To build and maintain an effective team an employer needs to have good leadership and management skills.

Research has shown that employees that have a positive relationship with their manager have increased job satisfaction and increased productivity levels. So mastering management skills is crucial.

But what can you do?

There are a number of ways to improve…

As a starting point you need to find the right style. There are many different styles quoted in management texts but in reality you need a blend of three important behaviours.

Firstly, you need to give sufficient focus to the task(s) by giving clear direction and training so that the employee knows exactly what is expected of them. This is often the area of management that business owners feel confident with. But it is worth mentioning here the importance of making sure that the information is communicated in the way that the employee needs. For example some people will need to fully understand the guidelines and procedures that they are to follow before they will feel entirely comfortable in their role. Others will simply like to talk through what is expected of them. If you are not sure the DISC profile analysis will help you to learn more about your people.

Secondly if you want your people to feel motivated, energised and engaged with the work that you want them to do then you need to ensure that they have sufficient autonomy. That can include autonomy to fulfil their role, to make decisions, or maybe even having the autonomy to work when and where they like. There are of course things that you would need to put in place but it really is possible. I did my own research on a business where they have adopted full autonomy and I would be happy to share with you what they did and the benefits I saw.

Finally you need to invest in your employees. By this I mean that you need to have regular and open communication with your people. This should be a blend of business and personal communication. You need to make sure that you are regularly discussing both operational and strategic issues, but also to have the strongest working relationships and best employee retention levels you need to spend time getting to know them as individuals too. It is also important here for me to say that the best communication to build employee autonomy is the coaching side of management.

By this I mean rather than simply giving your employees the answers to their questions straight away, ask them… “what do you recommend?”

This encourages the employee to think about what they already know and they start thinking of solutions for themselves. This offers two advantages…

As their manager you get to see how much they already know, so you can either praise them for this which will improve their levels of self-confidence. It also means that training the employee or finding the solution can be a lot quicker as you simply need to add to their existing knowledge rather than starting from scratch.

So ask yourself…

Do you give a clear understanding of the tasks you are delegating?

Do you communicate openly with your people?

Do your people have sufficient autonomy?

If you are not sure about the answer to any of those questions, or want some help to develop a more rounded approach then give me a call on 0114 2219054 or drop me an email and just ask!