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An HR Glossary for HR Terms

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Employee Management

What is Employee Management?

Employee management is the effort to help employees do their best work each day in order to achieve the larger goals of the organization. There are many tasks and duties that fall under employee management, but almost all of them can fit into one of five categories:

  1. Selection

  2. Monitoring

  3. Interaction

  4. Reward

  5. Discipline

Selection entails finding and hiring the right candidates to fill open positions to keep teams and departments running smoothly. 

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Monitoring includes the measuring and evaluation of employee performance, also called performance management. 

Interaction covers the day-to-day exchanges between managers and reports, as well as among peers, to communicate job expectations, company culture, feedback, and more. 

The reward aspect of employee management includes praise, recognition, monetary prizes, and other incentives that managers may offer employees as a result of high performance. 

Finally, discipline describes the measures that managers may take to improve low performance, correct mistakes, and enforce company policies. These measures could be as simple as one-on-one meetings, or they could be as serious as termination or legal action. 

Effective employee management often hinges on individual managers and their ability to motivate, communicate, and build trust with their reports. The best managers act as coaches for their employees, recognizing the great work they’re doing now while challenging them to improve.

How do companies manage employees?

Caring for your employees should be central to any employee management system. This approach can take a few forms:

  1. Caring about each employee equally.

  2. Cultivating a stable work environment.

  3. Ensuring employment security.

Show you care about each of your employees equally by offering the same benefits to everyone. Get rid of executive parking spots and premium health benefits that are only offered to the higher-ups. Show that you care by giving everyone, from CEOs to interns, the opportunity to excel at your company.

When considering your employees’ work environment, start with their office space. Do they have enough room to work comfortably? Are they working next to people they want to be around? Once that’s well-established, you might also consider what your company’s location has to offer. Is there access to quality public transportation? Will employees with families be happy with their public school options? You want to do everything to make the lives of your employees comfortable both inside and outside of work.

Employment security is on every employee’s mind. They shouldn’t have to worry about losing their job after every performance review. Keep your employees focused on the future by setting up longterm goals. Assigning them special projects can also show that you trust their skills, so they aren’t worried about seeming incompetent. And in times of hardship, many of the top companies forgo lay-offs in favor of temporary pay cuts or hiring freezes.

What is the best way to manage employees?

To develop an effective employee management strategy, follow these six guidelines:

  1. Be consistent. Consistency will help your employees establish base expectations, and with that will come a feeling of security. Plus, most other employee management skills in this list require consistency to be truly effective.

  2. Focus on clear communication. Concentrate on clarity, accuracy, and thoroughness in all forms of communication. Be responsive when an employee has a question. Remain transparent and honest.

  3. Recognize and reward hardworking employees. Validating employees in front of their peers will remind them that hard work is rewarded and encouraged, and can help them feel motivated to grow and improve.

  4. Treat employees as individuals. While everyone should be treated equally, recognize that the same managerial and motivational approach will not work for every employee. Play to their unique strengths and ideas. Employee management software can help you take notes of strategies that work for specific employees.

  5. Encourage new ideas and opinions. Get as many people involved as possible when discussing improvements for the company. Listen to what your employees have to say, especially when it goes against common consensus.

  6. Be an example. Employees will look to their managers on how they should behave in the workplace, for better and for worse. Strive to be the worker you would want to manage, and your employees will follow your lead.

How do you handle an employee with a bad attitude?

When you run into an employee who has an attitude problem, it can be challenging to motivate them to try new things or adjust their behavior. If they produce quality work, you might be tempted to just leave them to their own devices. However, a bad attitude will negatively affect surrounding coworkers, whose quality of work can take a nosedive.

Encouraging an attitude adjustment should be a top priority for these employees. Follow this employee management process the next time you deal with a negative employee.

  1. Give specific feedback and examples. Don’t just tell them they have an attitude problem. Point out specific behavior and how it has negatively impacted their coworkers.

  2. Give actionable advice. Explain how the employee should have behaved in the situations you shared in the first step. Now they’ll know what behavior is expected moving forward.

  3. Recognize the good. Don’t make this performance review all about how they can improve. Congratulate them if they’re doing a good job and meeting deadlines. 

  4. Monitor their behavior and performance. See if the employee tries to improve their attitude. Set up regular meetings with them to go over their progress.

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