Are you hearing some negative chatter coming from the employee lounge? Do your employees seem less than enthused when you give them a new task? Well, it’s not completely their fault. Sure, some people are just natural downers, but most people actually want to enjoy what they do for a living. They want to know they’re making a difference. They want to feel appreciated – and as their manager, it’s your job to make that happen.
Once the members of your team feel appreciated, it’s easier to get them excited about meeting and exceeding goals. So, in other words, if you want to improve your team management skills, start by improving your relationship with your team.
If you have remote employees, this can be more difficult. You’re not always in the same place at the same time, so saying “thank you” isn’t quite so easy. It’s also tempting to want to micromanage remote employees because you’re not there to see what’s happening. Avoid this temptation by building a set of checks and balances into your workday. If you have a way to see that your staff is doing its job, you don’t need to be breathing down anyone’s neck as they’re working.
Hire people you can trust – It’s never too late to build an amazing team. If you have people on staff who have proven to be untrustworthy, it’s time to make some changes. If you hire people who have a proven track record, you can spend less time looking over their shoulders and more time working towards your own goals.
Automate time management – Nothing kills morale faster than having a boss who micromanages your time. As the team manager, you are responsible for making sure everyone clocks in and out at the right time, but when you have remote employees, it can be hard to know whether people are doing the right thing or taking advantage. That’s where a good automated time and attendance software becomes useful. Use a program that gives you the opportunity to check up on your employees online at any time – without them even knowing. Of course, if someone is consistently late, you’ll want to take action. But for everyone else, it’s smooth sailing.
Motivate your staff – It’s no secret; we all like to be rewarded from time to time. Free lunch? Yes, please! An extra $50 in your check? Do you even have to ask? First, try to create some excitement around the job (rewards aside for now). Your employees could have chosen anything to do with their lives, but they chose this. Someone becomes an auto mechanic because they enjoy fixing cars. Another person becomes a home health aide because they truly want to make a difference in someone’s life. Find that spark and encourage your employees to reignite it – and then offer some more tangible rewards. You may award the most punctual person in the group, or maybe you reward the one who most consistently updates their tasks in the time management program. It’s all up to you.
Lead by example – Don’t say one thing and do another. If you expect your staff to show up on time, show them that you’re willing to do the same. Go ahead and take part in the friendly competition you’ve encouraged amongst your staff. Just remember that it’s not really appropriate to reward yourself. If you’re that awesome, you can win the competition, but the prize has to go to the next-best (aka someone on your staff).
Improving your team management skills is all about creating a team environment. You’re all in this together, and you’re all in this because it’s exactly where you chose to be. Hire employees you can trust, and then find ways to trust them. That’s the best way to turn the negative chatter to positive buzz.