Managing a workforce will never be a straight forward road but with the right tools it can be a rewarding and gratifying path. The key is to know the difference between leading a team and being the boss of your employees.
As mentioned in my book Getting Down to Business, having employees can be difficult due to different characters and strong opinions bouncing around the workplace, however knowing how to handle them is paramount.
It is imperative you help the employees to understand you are the type of employer who will guide them, make them feel part of a team and gives credit where it’s due. Even small things like saying please and thank you to your employees can mean the difference between quality team spirit alongside a high standard of work and a poor end result.
For me personally it always helps to know what your employees are going through on a day to day basis, they appreciate it when you are able to say things like “when I did this task I found that…” It shows them that at one stage you were in their shoes and puts them at ease. This can also in still trust and respect in the relationship between you and the employee and can help to keep some bosses level headed as naturally the higher up you become, or the more responsibility you take on, the harder it is to remember the days when you were in their shoes.
However as much as you do empathise with them and look after your team you must also remember that you need a be a little bit of a boss too; this is to make sure jobs do get done and so tasks and business plans run to schedule as well. So instead of deciding to be one or the other, why not find a balance that works well for you and your employees? It will always vary with each employee depending on how you need to treat them to get the work done in a timely but high quality manner but remember to have regular progress checks and refer back to my other blog about managing people for extra hints and tips!