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As a small business owner, you need to know how to manage your workforce efficiently and effectively, but that’s often easier said than done.

With time and practice, your management skills will certainly improve, but we’ve put together five essential tips to get you started on the road to success.

#1 – Put It In Writing

Let’s be honest: no-one gets excited by rules and regulations, but they are essential to build a strong business foundation.

You need to create clear policies and codes of conduct so that everyone understands how to behave. This also helps to prevent unfair treatment and discrimination, and protects you from misunderstandings and even legal action.

#2 – Invest in the Right Software

In today’s digital business environment, the right software is key to ensuring that your team runs like a well-oiled machine.

Scheduling software, for example, not only saves you a huge amount of time but also helps to optimise your team’s time. Cloud software also enables your workforce to access their schedules from anywhere and easily request shift swaps or changes when necessary. Best of all, the information is centralised so that everyone automatically stays on the same page.

Similarly, communication software, such as Slack or Teams is important, especially if your team works remotely much of the time.

Project management software also ensures that all relevant employees are up-to-date with regards to tasks and deadlines. This allows your projects to flow more smoothly, with fewer hiccups along the way.

Finally, payroll software is essential. It saves you time and also makes sure that you employees get paid and taxed the right amount, reducing the possibility of conflicts.

After all, paying your staff the right amount at the right time is a key ingredient in keeping them happy – and loyal.

#3 – Ask for Input

Making your employees feel seen, heard and valued is essential for maintaining morale – and this, in turn, is directly linked to the success of your business. Therefore, it’s important to ask your team for feedback and actually listen to what they say.

In addition to this, your team members are on the ground and therefore are often able to pick up on things that you can’t.

Asking for their input isn’t just about showing respect, it can also help you to identify problems and opportunities that you may otherwise have overlooked.

#4 – Don’t Micromanage

Micromanaging your workforce is probably the fastest way to turn them against you. When you micromanage your team, you’re essentially telling them that you don’t trust them, and this causes a serious decline in morale. On top of this, it also denies your team members the opportunity to grow and improve.

Your business is your baby and it’s only natural to feel protective over it. You understandably want to handle everything yourself but that’s simply not realistic. Learn to trust your team and create an environment in which they feel able to come to you for guidance if they do encounter any problems, rather than wasting your time breathing down their necks.

#5 – Offer Flexibility

Of course, flexible working isn’t possible for every business type, but if you are able to offer your staff greater flexibility then you should do it. For one thing, it’s a huge mark of trust and respect – and this won’t be lost upon your team.

On top of this, giving your staff greater flexibility will increase their job satisfaction and keep them loyal to you. Offering the chance to telecommute at least part of the time can also increase productivity and save you money in terms of overheads. You will certainly save money on utilities and you may even be able to move to a smaller office space, significantly reducing your rent.

Summary

Managing your workforce effectively isn’t rocket science; it’s a careful combination of the right practices, trust and respect.

Make sure to invest in the right software, ask your team for input regularly and help them to work as effectively as they can.

Your business is nothing without a strong team behind it, so don’t underestimate the importance of great management.