How to Manage Staff Effectively

How to manage office staff? Be consistent in your approach to employees, whether it be rewarding good behavior or disciplining bad behavior

How to manage? How to manage staff effectively is to understand them, their needs, and what will make them successful. It’s also about getting the most out of your employees. The more you invest in them, the more they will produce better results for you. The goal of a manager should not only be about the bottom line but also about developing productive people and ensuring they have all the resources to do their job in a happy work environment.

Employees don’t yearn for sympathy. They want you to set goals but not micromanage their day-to-day work, so there’s room to grow and learn new skills.

They expect to get feedback from you on both successes and failures to help them develop professionally. And when someone is ready for a promotion or change of job, they expect you to help them.

How to Manage?

Managing is a difficult task, and it takes skill to do well. You got to have the right mindset about what managing entails, which is different from how you might think. Understanding that there are best ways to manage can help you find the one that will benefit your staff immensely.

The following will help you to understand how you can best manage:

1. Create a Culture of Trust

What is a culture of trust? A culture of trust is an environment created out of the behaviors and attitudes that foster open communication, honest feedback, and healthy debate without fear of reprisal.

A culture of trust encourages people to be accountable for their actions and gives them the space to try things without fear of the consequences if they fail. Also, in a culture of trust, employees are encouraged to take risks, share ideas, and collaborate.

First, create a culture of trust so that your staff knows there’s nothing they can’t talk about with you without feeling judged or punished. It is how you give your employee a sense of freedom and empowerment.

They need to feel comfortable sharing their ideas, make mistakes without fear of being reprimanded by you. Employees who do their daily work in a work environment filled with trust are more likely to be happy and satisfied with their jobs.

2. Give Your Staff Autonomy

You must give your staff autonomy over their work to feel more invested in it and make better decisions. It is important because employees who do their work in an environment where the manager is lurking behind their back and looking over their shoulders. 

Employees don’t need your approval for every task they have to complete. They need you to set goals and provide clear expectations, but not for micromanaging their day-to work, so there’s room for them to make their judgments, decisions and be creative with how they do things.

Let your staff take ownership over their work and feel confident for what they do.  Just be clear which tasks require oversight but not daily involvement.

Read also: How to Manage Workload Effectively with Conflicting Deadlines

3. Create an Open Environment

Create an open environment where ideas can flow freely, and people feel comfortable speaking up about what they need help with, what they’re struggling with, without fear of judgment or criticism.

It will lead to an environment where people feel safe, respected, and able. Also, encourage open communication between yourself and staff members to foster understanding of each other’s needs, concerns, expectations, and values.

Be open-minded about new ideas from employees or suggestions on how you can be more effective as their manager. Never get defensive if someone has a different opinion from yours.

4. Acknowledge Good Work

Don’t forget to say thank you when your staff has done a great job. It’s the little things that matter, and it will make staff feel appreciated, and that is what they want. They want to know whether you see their effort and you’re grateful for their hard work.

When you show your appreciation, they will have a renewed sense of energy to do even more. “Thank you” is an easy and quick way to show your gratitude that doesn’t take much time at all – it also costs nothing.  If you try to fake appreciation, your staff will see right through it, so be genuine. 

5. Set Clear Goals

Establish goals for projects so that everyone knows their role and contribution to achieve those goals. It is important that your goals are clear and articulated in a way your staff can understand.

Make sure your employees know what they need to achieve.  If you cannot express your expectations clearly, employees will not do what you want. And this will lead to mistakes, frustration, confusion, or failure.

When you set clear goals, your staff will know what you want and will be able to focus on the tasks that are most important to meet deadlines.

6. Let Your Staff Make Input

What is employee input? Employee input is a range of ideas, opinions, proposals, and suggestions on a particular issue staff share with the management during a decision-making process. 

A manager needs to listen carefully to what employees say and consider their opinion before making any decision which will impact them.  Put the burden of responsibility on your staff by asking for their input. It will help them feel more connected and valued.

That way, there cannot be anyone who feels excluded from decision-making. And everyone can feel more confident that they have contributed to the direction of their company.

7. Give Clear Instructions

To give clear instructions means to provide instructions or information in a logical order for each task as needed with details about why it is necessary to do it correctly.

So, give clear, concise instructions to your staff. It will help them know what they are supposed to do. Don’t blame your employees for not doing what you want if you did not provide them with clear instructions.  It is your responsibility to make sure they know what to do. 

Read: What Are the Most Valuable Aspects of Leadership?

8. Give Constructive Feedback

What is constructive feedback? Constructive feedback is the process of providing employees with honest and direct feedback about their performance, behavior, or attitude to help them improve themselves or their work.

Feedback is not just about giving but also receiving feedback. If you want to have an effective and constructive conversation with your employees, listen to them first.  

Whether the feedback is negative or positive, it has to be delivered constructively. And don’t fill it with fake praises because you want to appease your staff.

Feedback must be genuine, given regularly, and it should focus on the individual’s strengths. A good manager will not fluff their feedback with fake praises so each employee can trust what they hear from you.

Focus on the behavior you want rather than what you don’t need — this will make it easier for them to understand what they need to do differently.

9. Listen Carefully

Listen attentively when an employee speaks, don’t interrupt them or talk over them while they’re talking because this will make them feel unheard, unimportant, frustrated, or even angry with you for not paying attention to what they have to say.

A manager who doesn’t listen to their employees will not fully understand what’s going on in their team, leading to many confusions and problems.  So, pay attention to what your employees say and don’t interrupt them or talk over, wait for a pause and then speak. 

10. Improve your People Skills

What are people skills? People skills are patterns of behaviors you use to listen, talk, and interact with your staff and others at work. Having good people skills can help you in all sorts of situations.

It can be a challenge to talk with a talented but difficult employee about their attitude. But good people skills can make the process easier to deal with anyone in the workplace.

You need specific skills to manage your staff effectively. You also need to know how and when to use them because skills are different.

11. Manage Difficult Employees

As a manager, you face daily challenges of making difficult decisions on how to manage your staff. Some of these situations require intervention by having conversations.

Every workplace has its fair share of workers with undesirable behaviors. The truth is, there are always going to be some people at work who don’t want to cooperate. It can be tough to manage, but it is possible.

It’s up to you to manage these employees and their undesirable behaviors in the best way possible, so they stay productive and don’t cause others problems.

Read more: Top 20 Positive Character Traits for the Workplace

12. Be a Role Model and Good Example:

One of the most important things for a manager to do is to understand their employees. Take the time to get out of the office and see what your staff are going through daily. To manage staff effectively, you need to lead by example.

Your employees must see you working hard and being the best at what you do to take their work seriously. You can’t just tell them to work harder and get through challenges on their own.

If you sense they need help, never wait for them to ask. Just roll up your sleeves and do something. It is up to you as their manager to set an example through your actions.

Don’t point fingers and blame others for your mistakes, take responsibility instead. You can become the best example and role model for all those who work under you through your actions.

13. Build Strong Teamwork

What is teamwork? Teamwork is the act of people working together to achieve something better than what any individual could do and achieve on their own.

In other words, it is about all your staff members working together and collaborating on projects for better results than if they were all trying by themselves individually.

Your success as a manager largely depends on how well your employees work together, not as individuals. Get them to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.

When they feel part of a high-performing team, they work harder and smarter to achieve better results. It leads to increased productivity, less turnover, better customer service, and higher profits.

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