Seven key lessons I’ve learned about managing staff

7 key lessons when managing staffThere is a special art to managing staff. Here, I’ve put together my top 7 management lessons to help you effectively manage your team and guide your company to greatness!

1. One size doesn’t fit all…
As a people manager, you must remain flexible and adaptable, because things change all the time. People are complicated and life isn’t always as straightforward as we’d like. And trying to put all of your employees into one convenient box, just because it’s suits you as a manager, doesn’t work.

2. What worked last year, might not work this year…
People, their circumstances, you, your business, they all change, often quickly and sometimes significantly. Remain aware of that. Just because you succeeded last time, doesn’t mean doing the exactly same thing, this time, will deliver the same results. Often you need to adapt your approach.

3. You can’t neglect team motivation…
Many managers focus just on individuals, without considering the team dynamic. Reacting purely to the needs of just one team member can impact negatively on everyone else. Team harmony is critical to success. For example, giving a pay rise to just one team member can demotivate others who don’t get one. You won’t truly succeed unless the whole team delivers. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the ‘me-me-me’ people.

4. Be assertive…
One of my major bugbears. Many managers need to be more assertive and confident. Those who aren’t assertive and lack knowledge can find themselves backed into a corner by an employee trying to assert ‘employment rights’ that in truth they don’t have. Managers must ensure that their knowledge is current, and training can help. Remain aware of what legal rights and responsibilities you and your people have. Lack of knowledge can mean managers aren’t assertive enough.

5. Keep learning…
No one was born a leader or people manager. We deal with more than 350 business customers and in my career I’ve only ever come across one person I’d describe as a brilliant natural leader. The rest of us have to learn, sometimes the hard way through personal experience. Each year, seek to learn more about other people, yourself, ways of doing things, legislation, etc, so you keep developing. Commit to gaining more knowledge and developing your skills.

6. Small things can become big things that explode in your face…
Try to deal with issues when they’re small, because at that stage you can still have informal, adult conversations to nip potential problems in the bud. If you don’t, these things can fester and develop into much bigger issues, which can take up much more of your time, become much more stressful and expensive. And your reputation, as a business and manager, can be damaged. Never put off managing the small stuff. When problems are allowed to develop, the matter ends up being taken out of your hands and you lose control.”

7. No one and nothing is perfect…
We all make mistakes, but the key is to learn so you don’t repeat them. If you don’t quite get things right, it’s not the end of the world. Do better next time. Keep learning, keep adapting, keep moving forward as a manager, it’s a never-ending learning process. The need for employers to adapt to change has never been more pressing. Digging your heels in and saying, ‘But I’ve done it this way for 20 years’ isn’t a solution. The world of work is changing at a phenomenal rate, and how we manage and motivate people must keep pace and adapt.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Please leave them in the box below…

*This article was originally written a guest piece for HSBC Knowledge Centre. Click here to see the original article.

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