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You and your employees deserve to be on the same page. However, you don’t want to be interfering with employees constantly to the point that you become a micromanager. In order to get the right balance, here are a few ways that you can stay up to date with your staff’s progress without irritating your employees.
Hold regular team meetings
Regular team meetings are great for getting everyone up to speed. Rather than constantly asking people to fill you in throughout the day to check that tasks have been done, you can simply discuss it all in a meeting. Team meetings shouldn’t just be used to record progress, they should be a time for generating ideas and improving team morale. They could be held every morning, or you may find having one big meeting at the beginning of the week is enough.
Hold one-on-one meetings too
It’s important to also hold one-on-one meetings with your employees to identify faults and personal problems that they may not want to bring up in a group environment. Don’t treat these like interrogations – by making them more informal you can get your employees to warm to you and open up. This might discourage them from holding back problems that you may need to know.
Use software to monitor progress
Various programs can be useful for monitoring progress. Document management programs can help to store documents in one place that is accessible by all rather than having files scattered across computers and programs. Meanwhile, there is now software for monitoring virtual employees too, not to mention the likes of video-communication software that can allow you to have video conversation with these remote staff members.
Create a problem board
As employees encounter problems, it could be worth giving them a board to write these problems on as notes. These could be sticky notes on a noticeboard, or notes written in pen on a whiteboard. You can then bring up these problems at each meeting and try and come up with solutions.
Make yourself approachable
By being approachable, you can increase the chance of people coming to you with problems and progress reports, rather than having to go to them. If you’re constantly turning people away when they come to your office or bringing people up on their failures and shortcomings, you’re unlikely to be viewed as an approachable boss and you may find that your employees are keeping information from you.
Try to welcome people’s queries whenever possible – you can set times when you don’t want to be interrupted other than for emergencies, but for the remainder of the day try to have an open door policy so that people feel they can talk to you. Similarly, don’t keep nagging people to do thing or reminding people of their failures. Use positive encouragement and constructive advice that will endear people to you.