9 Tips for New Small Business Managers

Hopefully your business has taken off and now you need a manager. No matter how much experience a manager has, every manager was previously a new manager. When you’re new to management, you may find it hard to know which tasks are important and which ones can be waiting (or which ones you can ignore altogether). However, becoming an effective manager requires you to separate what you have to do from the tasks you don’t have to do. Here are the important tasks every new manager has to do.

Set clear goals and expectations
Your job as a manager is to get the big things done in your organization by utilizing the talent, abilities, and mental and muscle strength of your employees. In short, to get a lot of your work done as a manager, you have to delegate a lot of work, and you need to be able to rely on the people you delegate to do so.
When you delegate work to an employee, it is not enough to just do a task and hope for the best. You should also set clear goals and expectations for your employees. When employees aren’t sure what exactly they’re supposed to do and when they’re supposed to do it, they won’t be able to meet your expectations—whatever they are. However, when you are crystal clear about what you want your employees to do and when you want it to, your employees can prioritize their work to ensure they meet deadlines. This approach provides a great learning opportunity for them to take on new or different projects as well.
Work with your employees in setting goals and expectations. The goals must be realistic, and you must make sure that your employees are convinced of them and are committed to achieving them. By making your employees a part of the goal-setting process, you not only get their vital input into the goals (eg, you may not be aware of a deadline conflict), but you also increase employee engagement.

Do not play favorites
Think back to your school years. Was someone in your class a teacher’s pet? If you were a teacher’s pet, you likely enjoyed the position. However, if you do not hold this coveted position, you are probably not happy that your teacher played favorite games with one or more of your classmates. The same is true in the workplace.
Nobody likes a manager who plays a favorite role with certain employees. Of course, people naturally like some people better than others – personal chemistry simply prefers some relationships over others. However, as a manager, your job is to be as impartial and fair as possible in how you treat your employees. You can’t punish an employee you don’t like and then forgive an employee you love. You can’t give your preferred employees raises, vacations, bonuses, and other rewards when employees you don’t like show the same performance or achieve the same goals or milestones.
Employees know when a manager is playing a preferred role—they can sense it a mile away. Treat all of your employees like the employees you would prefer.

Be a good role model
Research shows that the most important relationship at work is between employees (at any level) and their immediate supervisors or managers. As a manager, you are a role model for all employees who work for you, and you influence the behavior of your colleagues and colleagues. The example you set sends a clear message about the kinds of behavior that you personally find acceptable in the workplace. If you are chronically late for work, your employees will assume that being late for work is OK, and that they will be late, too. If you are not ethical in your business dealings with customers, customers, and suppliers, your employees will assume that they also do not have to act ethically.
Model the behavior you want from your employees, and they will mirror that behavior directly to you.

Remember you get what you rewarded
Managers are often surprised when an employee exhibits a certain behavior or achieves a particular goal that is completely different from what is intended. When that’s the case, you need to take a closer look at exactly what behavior you’re rewarding.
For example, you might tell your employees that you want them to make suggestions to cut costs. However, when an employee presents an idea, you either ignore it completely or chew it up in front of their peers for having such a ‘dumb idea’. In this case, instead of rewarding employees for submitting ideas, you are punishing them for it. You can bet that employees will think twice before presenting an idea to you again for consideration.
Catch your employees doing something right. This approach works especially well for managers who want to focus on getting things done. Simply add the names of the people who inform you to your weekly to-do list. Then cross it off when you are able to praise these employees—because you catch them “doing something right” according to their performance goals.
Although money is important to employees, what motivates them to perform – and to perform at higher levels – is the thoughtful and personal type of recognition that demonstrates true appreciation for work that has been done well. This recognition also builds trust and a collaborative relationship, which leads to higher levels of employee engagement.

Get to know your people
You may have been told not to get too close to the people you supervise because it undermines your authority and makes it difficult for you to get your employees to do what you want them to do. This old management philosophy is now officially obsolete. Using raw power to get employees to do what you want them to do is get out. Instead, you should involve employees in decision-making and involve them in their jobs. When you do, they want to achieve the goals you set together.
You might not invite your employees to your home for the holidays, but there is nothing wrong with getting to know them as people. In fact, you can gain a lot by establishing normal relationships with your employees. These benefits may include increased levels of trust and loyalty, better communication, and higher performance.
Learn how to delegate
Delegation is the most powerful tool at any manager’s disposal – it’s the way managers get work done. Delegation is a win-win business. When you delegate, others do a lot of the day-to-day work of the organization, giving you the freedom to manage, plan, and take on more complex work, with the potential to earn a higher salary. As your employees develop a wider range of skills, they will be ready to rise with you. This partnership builds trust, enhances your career potential, and improves the health of your organization.
Effective delegation involves more than just asking someone to do something. It includes mutual consultation and agreement between the manager and team members. Ask for team members’ feedback and ideas, thus bringing trust, support, and open communication to the process.

Encourage teamwork
Smart managers realize that they can get much more out of their organizations when employees cooperate with each other than if they compete against each other. Many tasks are now performed through teamwork, and organizations are changing the way they work. Organizations no longer measure employees solely by their individual contributions; They also consider how effective employees are as contributing members of their work teams.
As a manager, you want to encourage teamwork in your organization. Carefully evaluate work tasks and decide whether it makes sense to assign them to individuals or to teams of employees. Reward your employees when they demonstrate good teamwork skills – every business needs more of these skills.

Communication, communication, communication
Good managers are skilled at communicating with their employees, and they do so often and by all means at their disposal. As a new manager, make time every day to connect with your employees.
Walk around the work area to casually meet with employees and discuss current projects or clients. Stay in touch with employees through emails or phone calls. Hold regular employee meetings to discuss current opportunities and issues and to keep employees abreast of the latest company events. Create a Facebook section blog or fan page to enable discussions within your organization. Over-communication is definitely better than under-communication.

Be a coach
A good coach helps employees perform at a higher level, in the same way that a baseball, soccer, or soccer coach helps athletes perform at a higher level. Business coaches do this by giving advice on how to perform better, providing valuable feedback, and supporting the people they coach. They help employees gain confidence, and they praise their efforts when employees are making progress toward completing a goal.
As a manager, you are in an ideal position to train people in your department or other organizational unit. Let them see that you are human. If you are friendly (and not seen as perfect), your employees will find that you are more honest, which leads to a better working relationship.