Managing employees is no easy task. There’s a significant amount been written about the idea of what is considered best practise and what practices should be avoided. But what exactly is this idea of managing employees? It seems like too big of a concept to be able to define in a few simple words, especially with regard to the scope and size of the business world.
Here is a definition that we believe best identifies with the topic
“Employee management is a process for establishing a shared workforce understanding about what is to be achieved at an organisation level. It is about aligning the organisational objectives with the employees’ agreed measures, skills, competency requirements, development plans and the delivery of results. The emphasis is on improvement, learning and development in order to achieve the overall business strategy and to create a high performance workforce” 1
Personally, I believe it’s pretty important to have a first-hand experience at what it is you are preaching. Being able to draw on one’s own experiences in the workforce and taking from that what you found to be most beneficial and what you feel didn’t work is a great place to start. It gives you a sense of direction of where you want to take both your employees and your business.
One of the themes in the definition above is have the ability to look forward – where do you want your employees to go, what skills do they need and what skills are you going to help them develop over time? As a whole, how will all of this help move the business forward? Being able to visualise where you want your business to be and how you are going to use what resources you have to be able to get yourself there, is key to employee management.
Investing in your employees is the greatest thing you could do as a business; they are your most valuable resource. Lets go back to the title of this blog. Why is it important to live a day in the life of one of your employees? It’s simple. For the same reason that it’s important to draw on your own personal experiences growing up in business. You cannot know what’s effective when managing employees until you have been in that position yourself. Putting yourself back in the same position that you once were reminds you that there is a lot more to it, and that the little things do matter. Those who have dealt with the topic of employee management for some time will understand that you need more than a piece of paper and a few sentences to sum up your company culture. It takes a lot more than mere observation to figure out how to best manage your employees.
By living a day in the life of your employees, you gain a more holistic approach about the future of your business and how best to get there. This applies to whatever business . You need to re-learn and understand the processes, the demands and the challenges of the job. Not only does this enable better communication between yourself and your employees, but it will give you a broader vision with respect to the future of your business.