Managing My Staff

Why is staff management important?

Owners of SMBs often have closer ties with their employees which can make daily management easier, but it can also create problems. Striking the right balance between that of a manager and friend can be challenging. By establishing clear expectations and a collegial environment, you can more effectively manage your office staff. Good management begins when you hire staff. Small business owners often are extremely cost conscious, so they may try to get a good deal by hiring young employees or paying lower than the market rate. This strategy can often have negative consequences and cost the business time and money. 

Set clear expectations with your employees. Everyone should know their specific duties and goals, and you should regularly train your staff on company policies and procedures. A collegial environment can be extremely effective but its important that staff understand and respect the role of management and don’t overstep the boundaries. Having flexible workplace policies can also help your employees feel like valued members of a team.

Performance reviews are an integral part of good management as they allow you to monitor progress and give employees clear feedback about their strengths and weaknesses. Work environments that foster open two-way communication are generally more productive, and employees often have excellent insight into how their managers can be more effective.

So what do I need to manage my staff effectively?

Staff management for all businesses, big or small, requires skill, restraint and patience, to keep them happy, motivated and away from conflict. Staff need structure and boundaries, but respect for the individual who leads will only come from the leader’s expert use of soft skills.  

Guidance on the following areas should be considered:

1. Maintaining recruitment records
2. Records of leave taken by employees
3. Performance appraisals 
4. Development plans and career pathways
5. Remuneration and benefits
6. Discipline and poor performance

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