If you are a manager then you will be familiar with the balancing act needed between being friendly with staff, and letting them know that you are in charge. You may occasionally encounter staff members who want to be your best friend, or, on the other hand, may seem to dislike you simply because you’re the manager – either way, it is important to keep developing and improving your professional relationships. If you make sure that your employees know what to expect, you will be able to prevent problems from arising in the workplace. Here are four tips to help you manage your staff.
Make sure your staff know their roles
Even though a member of staff who is not being directed might be doing a good job, they might not be doing the job that you actually want them to be doing. It is therefore very important to give detailed job descriptions to your employees, and communicate with them clearly. You obviously do not want higher-earning staff to be doing the jobs of those who you pay less, as doing so would clearly be a waste of money. If you let your staff know exactly what they should be doing, you will be able to leave them alone to get on with it. Employees will be able to rise to meet your expectations, if the expectations you communicate to them are expressed clearly.
If a staff member is doing well, tell them! All employees want to know if they are doing well, especially when they are rising above your expectations. A handshake and a “thank you” can be as good for morale as a raise – or you could send them an appreciative note, or take them out to lunch. When your staff’s great work is recognised, they will be motivated to continue giving the job their best.
Don’t be afraid to criticise
As manager, you have a right to ask that things are done the way you want them to be done. If a member of staff fails to meet your expectations on a consistent basis, you have no right to become upset unless you let them know that you are not happy with their behaviour. A policy should be in place for when problems occur; this might be an oral or written warning, escalating the issue to a more senior member of staff, or in the worst case situation, dismissal. You should remain friendly and approachable, but also make it clear that you are expecting their performance to improve.
Set a good example
If you are lacking in organisational skills and are unable to offer great customer service, it can be difficult to expect your staff to possess such qualities. You should lead by example and always treat clients the way you expect your staff to treat them, and you can also use organisational aids – payroll software, focus boosters or scheduling techniques – to make sure you’re ‘on task’. If you behave as your own exemplary employee, then your staff will follow your example.
Whilst it isn’t always easy being boss, these four tips should help you to gain a reputation as a fair and consistent manager, improving the morale of you staff and helping your department to be as efficient and functional as it can possibly be.
Rashed Khan has an MSc in Software Engineering and enjoys guest posting on Business/Technology topics. Rashed is guest posting on behalf of Project management specialists IRIS.