Managing personnel is challenging. People are complex and have individual needs, strengths, and weaknesses. However, there are a few things that a manager can do that will benefit everyone and help to create a more satisfying work environment.
- Make expectations clear
More often than not, when people know what is expected of them, they’ll deliver. It’s when things are unclear that people become nervous, stressed or confused about a task. With the proper tools and a reasonable amount of time, staff members can and usually will reach the goals set before them.
- Make yourself available
Be the resource for answers and problem solving. Your staff needs to know that they have you to turn to if they’ve hit a wall. Work with them toward a resolution so that no teachable opportunity is missed.
Seeking your help should come without reward or punishment. You’ve educated and equipped your personnel to handle the situations that arise while performing their duties. So while you make yourself available, you should not expect any staff member to seek you out routinely or frequently. If that is the case, it’s time for an evaluation. Perhaps more training is in order.
Conversely, you may have a staff member that is suddenly faced with a problem that requires more of your input than normal. Keep the circumstances in mind and forge ahead with patience, as this too, is a teachable situation.
- Back your staff
As the team leader, it’s your responsibility to have the backs of those in your charge. While there are times when mistakes are made, there is no situation where public correction or discipline is appropriate. Behind closed doors, have the discussion that is necessary to correct the situation with the staff member. But once the doors are open, it’s back to normal.
This includes interactions with customers. Believe in your staff. Verbally affirm them especially if a customer complains to you about them. This can be done while at the same time, working with a customer toward a resolution. It’s not an either/or.