I’m not going to try to solve the question of how to manage people in a short article. After all there are thousands of books out there claiming to have already solved the problem. I just wanted to share one recent example from our company. We’ve all had those occasions when an employee issue has to be dealt with. How do we deal with it? Do we have employees that manage other employees, and how do they deal with it? In my recent case it was a manager dealing with another employee.
This particular manager tried to deal with an employee and didn’t make any progress. He came to me out of frustration, and we went over it. You may read articles about which management style is yours. Some people say, “I manage my business my way, and if they don’t like it they can leave.” This is the style our manager was trying to use. I had failed to teach him how to manage people.
I am a believer in managing employees by who they are and not by who I am. Just like with learning, their style is more important. Recognize who you are dealing with. The old school yelling football coach does get through to some. They remember the chewing out and won’t make that mistake again. Others will only remember you from it and not even have a clue what the issue was. Some need to feel more like your equals. Use the word we and make it more like a team issue. There are those that aren’t learning, because they honestly don’t know what you meant. This is perhaps the toughest case, because they usually say they know what you mean. If you suspect this is the case have them explain it back to you in their words. If they can’t I find that examples of past issues and results work best.
This is a very short article on the subject, but one that I think fits the current times. Most window washing companies that I have spoken with recently have the same problem. It’s not finding work that is the problem but finding the workers that keeps them from growing. The my way or the highway approach may work in other times. The current low unemployment rates makes my focus more on keeping employees, and managing them according to who they are. We all have a way we like to be treated. As managers try to find out what that is for our employees and use it to get results.