Managing Employees

4 Steps to Getting the Best Out of Your Employees

4 Steps to Getting the Best Out of Your Employees
Image credit: Startup Stock Photos
Contributor
Entrepreneurs, Small Business Experts, Consultants, Speakers
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Hiring your first employee is a big step. You’ll want to make sure that you help your new hire to maximize his/her performance. This can be a challenge because effectively managing people is difficult and no one is born knowing how to do it. Fortunately, it can be learned.

Related: How Leaders Can Best Manage Conflict Within Their Teams

We suggest following four steps that are simple, but time tested:

1. Set appropriate goals.

Goal setting is essential. It helps employees to prioritize their activities and focus their efforts. When setting goals with employees, it is critical that they be SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistically high, Time and resource bound). The goals must also be meaningful to the employee. There should be sufficient rewards for goal achievement and consequences for failure. This will ensure that achieving the goal will rise to the top of the employees “to-do” list.

Near the end of his life, H. L. Hunt, the self-made oil billionaire, was asked to name the requirements for success. He answered, “There are only two real requirements for success in life. The first requirement is deciding exactly what you want (setting goals). Most people never get to that point. The second requirement is determining the price that will have to be paid to get it and then resolving to pay that price.”

2. Develop a plan to achieve the goals.

After setting goals with the employee, put together a plan to achieve them. To accomplish a goal, the employee will need to commit to a set of actions. A goal without an action plan is just a dream. It’s not real and it’s not likely to happen. It’s equally important to agree on a date, and possibly a time, by when the employee will complete each action step. This will create the urgency necessary to get the work done in a timely manner.

Related: How to Keep Leaders Focused on a Company's Most Important Metrics

3. Empower the employee.

To maximize the probability that your employees achieve their goals, you must empower them. Empowering employees means three things. First, you must properly train your workers to do the tasks necessary to achieve their goals. Then you will need to motivate your people. There should be rewards for success and consequences for failure. Finally, you should remove roadblocks that are within the company’s control. Following these steps will result in your employees more consistently achieving their goals.

4. Assess performance and make adjustments. 

Once the three steps above are complete, you have to assess performance and make any necessary changes. We’re not talking about annual performance evaluations. A formal write up may only happen once a year, but effective management requires assessing performance much more frequently. For employees that are new to the organization or learning a new task, you may need to assess performance daily or perhaps even more frequently. Employees who have demonstrated competence may only require weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly meetings to discuss performance.

Managing people is difficult. It’s not an exact science and there is no magic wand that will ensure you always get it right. In fact, you won’t always get it right. Even outstanding managers make mistakes. The good news is that managing people well is a learned skill. With work, you can improve your capability in this area. Doing so will take a concerted effort on your part, but if your company is going to thrive, your skills as a manager will be of paramount importance.

Related: 8 Tips to Help First-Time Managers Thrive

More from Entrepreneur

Grow Your Business at Entrepreneur LIVE! Join us on Nov. 16 in Brooklyn, NY, to learn from legends like Danica Patrick and Maria Sharapova, pitch our editors, meet with investors, and potentially walk away with funding!
Register here

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.