Managing in Today’s Business World
October 21, 2021
It’s not easy being a boss and managing employees. It’s even tougher managing in today’s business world dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic...loss in sales, employee instability, and supply chain problems not to mention political issues, mandates, and new ways to operate. Owners and managers of micro, small businesses, and SMEs might very well have to adapt their management styles to a fit a changing environment.
Some of these changes might involve:
Teamwork and Collaboration – When the boss at one time held a very hierarchical position giving orders and expecting them to be carried out in a particular manner, the time might be for a manager to gather employees together to seek input and develop a culture of collaboration. Although employment has generally increased, small businesses and SMEs still confront a never-ending problem of keeping great employees on board. Bringing employees together where they feel they are part of an inclusive group can help retain the best employees.
Help When Necessary – Sometimes employees need a little help and a helping hand from a manager can go a long way in motivating employees. When managers lead by example putting forth extra effort when needed, a culture can be created where co-workers help each other whenever possible knowing that everyone is working to achieve the same business goals. When businesses are understaffed as many are today, motivating employees can be a key ingredient to success.
Empower Employees – Often times employees have the best ideas. After all, they are ones on the “front lines” doing the actual work and not necessarily the boss sitting behind a desk. Employees must feel empowered, however, to offer suggestions and even contest a decision if they think a better alternative exists. When employees know their voices will be heard and ideas considered, they are much more willing to offer their opinions. Rather than stifling new ideas, empowering employees to speak up can actually generate new ideas and in today’s business environment, businesses need all the new ideas possible to generate sales and retain customers.
Demonstrate Trust – While some managers use a hands-off approach, others tend to micro manage. Whichever philosophy is used, trust and respect must still be shown to employees. In any position, employees want to feel good about themselves and their work. If trust is not demonstrated by managers, a feeling of respect and self-esteem cannot be achieved. In the past maybe this didn’t matter as much in some businesses; however, employees have much more opportunities now than in the past to change jobs. Any change that can help retain and motivate employees is a change for the best.
Time is Important – No one wants to wait until the last minute to either have a task assigned or receive feedback on the quality of work performed. Just as a manager most likely does not want to receive a completed project at the very end of a day, neither do employees want to receive communications from their managers when they are about to leave work for the day. Respect is a two-way street. Managers can show respect by communicating in a timely manner giving employees sufficient time to process whatever message is being delivered.
While business operations have changed considerably since the beginning of the global pandemic, management philosophies in today’s business world might also have to change.