4.) Employees also need to know their job matters to your company. Periodically thanking individual employees for working for you and offering praise for jobs well done and genuinely letting them know you appreciate their effort generates a lot of goodwill. Our advice is to praise lavishly, criticize sparingly — all done appropriately and sincerely.
5.) Giving constant feedback. We have touched on employee evaluations in this column previously (FEED & GRAIN: April/May, 2006 — “Warning! Employee Evaluations Approaching”). However, the focus of that and other human resource approaches focus on the “official” employee evaluation. Informal feedback can be gentle, persuasive and important. There is a fine line between this and the “micromanaging” approach we mentioned previously — and you have to find the “sweet” spot — easy to say, but tougher to do. The notion of coaching, especially if you have good people, is a useful perspective. Guiding, supporting, encouraging, teaching, practicing, setting expectations, etc. are all elements of a successful coach and such a perspective can be a good guide to your own management activities.
6.) “What’s in it for me (your employee)?” We understand that motivating and managing employees is as much an art as a science but both aspects can be learned. Good managers help employees to understand the company’s mission and goals as stated above, but also by finding that appropriate mix of goals shared by both the company and your employee.
7.) Where to go, or what they need to do if they need help. Creating a supportive, safe environment for your people to be able to seek answers to questions about policies, procedures, or other assistance – is key to developing a trusting relationship and allowing for problem solving.
8.) Has your employee made the connection at work? Do they fit in to your company culture and does your firm help them fit in? A good employee orientation and introduction can assist with this. Periodic company events — picnics or BBQs or invitations to join a company bowling or softball team — can also help achieve this. In addition, you as manager can show them that you care, that you’re human. Ask about their health, families. Show concern and don’t be aloof. Use a bit of self-deprecation and lose the arrogance. While it may sound trite, apply the Golden Rule liberally and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” These are the types of people we all like to work for, and your employees are no different.
As we have touched on in this article, everybody wants to hire and keep good employees, and hopefully we have given you food for thought regarding the hiring and management process. Learning how to best manage your people takes time and effort. But it can definitely pay big dividends not only in terms of your job satisfaction as a manager but also to your bottom line.