• 43°

Are you setting your employees up for success or failure?

A manager has the responsibility for creating a work environment in which employees can succeed. There are steps that can be taken to ensure employees are engaged and motivated rather than being distracted and dragged down. It will improve productivity and ensure job satisfaction. 

A manager must lead by example. Following are some things a manager can do in large and small businesses, with a big or small group of employees they manage.

1. Start by hiring the best employees possible.

2. Make training available, both formal and informal.

3. Be a mentor.

4. Understand what motivates your employees.

5. Communicate strategies, goals and vision.

6. Be inclusive of all members of your staff.

7. Recognize outstanding performance.

8. Provide feedback on a regular basis.

9. Don’t play favorites or be two-faced.

10. Always be honest and trustworthy.

11. Lead by example.

12. Provide incentives and rewards for productivity.

13. Be fair and competitive in compensation.

14. Link performance to compensation.

15. Ensure your benefits program is comprehensive.

16. Listen to your employees.

17. Be there for employees and back them up.

18. Let employees know you care.

19. Pitch in and help when situation warrants.

20. Have fun at work.

All of the facets above are important to success for the employee, manager and the company. The manager has the job of leader and initiating the interactions with the employees. There are company rules and policies that must be adhered to and the manager is the company representative in the relationship, ensuring there are no violations.

Managers are not born with management and leadership abilities. Management training and development is essential.

Often a person who succeeds in a technical or operational job is promoted to manage an area of employees. Becoming a new manager is the most stressful role in business. 

Training is a necessity in order for the manager to succeed. Managing is not an easy job but can be done well when armed with good leadership traits and teamwork.

All of the above addresses manager responsibilities. The employee also has his or her part to play in making the manager/ employee relationship work. Employees can learn from good managers as well as poor ones.

The experiences can be used as learning opportunities. You can learn what to do, what works and what doesn’t. You will work with and report to people who are different from you. Learning to work with people older or younger, male or female, experienced or inexperienced, introverts or extroverts, macro managers and micro managers is a part of the work experience. 

These are just some of the differences in people you will be challenged to work with. It is important to learn how people with different talents and abilities can complement each other. Getting along in spite of differences is a necessity.

When the employee is stuck with a jerk for a manager he/she must strive to make the relationship work or decide if they want to bail out. It could be for another opportunity within the same company or leaving the business for another position in a different company.

It tests an employee’s mettle to work day in and day out in a difficult situation but sometimes persevering is the best route to take. When things look dismal, simply holding on and sticking it out may be the best course of action. When a door closes, in time a window will open up. The most difficult circumstances can be the most valuable of experiences in growing, moving up the ladder and assuming more responsibility.

Becoming a good listener and observer, maintaining your sense of humor, doing things for others, trying to understand other people rather than trying to change them will all help in your effort to get along with others. Radiate positively and give genuine compliments to others and it will do more to open doors sand smooth over obstacles than anything else.

Don’t be arrogant or look down on others but facilitate teamwork in all projects and work duties. The employee/employer relationship is a partnership when it works to the best of all involved. It can be a “win-win-win” situation, for the employee, manager and company. It is all about treating people with respect and care, like you’d like to be treated. It really works. Try it.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.