2016 - Time to be a better manager?

It’s hard to believe that the start of a brand new year is upon us. As we look towards making 2016 a successful year for our businesses, one thing we will want to try and do is avoid costly and expensive HR or employment law issues.

Retaining staff is one area that employers should look to address in order to keep HR issues to a minimum this year. It may perhaps be concerning for employers to learn that in a recent survey, less than 35 per cent of employees are ‘happy’ at work and as little as 14 per cent plan to stay in their current job in 2016. Furthermore, 39 per cent of Brits admit that they feel miserable at work and a quarter of employees said that they have taken sick leave from work due to being so unhappy.

There are many reasons that could be behind staff being unhappy in the workplace – not all of which are the employer’s fault. However, 31 per cent of those polled cited being badly managed as their biggest issue in the workplace.

Maintaining good relations with staff is difficult but here are four ways to start the year as you mean to go on.

Hold a meeting

The start of the New Year is a perfect excuse to hold a meeting or schedule a ‘company strategy’ event in order to engage employees. Use the opportunity to thank staff for their contributions over the last 12 months and inform them of any plans you have for the business this year. One of the reasons staff become disengaged is because they feel they are not kept properly informed by managers. If employees do not know what the business’ goals are, how can they be expected to work towards them?

Start a staff feedback programme

For employers, a big issue related to having unhappy staff is when the dissatisfaction of an individual starts to rub off on others. By putting a formal feedback programme in place, or holding 1:1 meetings, you can start to identify any issues at an earlier stage. This could also uncover positive feelings amongst staff and promote ideas that might improve the workplace environment. You could even offer a prize for the most valuable piece of feedback or staff suggestion.

Offer incentives

One of the most commonly cited reasons for poor staff engagement is employees feeling undervalued. The start of the year is a great time to try and change this, by offering staff incentives based on their performance. You should consider setting different rewards for staff or allowing them flexibility to choose. After all, staff are not always motivated purely by money – time off or other perks might be better placed to motivate certain team members.

Hold regular performance reviews

Part and parcel of being a good manager is having the ability to listen to your employees. Sadly, it is too often the case that managers are simply too busy on a day to day basis to allow regular interaction with their team members. Scheduling regular reviews can address this, allowing a dedicated period of time to meet with each member of staff to discuss their workload, performance, goals and objectives for the coming months. The New Year is a good time to plan ahead, so take the opportunity to schedule staff reviews now – and make sure you stick to the dates you set! For more help and advice on employee engagement and improving your management style, please get in touch with us. KMC HR offer training and coaching to assist managers in dealing with HR matters.