarification and purpose in order to drive your employees to success.
Provide opportunity and development
Being invested in the active development of your employees is another component of great people management. Aim to fulfil your team’s potential as well as your own by supporting them with educational and professional tools. Empower your employees to be focused and self-driven with opportunities to progress.
Provide regular feedback
Do you provide enough constructive feedback? Try to deliver frequent assessments to those in your team. You should encourage and grow employee confidence by rewarding excellent performance. At the end of the day, employees who feel respected are more likely to demonstrate greater loyalty to the company. Equally, challenge the skillset in your team, and let them take responsibility for bigger tasks.
Tailor your approach
There is often more than one way to solve a problem. You should expect to compromise when managing groups of unique individuals. If things are going well, try not think about the process as much and let the results speak for themselves. Adapt to how your team works and look to utilise everyone’s key strengths.
HR should be regarded as a proactive function of any business, because the benefit of preventing complex situations arising and escalating is invaluable. By empowering managers to deal with their team effectively, the overall impact of employee morale, engagement and job satisfaction is positively enhanced. Consequently, the combination of these crucial ingredients will work wonders in both the short- and long-term productivity of an organisation.
At Progeny, we pride ourselves on building positive relationships with clients and help managers navigate HR issues, providing practical advice and guidance to ensure best practice and compliance. We offer a range of development solutions, including masterclasses designed using our knowledge and experience to empower line managers.
As a part of Progeny, we have a wealth of experience supporting business managers and can combine our expertise with that of Progeny’s other business functions, such as employment law. Get in touch today to find out more about how we could help your organisation.