The difference between managing the affairs of a small business and a large corporation is nearly equal to the difference between operating two small businesses in different industries. In other words, no two companies are the same, and therefore, no two companies require the same approach to employee management. Furthermore, within each company there can be certain departments that may benefit more from a relaxed supervisory style while other areas of the business should be ran in a strict and stern manner. Which approach is right for your managerial needs will depend on a variety of factors, including the nature of the tasks being managed and the personalities and skill sets of your employees. With that said, we’ve summarised a few different types of employee management approaches to help you determine which would provide optimal results in your situation: 1. Delegating and Micromanaging As the old adage says, “when you want something done right, you do it yourself.” But what do you do when you want something done right, but you don’t have the time or willingness to do it yourself, and you don’t quite trust that your employees will do it right without your help? When a task requires careful attention to detail and you want to ensure that every aspect of the job is closely considered, an effective way to manage the situation is to delegate specific duties to each employee in an easy-to-understand briefing. Emails and small group meetings work well for this purpose. Employee management through micromanaging each employee’s workload you make it easier to monitor individual progress and swiftly correct observable errors or deficiencies in workflow. This type of employee management works well when you’re dealing with a large volume of detail-oriented work and your employees are unable to sufficiently manage their own task flow and achieve optimal results without routine guidance. Delegating and micromanaging is also an ideal approach when a busy company has high quality control standards, although in such a case it would be wise to have multiple levels of management to ensure that all aspects of workflow can be monitored and adjusted if necessary. Most companies start out in the delegate and micromanage phase but then switch to one of the following two approaches as their employees become more proficient and other managers are introduced. 2. Equipping and Enabling In an ideal setting every company should use this approach to facilitate smooth and productive business operations. Surprisingly, studies have shown that stressed workers are not as productive as those who are given creative freedom and adequate relaxation in the workplace. Once you’ve gained confidence in your employees’ capabilities through careful employee management, the best course of action may be to give them what they need to the be the best that they can be and provide them with the resources and motivation that they need to succeed individually. Many businesses have seen notable increases in productivity and dramatic changes in morale simply by equipping associates with the tools, information, resources or projects they need to feel secure and stress-free, and by giving them maximum control over their input and output. Given the right training, the right people will do their best when given free reign over their workflow, especially if their job requires an ongoing influx of creativity. The theory behind the ‘equip and enable’ method of employee management is that people do better at anything when they’re properly trained and equipped, and that increasing employee proficiency to allow for a degree of independence is more beneficial than continually micromanaging large volumes of tasks. Then again, sometimes increasing proficiency requires a lot of repetitive micromanaging before an equip and enable phase of employee management can commence. Thus, it may be wise to ease into this type of management gradually while thoroughly testing the competence and productivity of each employee. Greater control in the right hands could mean tremendous success, but in the wrong hands it could equate to a waste of time and money. 3. Scheduling and Setting Goals Scheduling shifts and setting goals works well if you’re managing employees that are assigned with relatively straightforward tasks and if those employees have been screened to ensure that they’re capable of doing their job properly without routine intervention or instruction. This is the simplest and most hands-off approach to employee management, which is why it is typically recommended for companies that are not in excessively complicated industries, or for businesses where the employees are trusted to possess an exceptional level of skill. This approach is also the easiest to implement for the owner of a small-to-medium size enterprise (SME); you simply figure out how much work you need done and how many work hours it is going to take your employee, and then draw up an appropriate schedule to accommodate the workload. Upon issuing the schedule to your employees you would specify that you need expect X amount of work done within the allotted timeframe. Restaurants, factories, and department stores use a variation of this method and it works well in those industries. For example, Restaurant Manager A. can schedule Waitress B. to work 8 hours, and then specify that during that shift she is expected to pick up tables within a designated dining section. Employee management if this type is vital for smooth, effective operations. The ‘schedule and set goals’ approach is also often used in corporate structures where management teams and specific supervisors are expected to meet certain quotas or profit goals within a specified time period. Employee management is a crucial element of any business whether large or small. Get that right and within the growth capabilities of each employee and satisfaction is guaranteed. If you have any questions about managing employees, please comment below. TwitterLinkedInFacebookGooglePocket Keith – Real Business Rescue Thanks for your comments, when I speak to directors in distress some of the time you can tell it has originated from poor management on their half and lack of ‘finger on the pulse’. Get the basics right of managing a team and getting the best out of them and then find who your key staff are is vital for business success. Robert Loomes A very valuable article. Scheduling shifts and setting goals is where my business pretty much is. The way our jobs are scheduled there is much need of setting goals weekly and helping the shifts to achieve them. Its beautiful when you get the balance right. Thanks for sharing Keith. Deidre I like the hands off approach once you know the ins and outs as it gives you creative freedom to bring the business to a different dimension. Also proves the company trusts you to be independent. A valuable post! http://www.businessbanter.com/ Shameer Shah Fantastic staff management tips Keith! Put some great ideas into my head.