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The 3 Most Important Responsibilities of a Manager

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Responsibilities of Manager |The 3 Most Important Responsibilities of a ManagerWhen starting out in their careers, many employees will want to ascend their company’s hierarchy with the aim of taking on more managerial roles in the future. However, to become an effective leader, there are a number of elements that you need to consider in order to both lead your employees and run the business to its maximum potential.

Business Growth

As a manager, you will be expected to focus on the best ways to improve the business and make large profits during your tenure by finding new ways to increase your margins. One of the best ways that you can do this as a manager is to cut the running costs of the business. There are many ways to do this in the steed of the business owner, and these include suggesting that you switch energy suppliers to cut down on your energy bills. If this sounds like the best option for your workplace, Utility Bidder allows you to compare business energy prices from multiple companies to find the right provider for your workplace.

You can also encourage business growth by managing the marketing team and finding new ways to boost sales. This can include holding competitions and promotional deals if you have a retail store, or utilizing social media and SEO to improve your digital marketing technique.

You can also make the business more efficient by replacing old machinery and equipment and by looking into the best modern machinery and technological office supplies.

How to Lead Employees

The most important role that you will have is to manage the employees under your leadership in an efficient way. There are many ways that you can boost employee productivity in a positive manner, and this includes methods such as offering rewards schemes and incentives such as pay rises, which you can agree with the business owner, and offering regular praise to employees. You can also help to boost morale by organizing payrolls and employee holidays efficiently, as well as making sure that there are always enough staff members to run the business efficiently on any one day.

You should also offer employees regular training days to ensure that they are able to hone their skills during their tenure and be reminded of some of the key processes of your business. It is also important that you are able to lead your employees by dealing with any problems. You can do this by holding an annual review meeting for every employee where you can discuss these issues and set targets for the future, which they will be able to work towards.

However, you should always remember to delegate responsibility to employees to make them feel valued and ensure that there is only a limited amount of pressure placed upon yourself.

Communication With Clientele

As a manager, you will also be on the frontline between your workforce and your customers, and so it is important that you are able to have customer communication techniques in place to help you deal with any issues. For instance, it is vital that you ensure that customers return to the business, and you can do this by sorting problems by offering promotions and discounts, as well as feedback and good complaints methods, to those who have had issues with your business.

You should also communicate with clients by using social media and e-mail marketing to tell clients new information about the business and make sure that they are aware of any offers that may be available.

A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & Fulfilled

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Managing Your People|A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & FulfilledSomething that should be clear when you are looking after any business is just how important the employees are. Without them there, there is nothing that could be done in the company, and you would soon find that it all falls apart. And yet, so many employers fail to really take stock in this way or to fully appreciate the power and importance of their staff, and this can lead to a business which is not moving in the right direction – or, just as bad, not moving in any direction at all.

There are three basic things that you need to be aware of and focus on in order to keep your employees in tact as a force in your business. Firstly, you need to make sure that they are happy to work there, with all that it entails. Secondly, you must ensure that their workplace is safe and that they are safe on the job. Lastly, you should help them in whatever way you can to keep them fulfilled and fully enjoy their work in the deepest sense, day after day. In this article, we will look at each of these in turn, and discuss what you might need to do to ensure that you are making the most of them. As long as you follow this advice, there is no doubt that you will end up with staff who are happy, safe and fulfilled – and who are therefore much more valuable to you, in turn.

Happy

Keeping your employees happy might seem like something that is out of your control. After all, they are ultimately responsible for their own happiness, and you might not even feel that it is something you need to concern yourself with. However, the truth is that you do have something of a responsibility in this area, and you should at the very least ensure that you are not doing anything to decrease their overall happiness or make their efforts to be happy any harder for them. This is something you can take on as a manager, and it will make you one of the better managers and leaders out there, so it’s worth thinking about. What exactly can you do, however, to ensure that you are actually going to help keep your employees happy along the way while they work for you?

