For this blog entry I’d like to focus on the management side of your business. This is not only for all you managers, but also business owners, as you are managers too. Improving your management skills is a great way to enhance your business. One way to do that would be to read one of the bazillions of books out there on management philosophies and ways to improve yourself as a manager. A more efficient way would be to read this short blog and consider the following four simple principals which I have found will enhance your management skills and your relationship with your employees.
This is such an important component of management, and one that I’ve worked to improve throughout my career. It is almost always better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Whether it’s written or verbal communication, the more you interact about expectations, feedback, and organizational changes, the better your team will understand what is expected of them. (Including what your employees expect of you!) NOTE: Communication is not just you talking or writing… the most important component of communication is listening. Listening is vital for every manager.
- Hold yourself and your team members accountable
I always say that accountability starts at home. If you don’t hold yourself accountable, you can’t expect to be able to hold your employees accountable. An example of holding yourself accountable would be promising your employees that you will return all emails and telephone calls by the end of business, even if it’s just to let them know you received it. When you hold yourself accountable and fulfill this promise, your employees will recognize your effort. Holding your employees accountable is just as important. Expect them to perform, and hold them accountable. In my experience, if you don’t hold employees accountable they will quickly realize that you don’t really expect them to perform. If you don’t hold them accountable, they won’t hold themselves accountable. This includes providing feedback to your employees – which is a great way to set expectations and help your employees continue to grow and develop.
- Make yourself available
Being available can mean different things depending on whether you are physically in the same office as your employees, or even in the same time zone. It comes down to making sure you devote one-on-one time to each of your employees. Make sure they know you are available for conversations (either in-person or via phone), follow up when you say you will, and reply to their email and voicemails in a timely manner.
This is a great way to keep your employees engaged. By collaborating with co-workers, other managers, and employees, you not only keep the lines of communication open but also gain valuable information about your business. Some of the best ideas in any organization come from the front-line employees. It is so important to make sure they are involved in projects, planning, and other initiatives.
As managers, our goal is to always set our employees up for success, and these are some great ways to help accomplish this. Understand them and make a concerted effort to improve on them. I assure you that your team will perform better as a result.
I’d love to hear about any techniques that have enhanced your managerial style. (See? I’ve been working on these management techniques and collaborating has become second nature to me now.) Feel free to reach out or come by my office.