Since employee management is the guiding factor of an organization’s success, it’s important for leaders to have the right skills and tools in place to manage their team effectively.
If you’re a leader looking for ways to implement best practices into your employee management system, this article is for you.
Table Of Contents
What Is Employee Management?
Simply put, employee management helps employees perform their tasks well while also enjoying the work they do and achieving the company’s overall goals.
Effective employee management should mutually benefit the company, its employees, and the community they serve.
How this management functions is often structured by an organization’s human resources department and can be broken down into a few critical categories. Ultimately, this keeps employees excited about their job and helps operations run smoothly.
Let’s take a look at the different aspects of employee management.
Employee management begins before an employee even starts a new role. In fact, during the recruitment process, expectations are already being set by the manager and hiring team.
It’s important to:
- Create a clear, concise job description
- Manage company expectations
- Gauge applicant interest
- Discuss the applicant’s personal and professional goals
- Ask about their history with managing constructive criticism
- Explain the company’s mission
- Be honest with the applicant about the position
The last point is often overlooked but is perhaps the most important. The recruitment process is only truly successful if the hiring manager is honest from the start.
You want to hire an ideal candidate as much as a potential candidate wants to work for a terrific company. Even if unintentional, this pressure to impress can create an impulse to leave out key information or exaggerate aspects of your company to make a good impression.
Being honest does not mean revealing company secrets or sharing every negative thing that has ever happened at the office, but the candidate should leave their interview with an understanding of the company’s goals, work habits, culture, and even potential pay.
When this setting of expectations is done right, some highly qualified applicants might not receive the job. And even if they are offered the job, with an honest assessment of the position, an ideal candidate might turn the offer down.
So, what’s the ultimate goal of the recruiting process? To hire the right person for the job who has been set up for success — their own and your company’s.
Once you have the perfect candidates to fill each position, the next step is to keep employees engaged and prevent unnecessary turnover.
There are varying reasons an employee might leave a position at a company. Some individuals retire or relocate within the business, while others leave due to disagreements or poor conditions.
These are two extremely different considerations, but they both point to one thing: retention. Especially in the face of today’s Great Resignation, businesses are structuring their company policies around retention.
Here are some tips to ensure your company is doing everything it can to maintain talent:
- Offer livable wages and an optimized benefits package
- Allow for flexibility and for employees’ opinions to be heard
- Communicate transparently and regularly
- Include technology upgrades in budget plans
- Always show appreciation for a job well done
A significant part of employee management is not only to create a way for employees to share their thoughts or concerns, but to also make sure they won’t feel criticized or uncomfortable doing so.
When employees voice their thoughts, hearing them out and implementing change wherever possible provides a workspace where they feel valued.
Pro Tip: Achieve this goal by providing multiple communication channels through services like Inch.
Regulation can seem harsh, but it’s an important part of an organization’s success.
While regulation does not mean that employees should be micromanaged, it does imply that conversations regarding poor-quality performance should be had when necessary.
When having these conversations, strive to give constructive criticism to improve an employee’s performance instead of just listing a person’s weaknesses.
Receiving constructive feedback allows employees to constantly improve their skills, while straight criticism leads to frustration and higher turnover rates.
When offering feedback, be sure to follow the tips below:
- Confirm professional strengths before addressing any concerns
- Only address what has been observed, not what has been speculated
- Only address what can be changed
- Come prepared with strategies for improvement
- Allow for open communication and responses
- Summarize feedback and strategies and reaffirm their importance to the company
Additionally, avoid making statements that suggest the employee is inherently wrong or that the company has “a certain way of doing things.” This leads employees to believe that their work is not valued and that any negative aspects of the organization will remain unchanged.
Rewarding employees is an effective way to congratulate them on a job well done and to promote productivity. There are several reasons that you might reward either an individual or the entire staff, and there are nearly unlimited ways to do so.
Whether it’s for a promotion or overall improvement, some great ways to show recognition include:
- Verbal recognition during a meeting
- A note signed by the entire staff
- An extra day of vacation
- A company wellness day
- Lunch paid for by the company
The idea of “rewards” can also be expanded beyond a congratulatory effort, too. Offering support for an employee during a difficult time can make a significant impact as well.
However you choose to show your employees you care, choose ways that are sustainable long-term, and treat employees of all ranks fairly.
The Importance Of Employee Management
Following the practical tips within these categories of employee management goes beyond creating happier, more skilled employees and achieving company goals.
Implementing these best practices also helps improve the bottom line through productivity, minimized expenses, and a higher level of company desirability. Let’s take a look at these benefits in more detail.
