Your Employees Aren’t Practice Dummies to Test Management Styles On

If you don’t manage people well, they will find someone else who will. According to The Mercury News, Americans are quitting their jobs at the highest rate in 16 years. In January alone, 2.2 percent of the entire American workforce either left in favor of a new opportunity or quit outright. As a business owner, you face the same problems that managers have encountered for decades. Unfortunately, you don’t have the luxury of management training -- your daily interactions with your team are your training. However, your employees are not practice dummies for you to feel out your management style. They expect you to be a competent, fair and engaging manager, regardless of whether you’ve had formal managerial training. In my experience, many startup managers new to the role end up using a passive-aggressive style, alienating employees and making them feel disrespected. To avoid this fate, you must learn to ask for forgiveness as you actively seek to improve your abilities as a manager. Own the transition from employee to owner Your passion and ability for your craft led you to create a company. Perhaps you were an excellent art director or programmer, but now you’re tasked with supervising accounting and sales departments. People who were once your peers are now your employees. If you don’t learn how to handle that transition, things can get ugly fast. Many of the challenges in this transition stem from a lack of clarity, both within your own decisions and in the way you present them to your team. If you didn’t have good role models for management before you started, you likely don’t know what to do when someone needs constructive criticism or disciplinary action. When you fear hurting people’s [...]