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By Debisi Desalu

Today’s graduates are ambitious and want to climb the career ladder quicker than previous generations. Graduates employed in start-up companies and small charities (such as student unions) will have management responsibility very early on in their careers. Management training is limited but you are still expected to deliver. Check out my top tips for how to manage staff.

Get them on board

A good induction is vital. This ensures that staff members have the knowledge and tools needed to do the job. Nothing is more dis-empowering than having to do something or being expected to do something you haven’t been trained to do or been given the tools to do. Making sure your induction and training is relevant increases the likelihood of success.

   Expectations and Accountability

Be clear on your expectations from the start, so each staff member understands their role. Once the expectations have been set ensure you are transparent about how performance will be measured. Hold staff accountable for their results without being dis empowering but most importantly create an atmosphere where your staff can hold you to account as well.

Bond with your staff

Many studies show that staff members happiness and engagement at work is directly linked to the relationship with their line manager and their wider team. Building this sense of shared goals is very important and taking the time to get to know your staff members makes them feel valued and ensures they work to the best of their ability. Doing this from the start will honestly make managing that person a lot easier. Come up with engaging activities you can do together that get them connected to the strategy, their targets and form shared goals for the team.

 Recognize your staff as individuals

As a manager it is easy to get so tied up to the process that we lose sight of the individual. One size does not fit all when it comes to managing staff and expecting the same template or management style to work for everyone is not a good way to go. Monthly 1-2-1 for example should be different depending on the individual and what they need from you, what barriers they are facing and their personality type. Some may want a full-blown coaching session while others might just want a to-do list to crack on with. Work with the staff member to get a process that works for them.

                                  Empowerment and Involvement

Empower your staff to make decisions. Let people know how their work helps achieve the bigger picture. I work with receptionists and call centre staff and they are happy to do the same tasks day after day because they can see how it makes the organisation better, how it’s valued and how it’s helping us achieve our strategy.

Personal Development

Try and help your staff set personal development goals and make time to help them achieve them. Don’t be afraid to get them ready for their next step and be comfortable knowing the next step may not be with you. Ask them what their long-term goals are and try to link those to work goals if possible. Staff need to know that you are thinking about their longer term success and not just their next appraisal.

Debisi Desalu is a People and Office Manager in London. She currently manages 11 staff members. 

Are you a new manager, what is the biggest challenge you have faced so far? 

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