In this fast-paced, complicated world we live in, the business you now manage was at one time founded upon some basic management principles.
The principles grew more complicated, you sold more product, employees were hired, everyone’s role changed; and now you are not sure if job descriptions match employee’s qualifications. And ever since your business became a large, prospering entity, you sit at your desk most of the day wondering if employees are taking care of the things you find most important-even the department meetings leave you hanging when you walk out the door.
You shouldn’t have to wonder anymore. Take back control over what’s going on in your business without being a micro-manager. Managing your business and your employee’s doesn’t have to be complicated and confusing. Simplify your management practices with some helpful tips below.
Take Employee Inventory
Inventory your Employees-who they are, what are their main qualifications, what they were originally hired for and what are they doing now. Everyone is unique. Not every person is qualified to do the same job. But when an employee is hired to stand at the counter to greet customers and you find out later their personality doesn’t quite fit what the customer needs or what your company needs, you need to either adjust where the employee will fit into your company or maybe they would be better suited at a different company.
Hiring the perfect employee for a particular job can be a very daunting task; hence why most businesses have a human resource department. They have been trained how to look for valuable qualities in potential employees to help further prosper your business. But not every business has the luxury of a human resource department. This is a great reason to do this employee inventory.
By comparing the original job description to what role the employee is currently fulfilling, you might find some aspects of the job not being met; and these are things which will need to be addressed. Also, by doing an employee inventory, will help discover your employee’s gifts and talents they possess. There are many positive and informative results which can come from doing an employee inventory. This can help you build good working teams and make solid future business decisions.
Trusting an employee is probably the highest qualification on the list. Unfortunately, you are always potentially hiring a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Finding people you can trust and feel comfortable working with is always a concern. This is something which is always on our minds-even outside of work with our friends and family members. If you have employees you know you can trust, you have fought half the battle. Trust will always be an aspect of the employer/employee relationship as long as the person is employed at the company.
The “I like-I don’t Like” List
Now it’s time to do your inventory. Get a piece of paper and pencil or start an electronic spreadsheet. Make two columns. First one is the “I Like…” column. This column will pertain to everything you like so far about your company and how it is run, to the products you sell, to the employees who work for you. Nothing but good and positive items will be in this column.
Next, in the other column, title it, “I don’t like…” This column will list all the things you don’t like about your company right now and how it is run. Nowhere in this list should be any future goals or “I wish” items. Next, after each item put an “M” for me or and “T” for team. This will be your indicator of who will change these items; and be honest! If it is an item in which only you can change personally, do not push blame to the employees and try to assign it in the future to someone else to fix.
You won’t be able to fully complete this list, but you will be able to get a good start on changing your management techniques to accomplish your future goals. From this list you will make your goals and build your “strong teams.”
Build “Strong Teams”
Sure, every business holds meeting with the heads of their departments. But most of the time department heads are sitting at a desk pushing paperwork and not in the day-to-day trenches with the customers or other employees. When you meet with them, you are not going to get an accurate picture of what is going on in your business. They can only give you hear-say at best.
Try making some diverse teams of employees which do not include department heads. Select by job description instead. If you have different aspects of your business working with customers, select a one or two from each customer service team to give you a more accurate picture of what the customers are saying one-on-one vs. what they write in a customer survey index. You will be surprised at the difference.
Another example, if you have employees who assemble parts for a product, try to include two or three of them in a team who have positive ideas of change – positive ways to make things better. These ideas are not always feasible but encouraging team work, emphasizing a better work environment, and maybe more profitable for you. They are in the day-to-day grind and know what works and what doesn’t. They can usually give you excellent feedback.
If you have a group of employees which have some ability in common, try to group them together into a team. These people will be usually be able to brain storm ideas to repair something broken or a continual unsuccessful process.
Now that you have created your strong teams, make goals for you and your teams – all the way from small, very minor goals to large, full-impact goals. You and your team leads will be the ones to report back to you and your department heads any positive and or negative progress. Remember, if the goals to be met are very large, break it down to smaller more manageable goals. Not only will you and your teams be encouraged by seeing the goal come to completion but it will be easier to manage and change the smaller goals to fulfill the ultimate objective.
Create a Meeting Template and Meet
So, you know what your employees are capable of, you have built your teams and you listed your objectives and goals. Now it is time to meet with your teams, collaborate your information, ask questions and get answers, and walk out of your meetings with the pertinent information you need to be able to make better business decisions. Create a meeting template which lists your objectives and what you would like to accomplish. This will help all who are involved stay on task and keep focused. Tweak it as necessary to accommodate each team and each objective.
What have you accomplished by doing this? You have created a way to resolve issues and meet necessary objectives within the confines of the goal in which you have set.
Take time to reflect. Take the day off if necessary to personally look over what has been or has not been accomplished; especially after the completion of a major goal. It’s easier to reflect when you don’t have interruptions. You might even want to have a “post-partum” meeting to look at the positive and negative processes used to accomplish your goal and use these as a guide for your next goal.
It’s never too late to go back to the basics – especially when it comes to managing a successful business.