First of all, you should aim to treat them like people as best as you can. It can often happen in offices in particular that staff get slightly and subtly downtrodden, until eventually the relationship between people is much worse than it should really be. You should aim to avoid this particular catastrophe at all costs, and the way to do that is to ensure that you are treating your employees as the people that they are, day after day, without fail. Saying hello, having polite informal conversations, and just generally respecting the human being that they are are all important towards ensuring that your employees can feel respected in the workplace, and that they can continue to feel like a real person, and not just another cog in the machine. Of course, there will be times of stress when everyone has to buckle down and be a little more like a machine, but generally you can always find time for this kind of genuine human interaction – and if you can’t find time for it ever, something is wrong somewhere.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Managing Your People|A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & FulfilledBut being happy goes beyond that, and you also need to make sure that you are providing some of the basic facilities that everyone needs at work. There are many of these which are legally necessary, of course, such as having bathrooms and break rooms. But as ever, you should make sure that you are going above and beyond these things, so that you know that you are actually providing everything that you can be in order to have happy employees. The break room should be free of anything which is likely to remind them of work – instead, it should be a safe separate place, and you should also allow your employees to go elsewhere for their breaks, of course, as it is their own time. This stuff is basic, but you also need to make sure that you are offering the right amount of break time, something which a lot of employers do get wrong from time to time.

All in all, keeping your employees happy means that you need to find a way to ensure that they are going to get what they deserve in their work and in the workplace. If you are keeping anything from them, they will inevitably end up feeling not happy, but a little disjointed instead. This is essential, so be sure not to overlook it.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Managing Your People|A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & FulfilledSafe

All employers know that safety is one of those legal and moral responsibilities which you need to take care of. You will need to take this very seriously, too, as it is the kind of thing that can quickly land you in some deep personal and professional trouble if you get it wrong. But that is not the main reason to be concerned about safety in the workplace. The main reason, of course, is that it is important for your staff, and that is what you need to focus on first and foremost. Whenever you are thinking about the safety in your business, you need to make sure that you are doing whatever is right by your employees firstly – as long as you do that, you should end up with the kind of safety that is actually going to work in the way it needs to. So what should be your primary concerns when it comes to keeping people safe at work?

First up, make sure that the office itself is safe. There are as lot of things you need to do here. You might want to have security installed, including a security team and cameras if necessary, to ensure that no intruders can get in. You will also need to have structural analysis of the building done every six months or so to make sure that there is nothing structurally wrong with it which could end up causing problems for anyone later on. Again, in order to ensure that the place can be kept safe, you will need to make sure that you are focused on having the essential in place in case of an emergency. That means knowing how many fire extinguishers, where they should be put, smoke alarms and the same, and ensuring that you have carried out a fire risk assessment every six months, with a clear plan for evacuation on the wall in every major area of the company.

Once the office is as safe as you can possibly hope for, you will need to think about keeping people personally safe. You need to have one person in a team who is first aid trained, and that should include someone who has been trained in CPR through the AHA instructor network. There should also be a fire safety marshal who can direct people out when there are drills or, of course, real fires. In order to really keep people safe, you will also need to think about training them regularly in their own safety concerns and responsibilities. The more you do that, the more likely it is that they will continue to be safe on the whole.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Managing Your People|A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & FulfilledAs you can see, there is a lot involved to keeping people safe, but it is necessary to do so if you want to make sure that they are truly enjoying their work. Alone, however, happiness and safety are not enough. You also need to make sure that your people are fulfilled. And this is something that is much harder than the last two put together.

Fulfilled

What does it mean to be actively fulfilled in a job? Probably, this has slightly different meanings for everyone, but you need to make sure that you are at least doing something in order to help your employees get there, whatever it might mean for them. Actually, there are a few factors which we might say are going to be especially common amongst employees, and as long as you are paying respect to these things you should find that you have a workplace full of basically fulfilled people. So what should you be trying to do to make that happen?

Generally, your staff will be fulfilled if you make a point of making it clear to them how needed they are, what their place is in the grand scheme of the business, and why it matters so much. You should aim to remind them of their importance, as well as giving them the right level of responsibility for it, and more and more as you trust them more. This alone is most of the work of making the job fulfilling for them, but you should also make sure that you speak with them regularly, and do whatever you can to make their work as fulfilling as possible, in whatever way they feel is necessary for them as an individual.

6 Qualities of a Good Boss

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Leadership | 6 Qualities of a Good BossIt is easy to distinguish what makes a bad boss, but describing what makes a good one can be difficult, with many bosses being mediocre. Why is it important that you be a good boss, though?

Lack of employee satisfaction may force good workers to leave and provide a bad reputation for both your company and you, as the boss. Online forums and discussions make it extremely easy for businesses to be bad-mouthed and can damage the perception of potential new employees and customers. Therefore, it’s important to learn that whatever happens in the office doesn’t necessarily stay in the office.

