October 8, 2015

How to Successfully Manage Employees

by TrueNorth Desks

The funny thing about becoming a manager of people is that most of the time nobody tells you how to do it. You were a good employee, so you were put in charge. But being a good employee doesn’t make you a good manager any more than being good at math would make you a good teacher. The skill sets are different. But good news: great managers are often made, not born. It’s something you can grow into, like adjustable height desks.

Here are TrueNorth’s best tips for being a great manager:

Take learning into your own hands
There are some great free online resources that have management tips for the beginner and expert manager. Find a blog that you like and check in with it regularly. There are also some great email newsletters (try Fast Company) that deliver tips straight to your inbox. And don’t forget print—books like this one are an entertaining way to take your skills to the next level. Thinking you’re going to be a great manager without studying the craft is like trying to be a great baker without ever trying someone else’s recipe. You might luck into making something pretty good, but you’re never going to be a master unless you learn from the wisdom of others too.

Give praise where praise is due
As a manager, it’s tempting to take credit for your team’s success. But giving credit helps you twice over. First, when your employees perform well it reflects positively on your ability to manage them successfully. Second, it motivates your subordinates by showing them that their hard work will be rewarded. Giving credit is a powerful tool for creating a positive culture and for encouraging maximum results from your team.

Don’t be afraid to do what’s necessary
We’ve all worked with fellow employees that we knew had nothing to offer the company. They weren’t hard workers, and they had poisonous attitudes. They didn’t just underperform—they caused everyone around them to underperform too. Most managers are more hesitant than they should be when it comes to getting rid of people. Be a force of good in your office—that should be a big priority. But getting rid of the people who are a drag on the team can often be better for everybody.

Remember to take care of your people
Interpersonal relationships are often what separate the good managers from the great ones. You don’t have to dive into people’s personal lives too far to show them that you care. And even little investments in people’s emotional wellbeing will pay huge dividends in productivity. Taking care of people is something we’re passionate about here at TrueNorth. That’s one of the reasons we’re in business—because we believe our standing desks make a difference. Buying your employees ergonomic office furniture, like a sit to stand desk, might seem like a small gesture, but it’s a signal to your employees that you value them. And the kind of productivity that comes from knowing your management team values you is often priceless.

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