Managing your staff (professionally)

Business owners and managers have a duty to manage their staff in the utmost professional manner at all times, regardless of the situation.

However, many business owners have not grasped the basic skills of managing people. Poor management of staff is detrimental to a business – it can result in low morale and productivity, a bad workplace culture, and in the long term, result in high turnover.

Consider the following tips in managing your staff more professionally and improving your business’ culture:

Build relationships
Good relationships with staff improve the likelihood of having happier and more productive workers. To ensure you have the solid foundations of a good relationship, you need to focus on deriving mutual respect, trust, honesty and communication. Some simple ways to build relationships include active listening, avoiding office politics, creating an open door policy, focusing on positives and showing appreciation.

Acknowledge instead of giving criticism
Although criticism has its place in the workplace, more often than not it can do more harm than good. Try to limit criticism to instances where it is absolutely necessary and critical to the employee’s performance in their role, i.e, under-performing on critical tasks or communicating poorly with clients and so on. And if it is needed, it should be constructive. Instead, focus on your employee’s strengths and giving praise where it is due. Even if you think staff know you are happy with their work, providing acknowledgement can improve confidence and strive for them to work harder.

Be a good role model
Leaders set the example for the rest of the team. If you want staff to put in their best efforts, then you must do so first. This means treating all staff members and customers/clients with respect and a positive attitude, talking through problems calmly and assertively, communicating important information to all staff (not just a few members and hoping the rest will find out). Losing your temper, blaming others and taking your personal problems out on staff is a surefire way to lose the respect of your staff.

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