A boss should boost productivity and create a work environment that encourages employees to enjoy their working life, rather than turning up as a matter of need’s must. Being a boss does not solely mean you need to focus on the work being done and produced, in fact, it is much more valuable for bosses to concentrate on their employees instead.

If you are concerned about whether your employees view you as a good boss, here are some useful qualities that you should aim to work towards.

1. Creates a positive workplace culture

Every employee within your firm is there to ensure your business is a success; therefore, potential new candidates shouldn’t be disregarded when it comes to their race or disability. Invite them to an interview and acknowledge what they can bring to the table, as well as asking if they may have any needs for a safer and more positive work environment.

An approachable boss should instill an ‘open door policy’ so that employees can ask to talk at any given moment and feel comfortable to have a discussion about any issues or concerns within the workplace. Doing so means that issues are ironed out, so positivity can be increased, meaning greater employee satisfaction.

2. Sets clear performance expectations

Reduce the level of employee stress by setting clear goals and expectations of what you would like your employees to achieve on a daily basis. When they have little understanding of what they need to do, it can often lead to decreased productivity throughout the entire office. The boss should have a one-to-one discussion each day with the employee; whether it be face-to-face or via email and set out clear guidelines of the tasks that need to be completed and how they can do so.

3. Nurtures development

Many young professionals are keen on the idea of moving forward within a company and will often only apply for a role if the job advert specifies that there is an opportunity for training and promotion in the future.

A boss who allows employees to work within other sectors or on more complex will make their employees feel far more appreciated by their leader, rather than being managed by an individual who doesn’t have their best interests at heart. There are many ways in which training can be achieved while holding down a job; whether it be practical day courses or long-term degrees which can be studied flexibly online in their own time. An engineering firm, for example, may decide to invest in their employees to enroll onto an electrical engineering online degree which teaches Bachelor’s level engineering graduates a vast amount of new skills and will enhance personal development and opportunity for career progression.

4. Praises employees

According to a study conducted in early 2017, 35% of employees in workplaces stated that one of the biggest hinderances in workplace productivity was failing to be praised for their achievements. If you don’t praise your employees enough, now would be a good time to start.

In order for your team to work well for you and reach their full potential, you need to be in keeping with each employee’s goals and achievements so that they can be rewarded for good work. Praising employees may also mean that you will retain good talent within your company rather than facing a high-turnover of staff, which can waste both time and money.

There are many ways you can praise your employees; whether it be a simple yet personal ‘thank you’ card, a financial bonus added onto their paycheck or a voucher for their favorite store.

5. Provides feedback

There are some instances when you need to be upfront about an employee’s performance, and one way of doing so constructively would be by providing feedback. Acknowledge when employees are doing a good job and where key improvements may lie.

It is often the case when employees don’t even realize they aren’t meeting the requirements unless they are discovered to have been completing work wrongly by chance. Feedback, however, can be achieved through regular coaching, in which meetings should be held on a monthly or quarterly basis for an in-depth discussion on how they can improve and what to work towards.

6. Builds up trust

There is nothing worse than a boss who doesn’t hold the trust of their employees. Therefore, you should always aim to get on their level and build a personal connection with each of them. Establishing trust ensures successful communication, greater engagement, and better job performance.

One way to build trust is to display honesty, even if there is bad news to share – no-one likes to be lied to, especially when it comes to the status of their job position or job performance.

You should treat all employees fairly and judge each individual based on their actions. Never feel threatened by those who shout louder. As the boss of the company, you should be able to stand your ground and ensure that everyone gets fair treatment.

One of key ways of building a trusting relationship is to show an understanding when it comes to difficulties in their personal life and ask if all is okay if you happen to notice that they are performing poorer than usual. Insist that you are always available to talk to and that help is at hand if needed. Expressing your own vulnerabilities not only allows you to build up a more human relationship with each of your employees but will establish yourself as a mentor that they confide in.

How To Keep Personal Scandals Out of the Office

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Professional Career | How To Keep Personal Scandals Out of the OfficeYour personal life is personal, right? Not exactly. In fact, when it comes to your professional career, your personal life plays a critical role. Whether that role is positive or negative is up to you, and it is up to how well you manage both your personal and professional lives. Being calm and preparing in advance can help keep your personal life private. The last thing you want is a criminal charge to ruin your life – which it can, regardless of whether or not you were convicted or exonerated. By staying private and following this guide, you can maintain your professional career and move on.

