Owning your own business can be the crowning achievement in your career but it can also bring a great deal of frustration. We would all like to think that a team under our management will exceed targets, have no conflict and meet any crisis head on in a professional manner. But despite your best efforts something will go against you at some point. It is how you cope with the situation that will determine the effectiveness of your management. If your company does not have an HR department it is always a good idea to consult with someone who has a human resources degree, for constructive criticism and feedback on your managing techniques.
Here are three of the most common management issues and how to successfully deal with them.
1. Not meeting targets
No matter what department or team you manage there will some form of target or “stretch goals” to meet. These targets will often require a certain level of effort from the team to be fulfilled. If these targets are not met, senior management may question your ability to manage and put you under additional pressure.
If this is happening try to break down the task into simple, manageable mini tasks; clearly laying out a path in which your team must take to achieve the bigger goal. Achieving mini-tasks will energize your workforce as they feel accomplishment from their successes on the mini goals. As the work progresses continue to have an open two way dialogue with your team so you can help them focus on the important steps and learn about and remove any unnecessary roadblocks which are hindering their work.
2. Dealing with a crisis
Events outside of your control will disrupt you from time to time. It will be hard to prevent a power loss that leaves your workforce without their computers or an employee having to take sick leave just as an important project is due for completion. How you manage this will be a great test of your work and emotional management skills.
The key is not to panic but to sit down and adjust the workload so it can be managed. Look at what resources you do have and what tasks are most important. Assign employees the most important roles to do first and when those are done move down the list. Right from the beginning you should look to the future on how you can reclaim the lost working hours, either by asking employees for some overtime or fitting it into the work routine. Don’t expect an immediate recovery; that can damage your team over the long run. Catching up a little each day over a week or two will help recovery without stressing everyone and affecting moral.
3. Difficult Employees
Not everyone who is assigned to the team or who you recruit will be a great fit. There will be times when you have a team member who creates conflict within the group. Employee conflict doesn’t necessarily have to be about a team member not pulling their weight. They could easily be someone who has a lot of knowledge and she struggles to show that without being condescending to others.
What you need to do is to tackle the issue with a great deal of delicacy. Have regular meetings with the employee: inform them clearly of your concerns – but also give positive feedback about what they are doing right. If an employee feels that the situation is too negative it will not help the mood in the office as they become agitated.
It is best to inform HR early on so they can offer you support and it is advised you take notes during any meetings or about any key events. For tips and suggestions. These support your case should the worse have to happen and letting go of them is necessary.