It’s no secret that employees who feel appreciated by their company and believe their work is meaningful tend to be more productive. And higher productivity levels lead to a more efficient organization, allowing everyone involved to benefit.
This also shows in the company’s final product. Regardless of whether the end goal is to create a physical commodity or offer other forms of service, the right combination of effective job management and happy employees leads to ideal customer service.
Countless costs go into operations management, and the new-hire process is no exception. The staff energy that goes into creating the perfect description of an open position and going through multiple interviews with numerous candidates is a considerable expense.
Depending on the size of the company, orientation can also be a long but necessary process that requires employees to spend time away from projects. When turnover is high and employees are regularly being hired, this can become very expensive very quickly.
This is why effective employee management is important: It reduces the amount of time and money your staff spends on recruiting and onboarding new workers.
The most sought-after jobs are not necessarily the ones that pay the most or offer the best benefits. Oftentimes, employees simply want to be treated well and rewarded for quality work.
When your company has a low turnover rate and a good work-life balance, this increases the organization’s desirability. When an opening becomes available, this often results in a higher volume of candidates and a greater selection of qualified individuals for the job.
Compliance is a big part of employee management that should never be neglected.
What is compliance? It’s making sure that your business is abiding by all local, state, and federal employment laws.
When you follow all the rules and regulations for your industry that apply to things like work hours, payroll, and overtime), you all but eliminate the risk of non-compliance that can lead to hefty fines and even legal action against your company.
Keep in mind that labor ordinances often differ from state to state, county to county, and even city to city, so the physical location of your facilities plays a big part in the laws you’ll have to contend with.
Security has always been a foundational element of the business world. But, while the physical security of your office, your products, and your team is still of paramount importance, data security may be quickly becoming your primary concern. You’re not alone.
As more and more employees begin to work online, remote teams become the norm, and the majority of essential data is stored in the cloud, many businesses are discovering that data security has moved to the top of their to-do list.
Strong employee management can help.
Establishing rules and processes for dealing with proprietary information can help your business keep track of files, documents, and other essential data that has the potential to harm your company in some way should they fall into the wrong hands.
Ask any manager, and they’ll likely tell you that motivation plays a big role in their team’s success.
Building an employee management system with motivation at its core goes a long way toward helping your team feel good about their jobs and the business as a whole.
And when your team is motivated to do their jobs well, your clients and your customers are more likely to reap the rewards of that labor. That can then translate to more success for your company.
How To Effectively Manage Employees
A great way to help employees strengthen their skillset and grow as professionals is by creating a set of goals to be accomplished throughout the year.
Following a “SMART” checklist when setting goals helps everyone manage expectations. The acronym provides particular criteria when developing objectives and stands for goals that are:
One way to accomplish set goals is to implement a quarterly checklist for employees to define their annual objectives and stay on track.
In addition, scheduling meetings with employees every once in a while to discuss their goals and their progress will further uncover any setbacks, successes, or necessary changes.
No employee enjoys being told they need to improve, but leaving them in the dark does not benefit anyone.
Practicing empathy can promote growth while being mindful of emotions. To do this, strive to understand the situation through your employee’s perspective and approach it lightly while highlighting their strengths and providing solutions to address any weaknesses.
Invest In The Right Tools
Even if you follow every last piece of advice listed above, practicing employee management in the right way can be stressful and require extreme organizational skills.
Task management software, like Inch, takes the stress out of managing while increasing efficiency, lowering costs, and developing an overall better work environment. The software assists in planning, reporting, and tracking the everyday elements of your company.
Implement Team Task Management
Team task management is the process of directing, organizing, and conducting larger projects — and the smaller tasks they contain — through to their successful conclusion.
At first glance, this may seem like just a complicated to-do list and a minimal part of the larger employee management process that is the focus of this article.
In reality, though, it’s about much more than just marking jobs as complete and moving on to the next.
Team task management often involves:
- Enforcing deadlines
- Integrating task dependencies
- Creating priorities
- Managing time on task
- And much more…
As you can see, that’s a lot more involved than a simple “this-is-what-we-need-to-do-today” list.
When you successfully incorporate team task management into your workflow, your team may find itself better coordinated and better focused on the job at hand rather than feeling like they’re skipping all over the place from one job to another.
That’s good for the productivity, efficiency, and, ultimately, the success of your business.
Identify Employees With Potential
A big part of an efficient employee management strategy or system is identifying employees with potential and developing them into high-performing team members.
These types of employees — those that might be adaptable, autonomous, self-aware, and persistent — can be hard to come by in today’s competitive job market.
