People often think that they will be good managers, but for many entrepreneurs it is often the one area where they are actually really bad. Effective management isn’t as easy as it looks and few of us are naturals. But effective management can be learned as it is governed by basic principles and clearly understandable rules.
The first part of effective people management is to understand that all staff need clearly defined roles and job descriptions. These should be written down and explained orally before the new recruit begins his or her role, and a copy should be kept by management and the staff member. Targets and responsibilities need to be clearly outlined for the day-to-day and for longer time periods. Everyone must understand what their own goals are, as well as the goals of the department and of the company.
Staff also need to know how well they are doing and this should be communicated in a formal appraisal meeting. These can be weekly or even daily, although you should avoid being overbearing. Effective management is about motivating your team not berating or deriding them. Look for positives in their performance and offer help. If there is an issue about low performance then ask questions and explore the issue and try to avoid too much criticism. However, if performance is below par then you must be honest with them and let them know.
Targets must always be attainable and incentivised to encourage greater effort and achievement. Discuss targets and workload with your staff, you might be surprised at how hard they are willing to work. However, you are the boss and effective management isn’t about letting your staff dictate their terms but it does involve their input. Once targets have been met then advancement can be considered. Discuss the aspirations of your staff with them, find out what they want and don’t assume you already know. This will inform you of how you can help each staff member perform in a way that benefits them and your company.