Employee Management

What Is Employee Management?

Employee management is the act of helping employees perform their best to achieve the organization’s overall mission and goals. It encompasses the entire employee journey, from hiring to termination.

While there’s no universal formula, effective employee management requires building relationships with employees during their tenure. It also necessitates monitoring and measuring their work in relation to their professional goals.

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.

While there are many tasks and duties that fall under employee management, almost all of them can fit into one of five categories.


Setting expectations for employees happens before you even hire anyone. Degree, certification, and experience requirements, along with your compensation strategy, all work together to communicate what you expect from new hires in terms of professionalism, productivity, and performance.

Additionally, it’s crucial that you find and hire the right candidate for each role. It will be difficult to expect unqualified employees to perform well or help the company meet its goals.


Monitoring includes the measuring and evaluation of employee performance. This is sometimes referred to as performance management. Doing this well requires setting goals with employees and tracking their progress with key performance indicators.


Interaction covers the day-to-day exchanges between managers and reports, as well as among peers. These interactions are designed to build relationships and communicate and reinforce job expectations, company culture, and feedback.


Praise, recognition, monetary prizes, and other incentives that managers may offer employees to reward high performance are an important aspect of employee management.


The measures that managers may take to improve low performance, correct mistakes, and enforce company policies are a component of employee management as well. These measures could be as simple as one-on-one meetings, or as serious as termination or legal action.

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What Responsibilities Fall Under Employee Management?

Employee management is the responsibility of every leader in your company. Each one must commit to focusing on the following areas in order to effectively manage employees across the organization.

Talent Acquisition

Hiring managers and HR professionals must write thorough and accurate job descriptions that attract the right candidates. They must also know what qualifications are needed for each role and ensure an airtight interview and background check process.

Winning with employee management is much more feasible when the employee already has the skills and experience they need to perform well.

Performance Management

HR managers must also promote a culture of continuous learning and offer employees the opportunity to develop their skills in line with broader organizational goals. Additionally, you should develop a collaborative goal-setting process so employees know what they are working toward and how their progress will be measured.

Effective Communication

An open door policy is a great way to build strong, two-way communication between managers and their direct reports. It gives managers a chance to provide feedback and coach their teams to help improve performance. It also gives employees a chance to share their feedback so that managers can learn how to best help them reach their full potential.

Authentic Recognition

Recognition clarifies what progress and performance are supposed to look like. Rewards should always be immediate and authentic, as this communicates respect, builds trust, and truly makes employees feel valued.

This practice doesn’t have to be extravagant—24% of employees say their most memorable recognition was something they received from the organization’s CEO.

Using Tools for Employee Management

Employee management is a complex process with many moving parts and participants. Digital tools and platforms can help you keep track of the information coming from different directions.

It’s best to stay organized with these applications so you can streamline employee management and put the focus back where it should be—on helping each employee put their best foot forward.

Employee Management System

Having comprehensive HR or employee management software is a good idea because it helps you keep everything organized. You can see where candidates are in the recruitment pipeline and oversee the onboarding process for new hires.

These platforms will also give you visibility into day-to-day employee performance as well as overall developmental progress. Many of these systems can also track attendance, electronically process payroll and benefits, and even provide learning management capabilities for employee training and upskilling.

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Project Management

All managers need access to a project management platform. This allows them to assign tasks and set deadlines for each team member. Status updates and project trackers let managers know who’s being productive and who’s hindering progress with missed deadlines. This information also provides specific and concrete evidence so you can give more objective feedback during performance meetings and discussions.

Goal Setting and Feedback

Goal setting and feedback are at the heart of employee performance management because they clarify expectations and help employees fulfill them.

A goal-setting platform helps you keep track of objectives and key results or key performance indicators for each employee. It also gives you a place to store coaching session notes and obtain information for 360-degree reviews.

Employee Survey Tools

Survey tools are an easy way to normalize two-way feedback systems in your organization. They help you easily collect information about employee engagement and sentiment. You can use this information to learn how to help employees increase their performance and productivity.

Best Practices for Managing Employees

Helping individuals improve their performance requires a deep understanding of best practices and a desire to see your employees win. To develop an effective employee management strategy, follow these guidelines.

Set and Track Goals

It’s difficult for employees to make progress if they have no idea what they’re working toward. Make sure you’re setting measurable and meaningful goals so employees will know when they’re hitting their targets. Having clear expectations can be motivating for employees because it helps them feel more empowered and in control of their development.

Encourage Independence

Micromanagement is rarely an effective tool for improving employee performance. In many cases, it can be discouraging and make employees feel like they’re never good enough.

Trust employees to make good decisions, and give them positive verbal recognition when they do. When an employee makes a mistake, support them by helping them understand what went wrong and creating a plan to get back on track.

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.

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.

Also, it’s a good idea to keep your feedback as constructive and objective as possible. Collecting and tracking performance data using a software application can help you stick to the facts when providing feedback to your employees.

Recognize and Reward Hard-working Employees

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

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.

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.

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.

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Tips for Managing Remote Employees

Engaging remote employees can be challenging on both sides. For managers, it can be hard to build relationships with people when they aren’t in the same location. For employees, remote work can be isolating, and getting support can sometimes be confusing.

Both of these issues can result in poor employee performance. Here are some tips to help you overcome these obstacles and manage your remote workforce effectively.

Improve Your Onboarding Program

Creating a smooth onboarding process can be difficult; 63% of HR professionals cite onboarding as one of their most common challenges. Unfortunately, subpar onboarding can prevent new hires from finding the information they need to get started on the right foot.

When employees can’t just peek around the corner and ask a colleague, it becomes even more important to make sure their onboarding process is robust and seamless. This helps them know what to expect and sets them up for success.

Provide Responsive Support

Employees can’t perform well if they don’t get support when they need it. To keep productivity and performance high, managers must respond quickly and thoroughly to requests from remote employees. To make conversations and support much easier, it’s a good idea to invest in digital collaboration tools (like teleconferencing and chat software).

Build Personal Connections

Remote work can feel isolating for employees who are used to being in an office setting. Team-building exercises and regular check-ins can help you foster personal connections with employees. You’ll be able to truly get to know your team, learn their strengths and weaknesses, and find out how to best help them achieve peak performance.

Encourage Employee Wellbeing

According to one survey, 24% of remote-capable employees report that they’re giving their best work but aren’t sure they can sustain it. This is because remote employees often find it hard to draw boundaries between home and work and feel like they are “always on.”

For this reason, it’s important to encourage employees to take breaks when they need them and discourage answering messages outside of work hours. This can help prevent burnout and keep employees performing optimally.

Employee Management Is Key to Achieving Organizational Goals

Business leaders set the company’s direction and goals, but employee performance ultimately determines the company’s success. This is why employee management is so important.

Without a workforce that goes above and beyond in terms of performance and productivity, the business doesn’t move forward. However, it’s important to remember that your goal isn’t only to drive employees toward success but also to help them develop into the best possible versions of themselves.

This is a collaborative process where you give employees the tools and knowledge to set goals, work toward them, and receive rewards when they finally reach the mountaintop. By supporting your employees through every step, you’ll have a much easier time motivating them to do their best for the sake of the collective mission.