It is not breaking news that effectively managing your employees is key to the success of any business. Understanding how to keep your employees happy and engaged is just as important as your company’s brand and reputation; some may argue even more important since you can’t have one without the other. When you employ staff that don’t care about your customers, or who are not committed to the job, your business will without a doubt suffer.
The problem lies in the fact that many business owners are reactive when it comes to choosing, engaging, and managing staff. It is not unusual that out of fear of confrontation, being too busy or both that managers allow under-performing employees to wreak havoc in ways that impact your brand.
Being proactive means:
This includes asking questions that go beyond discussing the candidate’s work related experience. Explore soft skills such as attention to detail and verbal and written communication skills as well as work ethic. Phrase questions in a way that require the job applicant to respond with concrete examples that support their claims to be a “people person” or to have “attention to detail”.
Not Bypassing The Reference Process
No matter how much you felt that your personalities clicked during the interview with your potential hire, do not be lulled into a false sense of simpatico just because your job applicant is easy to talk to or shares the same interests. This is one of the biggest mistakes that hiring managers tend to make and impacts their ability to find the right person for the job.
Avoid slipping on those rose-colored glasses and get a second opinion about your candidate from both a current and former supervisor. Ask your reference giver to verify the hard and soft skills highlighted by your job candidate in the interview and on their resume then go back and make sure that the data adds up.
Once Hired, Set Clear Expectations
It’s hard to manage employees who presume to know what you want but that are getting mixed messages from you. Always be transparent about any rules or policies that are critical to their success – and yours. There are a myriad of ways to weave your expectations into the workplace experience: During the hiring process and onboarding process. When you meet with staff and via your website. Transparency and reinforcement of workplace expectations will reduce the possibility of any misunderstandings.
Giving Your Staff Performance Feedback
Feedback is most effective when it can be applied in the moment, but we know that this is not realistic in a workplace setting. That doesn’t mean that it is a step that should be skipped. Take your communication a step further by meeting with your employee for an annual performance review, (minimally), or bi-annually ideally. Reviews can feel like a distraction when you have a busy schedule but it is an ideal way motivate employees, reinforce expectations, and keep both parties accountable.
Tackling Difficult Issues Head On
It is much more comfortable to believe that your responsibilities as a leader take precedence over employee issues or that workplace issues will be resolved on their own. But, what usually happens is that what might have been a manageable problem becomes progressively worse. When it is apparent that your employee is continually not meeting your expectations, despite ongoing coaching or skill building resources, dismissal may be the best course of action.
We know that managing employees can sometimes be a challenge but it doesn’t have to be. Your employees have many of the same business goals, one of which is to contribute in positive ways to the success of the business. These easily implemented tips can help.
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