That’s why it’s all the more important for your business to identify them early on, put them in a position to prosper, and do whatever it takes to keep them on the payroll.
Devoting time to their development can help keep these high-potential, high-performing employees challenged, satisfied, and always striving to do their best for the business.
That’s not to say that you focus solely on the employees with potential and ignore the rest of your team. You always want to give everyone a chance to advance, evolve, and grow.
But, perhaps, a high-potential employee gets moved to the top of the list to manage the next project, while another employee gets the opportunity the next time around.
Establish Consistent Pay Structures
Establishing consistent pay structures can go a long way toward helping you manage your team better (not to mention that a big part of your pay structure is determined by the compliance laws in your area).
Just knowing that your business’s pay periods and other payroll details are published in the employee handbook may contribute to the consistency that your team expects from their employer.
Such stability can make a huge difference in everything from their work ethic to their job satisfaction.
Consider addressing payroll structures and details, such as:
The employee handbook is the perfect place to address all these issues so that each employee knows what to expect come payday and can focus on their job rather than when their next check will arrive.
Many employees look forward to receiving feedback during their scheduled employee evaluation (be it annually, quarterly, or more often).
It’s a good idea to provide plenty of feedback during these more formal events, but it can also be useful — and incredibly effective — to give less formal feedback more often.
Doing so can help improve your employee management system by leaps and bounds.
Keep in mind that less formal feedback doesn’t have to be a big production. Sometimes, a small dose of feedback every day or every week can go much further than a large dose of feedback once or twice a year.
For example, make it a point to commend an employee (or the entire team) when they:
- Meet or exceed goals
- Help colleagues, clients, or customers
- Conquer an obstacle
- Go the extra mile
- Demonstrate good behavior
- Take the initiative
- Need a boost of confidence
This frequent-feedback model can also be helpful when something goes wrong (or is about to).
Don’t wait to address the issue three months later during their evaluation. Instead, give positive feedback right away so the problem doesn’t become bigger than it already is.
As we discussed in the previous section, giving frequent feedback to your employees is essential for their success and as a way to resolve any problems that may develop.
Equally essential, though, is getting their feedback in return, listening to what they say, and then acting on it whenever possible.
When your employees see that you’re taking the feedback they give seriously, they may be more likely to develop a strong sense of engagement and feel like they’re part of a cohesive team rather than a group of individuals who show up, do the job, and leave.
If asking for feedback from your team members is a new thing for your business, try setting up a feedback box to get the ball rolling.
Keep in mind that the method you receive that feedback can be digital (e.g., a feedback email address) or analog (e.g., an actual, physical box in which they drop slips of paper).
When you have the “box” set up, encourage your team members to submit:
- Things they like
- Things they don’t like
- Positive experiences
- New ideas
- Anything else they think you’d like to know
When your team gets comfortable giving you feedback, you may want to try taking it to the next level by sending out an employee satisfaction survey, and even experimenting with “open-door hours.”
Such a schedule can give your employees the freedom to talk to you directly about things they may not feel comfortable putting in writing.
Try An Alternative Work Schedule
Another tip that can help you build an effective employee management program is to try an alternate work schedule.
No doubt, you’re familiar with the standard 9-to-5 work schedule, but there are so many alternatives that might fit your employees, your team, and your business better, including:
Such alternative work schedules can help your employees find a better work-life balance and feel more engaged while they’re on the job.
Nurtured well, this balance and engagement can translate into improved focus, happiness, and satisfaction at work.
Maintain A Healthy Work-Life Balance
Another effective way to build an employee management program is to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
A work-life balance that gives employees enough time to take care of personal commitments and responsibilities outside of work makes it easier for them to maintain a positive attitude while they’re at work.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance isn’t just about the amount of time they have for personal activities — it also applies while they’re on the job.
Be sure to provide enough breaks throughout the day — that is, balancing work and rest time — in order to keep your employees happy, positive, energized, and motivated to do their best.
Employee Management Made Easy
Employee management has the potential to either build an exceptional organization or create unhappy workers and costly mistakes. Every step that a company takes toward proper employee growth and development is another step toward overall success.
Through Inch — a voice-operated workforce schedule and management app — we offer endless ways for you to achieve ideal employee management, making Inch perfect for any industry looking to retain talent and increase profits.
Whether you’re communicating a new set of goals with an employee or organizing the tasks of every worker, Inch takes the stress out of a complicated process. Now, it’s easier than ever to manage employees in a way that’s effective and beneficial for everyone.
To discover more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit TryInch.com today.