You’ve been around the block, you’re a proven leader and now it’s your turn at the helm.
Your small business is about to take off at an astonishing rate and so is your team. It’s time to step back and take stock of what’s important and decide what type of manager you want to be and how you want to see your small business succeed. Here are some tried and true tips to help you start off by making the right impression and set the tone for a productive healthy work environment.
Individualize your management style
Meet with your employees for an individual meeting in the beginning and start your relationships with a clean slate. Learn about their goals and develop a strategy to help them achieve these goals within the scope of the business. Find out what motivates them, what they like about their work and ascertain how they like to be lead. Learn about their personality types and work patterns to best optimize their unique traits. A big key to motivating others is to incorporate what they care about.
Practice active listening
Research shows that managers who get the most out of their employees are the ones that are perceived as good listeners. Show open body language, repeat what they say back to them so that they know you understand what they are saying and practice the mantra “no idea is a bad idea.” If you need to depart from what they are saying to move on to something else, always return with “I haven’t forgotten about you” or “I’d like to come back to you on this.”
Communication and transparency is key
Always keep your team fully informed of the company’s vision, goals, projects and deliverables. David Niu, CEO of employee engagement tool TINYpulse suggests new managers avoid being seen as uncommunicative by sharing information, “transparency can also help staff better understand their role as part of a bigger picture and thus, feel more connected to the company and team.” Employees like to know where they stand and need to feel that they can trust their manager to take them where they need to go. In order to feel like their performance will have an impact on the business, employees like to feel like they are contributing to something bigger than the task at hand.
Recognize good performance
Recognizing great performance will create a culture of reward. “Frequent recognition fosters a positive team environment and creates a culture of gratitude” Niu says. This praise does not always need to be for big accomplishments. Instead, build it in to your daily communication. It’s also important to publicly recognize good work and acts as a motivator for other employees.
Grow with the team
Admit you are still new to this and show your team you are learning from them also. Create an environment within your business of constant learning and development and include yourself in this process. This includes making mistakes and encouraging the viewpoint that mistakes are learning opportunities. It will pay off in the long run to spend your first months observing, listening and learning. If those around you see that you are humble enough to show that you too learn on the job they will be inspired to do the same.