How A Personal Scandal Can Affect Your Career

A personal scandal can severely impact your career. Businesses don’t want to risk the negative press of keeping you on, and will, therefore, cut their losses as soon as your name is out in the paper. It doesn’t matter if it is later found out that you had a rock-solid alibi or your charge was overturned, because to the media you are guilty. This can ruin a career and make it incredibly difficult to find work later on. Your record might be squeaky clean, but your name will always show up next to news articles with that DUI charge.

The worst part is that the more advanced you are in your career, the harder you can fall. The media loves a scandal, and if the CEO of a big company has any sort of black mark on their name, they will pounce, with or without confirmation. You can sue them afterward for defamation of character, yes, but it still won’t change the negative impacts this press will have on your career.

How to Keep a Personal Scandal Out of the Office

To keep a personal scandal out of the office, you need to take measures to prevent a fall out as soon as possible. To do this, you will want to:

1.Know Who to Turn to For Help

Knowing who to turn to for help can be incredibly useful. If you are charged with a DUI, for example, a professional from this DUI lawyer Philadelphia firm can help fight against the charge and at the very least work to keep your identity confidential.

2. Stay Offline as Much as Possible

Your online persona will affect your career. That is why it is always important to curate your personal presence with the knowledge that it could be used against you. An off-tone joke made five years ago could ruin your career today, so go through everything. Delete old accounts, old posts, and otherwise curate all social media to protect your reputation and digital security.

3. Don’t Feed the Fire

It might seem like a good idea to get on top of a story and talk to the press, but this is the wrong approach. The truth is, by giving them nothing to go on you are more likely to be passed on for a more exciting news story. Unless the case against you is a big news story, staying quiet and anonymous is a great way to keep your name, face, and story out of the press.

Everyone can have a run-in with the law. This doesn’t make you a bad person, nor does it make you guilty. What it can do however is ruin your career if you aren’t careful. Always take every charge seriously, whether or not you are 100% certain of your innocence.

Do Your Employees Tell You the Truth? How to Foster an Environment Where They Do

StrategyDriven Corporate Culture Article | Corporate Culture | Do Your Employees Tell You the Truth? How to Foster an Environment Where They DoAre the people in your organization telling you the truth? As a manager, if you ask someone working for you, “What should we be doing better?” or “Where can we improve?” how honest do you think he or she will be?

Will your staff give you a laundry list of opportunities for improvement, an overview of key issues that hold your company back, or nothing of substance? Do your employees feel emotionally safe enough to have these authentic conversations? And if not, why?

These questions are at the heart of building a brilliant culture, an organizational culture that is driven by authenticity, adaptability, and a willingness to listen. In several decades of organizational business consulting, I’ve found that culture often distinguishes truly successful and healthy organizations from their dysfunctional counterparts. And one of the biggest indicators of a brilliant culture is a willingness—of everyone in the organization—to both tell the truth and listen. Truth-telling is essential to building a brilliant culture, but it doesn’t happen without leaders and managers who are willing to listen to what they hear and meet people where they are.

As a manager, the impetus falls on you to set that tone. Ask yourself: When I do annual reviews, sit down to discuss key issues, or collaborate on problem-solving, do people speak honestly with me, without fear of repercussion? If they don’t, what’s keeping them from doing so?

How to Foster a Safe Environment

One of the best ways to foster an environment in which it’s emotionally safe to tell the truth is to listen to what you hear instead of only acknowledging what you wanted or hoped to hear. Consciously work on enhancing your ability to meet people where they are and focus on developing your follow-up questions. Try staying in the present more often. Rather than thinking about the next item on your agenda during a discussion, offer your full and undivided attention. You may learn that you’ve been missing essential information in previous conversations.

The truth sets organizational cultures free. Only when we understand what’s actually happening in a company culture can we choose to realign behaviors, beliefs, and strategies. Careful listening, validating other perspectives, and follow-through build trust, signal respect, and show people they are valued—all bedrocks of emotional safety. Learn to listen to what you hear and you just may be surprised at the truths that find their way into the light.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Corporate Culture Article | Corporate Culture | Do Your Employees Tell You the Truth? How to Foster an Environment Where They DoClaudette Rowley is the CEO of Cultural Brilliance, a cultural design and change management consultancy. Over the past twenty years, she has consulted, trained, and coached executive leaders and teams at Fortune 1000 companies, small businesses, academic institutions, and start-ups, helping them create proactive and innovative workplace cultures that deliver outstanding results. She lays out a road map for organizational success in her new book, Cultural Brilliance: The DNA of Organizational Excellence. Learn more at culturalbrilliance.com.