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What Is Employee Management?

What Is Employee Management?

Employees are at the heart of every business. From managers to entry-level staff, they are the key to long-term success, so ensuring you have a satisfied, dedicated, and productive team is critical. For small businesses, everyone on your team is integral to the workflow, and the failure of a single employee can have a more significant impact than larger organizations. Because of this, it may be tempting to fire employees who are underperforming and start fresh, but that’s not always the best solution. Taking the time to implement employee management strategies can be the answer to turning a situation around.

Employee management is not just about reacting to underperformance or issues. It is a proactive approach that shapes the performance and potential of your workforce. It's more than just ensuring that people are doing their jobs; it’s a range of procedures and strategies that enable you to measure, monitor, and engage with your team, all of which are crucial to your company's success.

How Does Employee Management Work?

Employee management involves a strategic approach to overseeing your organization's workforce to ensure effective and efficient functioning. It should play a role in every part of the employee lifecycle, starting with employee recruiting and training to guarantee that suitable candidates are properly vetted and onboarded. This involves adopting a few crucial tactics to allow your employees to realize their full potential.

Support open communication

Teams that can effectively communicate are 25% more productive than those that cannot. Communication significantly impacts team morale, retention, and recruitment. When communication breaks down, it can exacerbate other issues, leading to more significant problems over time.

Of course, good communication is more than just talk. It’s essential to set up processes that give employees a voice and allow you better means to listen to their thoughts, suggestions, and complaints. These include:

  • Being visible: Ensure your employees see you around the workplace and know you’re available to talk with them if they need anything. If your team is virtual or hybrid, it’s worth establishing a set time when your team knows you’re free to chat. In addition, you might take the extra step of regularly checking in with your team without them initiating the conversation.
  • Being transparent: Share company information with your employees. Sharing overall objectives, status of projects, and other relevant information will help your team feel included.
  • Being open to criticism: Ensure a proper grievance policy is in place so employees know how and with whom to share any issues they face. This feedback mechanism can help identify potential problems that may negatively impact employees. In addition, addressing these issues whenever possible is crucial. Acting on employee feedback can increase trust in the workplace by 75%, which in turn helps with morale.

Fostering a culture that values open communication and establishes clear policies and channels for staff communication can mitigate many long-term issues. Beyond these practices, there are more strategies you can implement to help boost engagement and productivity, including:

Employee development

Training and development are critical components of effective employee management. Orientation programs help new employees understand the company culture, policies, and roles, ensuring smooth integration into your team.

Additionally, career development opportunities provide pathways for professional growth and advancement, motivating employees to perform better and remain committed to your organization. Investing in training and development can build a skilled, knowledgeable, and motivated workforce that drives long-term success.

Build trust

Individuals in low-trust companies are, on average, 74% more stressed than their peers in high-trust companies. High-stress environments can damage morale and productivity, increase absenteeism, and lead to employee disengagement. Once the downward spiral begins, this harm to your company culture can be challenging to recover from.

One way to help build trust with your employees is by avoiding micromanagement. Give them enough space to work independently and step in when they need help or to check in on progress. By giving them a level of independence within reason, you can build confidence that can help motivate your employees.

How Much Does Employee Management Matter?

Without careful attention to employee management, your team can become disengaged and disconnected, leading to significant costs over time. Poor performers, on average, cost companies 30% of their annual salary; their mistakes, absenteeism, and negative attitudes can permeate your company culture, affecting overall employee well-being. This not only diminishes overall productivity, but neglecting these aspects can result in a cascading effect, where the burden of compensating for underperformers falls on the shoulders of your top talent. This can lead to burnout or discontent, eventually affecting your recruitment and retention.

Knowing when to terminate the employment of a poor-performing staff member can be difficult but is often necessary. To protect your business from legal issues, you can place poor performers on professional improvement plans (PIPs). These plans should detail specific steps, set clear goals, and outline how you’ll evaluate progress. If a poor performer cannot address the areas you've identified, you can proceed with termination, confident that you’ve done everything possible as an employer to facilitate improvement.

While there are instances where immediate termination is required, it’s still essential to have a clear plan in place. It's important to have a fair and transparent process for all employees, ensuring that decisions are well-documented and justified.

Overall, empowering employees to do their best and weeding out those who don’t show any potential for improvement can make your business more effective and save you from ongoing costs caused by poor performance.

Focus On Employee Management

Employee management is not just a one-person job. It involves many parts requiring plenty of time and effort, such as performance reviews, a grievance policy, and more. Fortunately, you don’t have to work on employee management alone. A professional employer organization (PEO), like GMS, can take on some of the administrative burden required to improve employee performance and other essential HR functions. Contact us today to talk to one of our experts about how we can help you manage your employees.

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