Managers from all industries and company sizes acknowledge that employee management is the most challenging part of their daily responsibilities. However, knowing that employees make up the cornerstone of your company and its success, employee management must be executed effectively so that your employees do their best, most productive work every single day in order to achieve and exceed the company goals.
Employee management is not just employees doing their job; “it’s a variety of procedures and strategies that can help you measure, monitor, and interact with the workforce that plays a huge role in your company.”
However, let’s discuss what the fundamental building blocks of employee management are:
- Hiring: the right candidate(s) must be selected during the hiring process.
- Observation: determine if an employee(s) is meeting its goals and has exceptional performance.
- Interaction: communicate, gain feedback, and positively interact with employees, and vice-versa.
- Recognition: recognize and reward employees for top performance.
- Discipline: discipline employees who have poor performance, as this may lead to employee termination.
While the above make up the building blocks of employee management, it’s vital to also understand how it all works. The Journal of Diversity Management, Robert Morris University Professor Dean R. Manna sums it up as, “employee management is based on ideas and procedures developed to increase worker motivation, productivity, and performance.”
As such, it is clear that employee management starts from the ground up with hiring the right people and all through the employee’s lifecycle. All throughout the lifecycle, managers must focus on maintaining a healthy relationship with their employees but that’s not always the easiest of tasks to execute. This is why we created a list of our best tips and insights on effective employee management.
Effective Employee Management: Our Top Tips
1. Foster Open Communication
The latest surveys show that “employees prefer to work for companies that value open communication over other benefits and perks.” In addition, the same survey found that 15% of employees were even remotely satisfied with their company’s internal communication methods.
However, communication isn’t just two-way communication. It’s also about establishing a system that encourages employees to speak up and where managers genuinely listen. For example:
- Be visible: be present so that your employees see you around. That can be through an actual open door policy so that employees know you’re available when needed.
- Be transparent: always share company announcements and updates with your employees so they feel more in the loop and are connected to the organization.
- Gain feedback: make it easy for employees to share their ideas and suggestions, as they’re on the frontline so they hear all company complaints and compliments. However, make sure you act on the feedback you gain otherwise it’s just a hollow effort.
You can also start by sending employee engagement surveys on a regular basis to ensure you’re regularly aware of how satisfied your employees are and also where problems exist.
2. Set Clear Expectations
If you don’t know what you want from your employees, then there’s no way they can ever deliver. This is why it’s critical that you set clear expectations – from the company culture to individual and company goals, and more.
Tell your employees what you want, what the timetable is, and how it should get done if specifics exist. Be clear and detailed. For example, is their task broad such as output, or is it more focused on when things are done? You have to know the answer yourself, otherwise your employees will only be confused.
By being clear on your expectations, you are effectively delivering the most basic building block of employee management.
3. Help Employees Develop
Monster polled that 71% of respondents who participated reported that they don’t feel like their manager cares about their career development. As such, it is vital you provide your employees with the opportunity to grow in new roles.
And why is it so important? Because Berkeley found that “Career development increases employee motivation and productivity.” In addition, Berkeley says it’s more cost-effective to use your own employee talent pool to off career development opportunities within your own departments.
You can provide this as part of your employee management by helping your employees’ development by:
- Offering in-house training through one-on-one meetings or online programs
- Create programs and activities to provide skill development, for example, job rotation, cross-training, internships, and coaching
- Establish a mentoring program
- Send employees to conferences and seminars
- Support lateral moves within the company
The above all serve as cost-effective and easy-to-implement ideas for better employee management.
4. Build Trust
Your employees will struggle to exceed expectations and be truly happy at the company if they are put under pressure or under the microscope. In fact, Forbes says that “a lack of trust can make workplaces sick and dysfunctional.”
As a manager, it is very important to avoid a lack of trust and a dysfunctional workplace. Here’s how you can start:
- Avoid micromanagement: just let the employee do their job, as it’s what you hired them to do. Otherwise, you’re only adding additional and unnecessary stress on yourself and the employee.
- Don’t overdo feedback: of course, feedback is necessary, however, if it’s constant regarding every little thing the employee does, then you’re only causing low employee confidence.
- Offer physical privacy: you don’t need to see your employee working. Instead, be more hands-off so they can feel comfortable working wherever they want, whether it’s the company roof, the coffee shop, their own home, etc.
5. Use the Right Software
Managers can only do so much on their own, but with the right employee management software, they can do even more.
Connecteam is a leading employee app trusted by thousands of managers worldwide, as it helps you foster open communication, build relationships, maintain transparency, encourage employee development, and more.
Here are a few examples of key features on Connecteam that can help with effective employee management:
- Surveys, Suggestion Box, and Live Polls: ensure every employee is heard and make decisions based on surveys and live-polls, create a suggestion box to gain feedback, and establish structured channels so employees can approach senior management.
- Announcements, Newsletters, and Updates: communicate with an individual, a specific group or department, or the entire company via pre-scheduled updates, social engagement support with likes, comments, memes, GIFs, etc. and automated follow-up capabilities.
- Employee Recognition and Acknowledgment: recognize star employees, share employee ‘spotlights’, and allow employees to nominate their peers for awards. Celebrate together by sharing birthday wishes, anniversaries, personal milestones, and organizational achievements.
Connecteam is available for sign-up through its free plan or through premium pricing plans starting at just $29/month for up to 200 users.
6. Goals Should Be Set Together
Your employees should be working together as a collaborative unit to execute company goals better and more efficiently. Individual goals are great for employee development, but they can also cause isolation and narrow collaborative space.
Instead, establish goals together so that all your employees are working together to reach a single, common goal.
7. Employee Recognition Matters
Whether it’s from peers, senior management, or direct managers, your employees need genuine and regular recognition. This helps them feel more confident in their job role, which only makes them more productive and motivated.
Recognition doesn’t need to be a costly strategy either; even something simple goes a long way. For example, say thank you, write a personal note, give them a shoutout in front of all their peers, have a trophy that gets passed around, let them come in later one day, encourage a casual dress code, and more.
The Bottom Line on Employee Management
Creating a healthy and nurturing company culture while growing your own employee management skills can go a long way in terms of your employees meeting their goals and the goals of the company. And with the help of an employee app, this entire process is more streamlined and efficient.