You’re busy. And if you’re like many of the business owners we work with, you may be spending more time in day-to-day operations than ever before, which means you probably have less time to manage your employees. If you’re lucky enough to have employees who are high performers and shining stars, then you may think you don’t need to waste the extra time managing them, right? Uh, wrong.
Whether your employees are green to your company, are high performers being groomed for management, or are individuals who have no desire to climb the corporate ladder because they gain fulfillment in being efficient and productive, they still need to be managed – and led. Now is the time to show true leadership by managing your employees and giving them the guidance and feedback they deserve, which will simultaneously improve your business.
Here are some ways to start making managing a priority:
Set aside office hours. The practice of “office hours” stems from our college days – when no matter how busy our professors were, we knew that they had specific times during the week that we could drop by their office to get answers to our questions and obtain advice for moving forward. If you adopt an “office hours” concept in your business, your employees will feel appreciated knowing that you’ve made them a priority, even with your busy schedule.
Give feedback as it’s needed. It’s common for managers to wait until annual performance reviews to give their employees much-needed feedback. Although this may seem like an organized and efficient process, it ultimately creates frustration and setbacks for employees. If your employees are motivated by getting things done right, which most high performers are, the time they’ve lost while waiting for their annual review can be an impediment, a disincentive, or even worse – it may mean a loss of respect for your management methods. If you give feedback as it’s needed, your employees can start working on the issue at hand immediately.
Focus on the praise. Praising and thanking your employees for a job well done is simply good manners, and should truly be a regular part of your management routine since most people are encouraged by praise. If you want to take it a step further, praise them not only for their accomplishment, but specifically how, and with what techniques, they accomplished the task. Ask them to document their processes so you can use them as best practices throughout your business.
While dealing with day-to-day business operations, fighting off regular business stressors, and not to mention overcoming a tricky economy, it’s easy to forget about the people who are working so hard to keep your business thriving – your employees. If you discover that managing your employees has not been a priority recently, make it a priority by setting aside time for your employees, giving them guidance to improve their skills, and praising them for a job well done. You’ll find your team will be happier and more productive, which will in turn improve your business.