Manage Smarter: Cultivating Employee Growth and Development
If you think about it, effective management is a lot like parenting. Sure, you aren’t wiping runny noses or sending pouty children off to their rooms without dinner (hopefully) but you are guiding your employees towards the future. And a smart manager is one who, like a good parent, can tap into who their employees truly are, helping them to develop what makes them unique and valuable to the company.
So stop banging your head against the wall every time your employees (or children) disobey, and instead – learn how to manage smarter.
You wouldn’t send a child to play outside without going over some rules first, and you shouldn’t send your employees off to work without making expectations clear either. If you want to be a successful manager, you need to make sure that those working for you know what is expected of them. Don’t micromanage, but don’t throw them to the wolves without any guidance either.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Employees like working for managers who recognize and praise their efforts – it makes them want to continue doing well. With kids, you might create a sticker chart for every time they use the potty without accidents. You should pretty much be able to count on your employees to handle that task, but praising them publicly for successful project completions or randomly taking them to coffee in thanks for all their hard work might actually be more beneficial than any sticker you could provide.
Set the Tone
No one likes working for a boss who delegates and then ducks out to go play golf for the day. Show your employees that you are just as committed as you expect them to be. Like children, they will be watching for your example on how to behave in the workplace. So keep the four letter words at a minimum (unless you want them repeated in important meetings) and show your employees what hard work and dedication looks like.
Unlike most toddlers, your employees should have a firm enough grasp on the English language to be able to express themselves when necessary. But if they feel as though their ideas and needs are going unheard, you might as well have a fit-throwing child on your hands. Employees need to feel like their voices matter if you want them to continue caring about the company and working for you. So make your open-door policy known and communicate effectively when changes are coming down the pipe as well.
Provide Opportunities for Growth
Sure, you could lock your kids up in the house and keep them safe and shielded from the world – but then they would never have a chance to grow and become their own people. The same is true of your employees. Sheltering them is only going to lead to a workforce that wonders what else may be available outside your company doors. People need to feel as though they are valued and are being challenged in their careers. So create opportunities for your employees to learn and grow, offering praise with each additional step they take.
The beauty is that at the end of the day, most of your employees will go home to their own families and lives, leaving you to do the same. But while in the office, you have the opportunity to affect and inspire them in ways that will make all of your jobs easier. Manage smarter, and your staff will grow to respect you for years to come.