“Strapped by tight credit and plummeting sales, businesses have overhauled the way they manage supply chains, inventory, production practices and staffing.” – Janet Yellen
Employing people brings a whole new dimension to running a business. There are things that you need to consider which are both informal and pretty much common sense (managing people) and formal (legal requirement).
Managing your employees can be challenging but some fairly straight forward steps can ensure you get the best from your workforce and you create a harmonious and productive work environment.
Some examples of best practice where it comes to managing staff would include –
- Fairness – always be firm but fair with employees. You have a business to run but that shouldn’t be at the expense of not seeing things from all sides.
- Motivate – leading by example. Never ask employees to undertake tasks that you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself and don’t be afraid to muck in.
- Respect – you need to give respect to get it and taking a heavy handed approach to managing staff very rarely works effectively.
- Value – showing that you value and appreciate staff can go a long way and ensure you get the best from your workforce.
- Flexibility – you always have to assess things against business needs but allowing staff some head room to manage personal circumstances can pay dividends.
- Communication – clear communication is a must. Not just getting your message across but listening makes a big difference.
- Appraise – having regular assessments of staff performance can be very useful to identify any issues staff may have but also for you to give feedback (good or bad!).
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- Environment – provide a good working environment. Keep premises clean, tidy and comfortable and encourage staff to take pride in their work place.
- Inclusion – offer staff the opportunity to get involved in decision making (where feasible) and encourage input and suggestions for improvements.
- Discipline – always remain professional but don’t let staff take unacceptable liberties. Tackle any issues quickly so they don’t fester and grow.
- Humour – you can remain professional and still laugh. A happy working environment is always the most productive.
- Incentivise – always good to motivate staff. Not just financial but creating opportunities for promotion or training to up-skill or gain new skills for example.
- Behaviour – lead by example but any form of discrimination or bullying cannot be tolerated. Staff need to fully understand the minimum standard of acceptable behaviour that has to be maintained at all times.
More formal procedures for managing staff come in the form of Health & Safety and Employment Legislation (including HMRC). Essential information gathering in this respect is vital and always remember that as well as protection for your employees, the rules and regulations are there to protect employers as well. For the main sources of additional information regarding managing staff, visit the following websites:
Ensure instructions are clear and you follow the guidelines set by yourself and external bodies to ensure your teams run effectively and safely. Seek professional help from training organisations (to improve your own skills) and experts in HR.