Management is a tough job, doing your own work and managing others, it is a skilled balancing act. People management is inherently tricky due to the very nature that everyone is different and may require and respond to being managed differently. Some managers may put managing people on the back seat, focusing their priority on the day to day job. This is normal, but should be noted that there are usually consequences of this.
For example, here are some common comments managers may say in the work place;
• “Jo is off sick again, and it’s always a Monday”
• “Jennifer keeps making mistakes”
• “Jack has been moody and snapping at everyone”
The first question I normally ask is have you spoken to them? More often than not the answer is no. This is for many reasons, mostly “I don’t have time”, “there doesn’t seem to be a place to speak” and “am I allowed?”. Managers may often get stuck with hoping a particular situation resolves itself without their input. The situation then festers and becomes harder for managers to manage and they are getting more frustrated. Little things become bigger issues, if not nipped in the bud and end up being very costly in terms of productivity, management time and employee engagement.
Speaking to the employee and finding out what is going on is the quickest and most effective way of resolving most issues.
• If someone is off sick, carry out a return to work meeting with them. Find out what is going on before jumping to conclusions. Put it forward to the employee that there is a pattern of them being off Mondays and find out their response.
• If someone keeps making mistakes, tell them. Explain what the mistakes are and discuss how these can be prevented. Be clear on your expectations and ensure that the employee understands the situation. If an employee is not told about it, how can they improve?
• If someone is moody and snapping speak to them on a 1:1 basis. Ask them if they are ok? Explain that you have noticed they are speaking to people in a particular way that is not acceptable or that they are reacting inappropriately to certain situations. There may be something personal going on affecting them and they may not know that it is having an impact at work.
Other forms of communication such as emails are commonly used to communicate to employees highlighting any performance issues, or in place of awkward conversations. However, whilst having an email trail is great for record keeping and referring back at a later date, a tone of an email can be misconstrued. Employees can sometimes interpret the message of an email in a different way it was intended. Likewise, employees should not be afraid to approach their manager and ask for a meeting.
Although businesses may be taking advantage of the various different ways technology has improved communication, the importance of a conversation is an incredibly powerful tool.
If you want to discuss a particular situation you are dealing with please get in touch with one of our HR Specialists on 0161 478 3800 or via email on email@example.com.