5 Common Sense Management Tips You Need to Know
If you're looking to grow with your current employer, your next role will inevitably be one in management. Whether you're managing one or a hundred employees, a management role can be challenging. As a manager, your job is to plan, organize, lead and control the business and its resources. The most important resource is your employees. I've had many sleepless nights as a manager because being responsible for livelihood of others can be very stressful.
Here's a few important and common sense tips you need to know as a newly promoted manager.
Employees aren't your friends.
Sadly, I learned this lesson the hard way. You cannot befriend your direct report because at the end of the day personal feelings can cloud professional judgement. It's okay to be friendly; banter about the weekend, family or your mutual disdain of the Bachelor/Bachelorette television shows. But you cannot share personal information for this will sully your professional reputation should the relationship with said employee turn sour. Additionally, befriending an employee gives the perception of favoritism. Other staff members will assume that this individual is more valuable to you and the organization.
Don't friend direct reports on social media.
You may not judge others based on their social media posts but guess what other people do. And if you're the boss your employees are absolutely judging you. Friending employees leads to you censoring yourself on your social media accounts because who wants to be the source of office gossip or watercooler conversations? Not me. People are human and will talk about you if you post anything that can be labeled as inappropriate or offensive; so save yourself the drama and keep your employees off your friends list.
Don't complain to direct reports.
Say you're having an exceptionally hard day and need to blow off steam, so you make a seemingly innocent complaint to your subordinate about your interaction with a customer. How do you think this subordinate will view your complaint? Do you think they'll be understanding or think that your complaint makes your relatable? No, they won't. You'll be seen as ungrateful. A whiner with a huge salary who needs to suck it up. Once your the boss, no one can relate to you. So don't complain or over share because in your mind you think they can. Remember you can make suggestions up, but never ever complain down.
Give feedback. Oh and record everything!
You were hired to lead. Part of leading is giving timely and constructive feedback. Don't be afraid to tell employees when they've screwed up. Failure to share this information can make it hard to get rid of a problem employee. And no one wants to be stuck with an employee who should've been terminated weeks ago. Record all performance based conversations to ensure your building a case for praise or justified criticism. Remember supporting evidence is a manager's best friend.
Being fair is more important than treating employees equally.
You won't treat all employees equally and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Shocking I know. But it's the truth. Your star players will always do more, continuously go above and beyond because that's inherently who they are. Your “B” players may do what is required not much more. I'm not advocating favoritism; everyone deserves to be rewarded for the work they put in. Rewarding employees who go the extra mile is a smart and fair business decision, as it creates loyalty and will help you retain key employees.
So bosses...what's your number one management advice? Also, please share your take on mixing business and friendship with direct reports.