Some traditional approaches to management have been in place for generations for one simple reason: they work. Basic fundamental concepts– like respecting your employees, training them carefully, and thanking them for their hard work—will never go out of style, so matter what kinds of new-fangled ideas appear on the scene.
But while these solid concepts have earned our trust, a few other long-standing approaches to management belong in the circular file. Unhelpful and damaging practices like these should be taken to the curb, no matter how “traditional” they may be.
Striking a hard bargain.
Of course you want your company to make money. But not on the backs of your talented and hardworking team. If you underpay your current staff, deny a raise request more than once, or make a lowball offer to an excellent applicant, you won’t build your profit margins or protect your budget; you’ll just alienate the people who represent the driving engine of your company. You’ll lose top applicants instead of attracting them, and you’ll push your current employers out the door and into the arms of your competitors. Determine the market value of your open position and then offer a rate that’s equal or better. You’ll reap the benefits by attracting and retaining stronger employees.
Don’t hover. Take a step back and trust your employees, even if it means letting them stumble now and then. In the long run, trust and breathing room encourage personal growth, initiative, and engagement. Nit picking, nagging and excessive oversight encourage resentment and resignation notices.
In 2016, it’s rarely appropriate to punish employees for subpar performance or unacceptable behavior. If they make a mistake, provide constructive feedback. If they’re on the wrong track, help them find the right one. If they try hard but fail to make the mark, offer the training and resources they need to excel the next time. And if they can’t make the grade despite your best efforts (or they break company rules or treat others poorly), use a clear and well documented set of HR protocols to walk them toward the door. Don’t punish; this is a place of business, not a schoolyard.
When your employees have an idea, listen. When they’re motivated to bypass the chain of command, find out why. When they’d like to propose a process or solution that doesn’t fit the status-quo, keep an open mind. When they use their own system to get the job done instead of the system you’ve imposed, don’t immediately shut them down. Open your ears and learn more. If their unconventional approaches or solutions have merit, acknowledge this and consider making some changes.
For more on how to bring make management practices beneficial for your workforce, talk to the Little Rock staffing and hiring experts at CSS.