4 Major Staff Management Mistakes You’re Making Right Now

by Katie Sawyer, · 4 minutes

People don’t leave bad jobs. They leave bad managers.

Whether you run a small local coffee shop or a large retail franchise, you need to attract and retain quality staff. And keeping them happy should be at the top of your priority list.

Here are four major staff management mistakes you might be making — and what you can do to avoid them.

Staff management mistake #1: You’re unavailable

You’ve got a lot on your plate. Creating schedules for the next two weeks, coordinating deals with your vendors, and tweaking your sales strategy. But when it comes to your staff, the best managers always find a way to make employees feel important. Here are three easy ways to make yourself available (without doing much more work).

  • Set up office hours. Maybe it’s just one or two hours every day, but this is a time that anyone can chat with you about their problems, big or small.
  • Let staff send you a message through an app. Sure, texts are great but they can get lost in the shuffle. Your workforce management solution should have a communication tool that lets staff send you a message and streamlines how you respond. Time off requests, notice of being late, or even just feedback — everything is all in one place.
  • Set up regular meetings. 1:1 meetings aren’t just for desk jobs. Even short 15 minute check ins can make a difference in how your staff views your availability. These short meetings can remind your employees that you’re always around if they need you.

Staff management mistake #2: You don’t adapt to change

The hourly workforce has changed and if you haven’t changed with it, you’re costing yourself big bucks. And worse, you’ll lose good employees.

Deputy research found that more than 60% of employees using the product were Millennials and Generation Z. This group, who have grown up with smartphones and Google, look for companies that adapt to change. When it comes to change, don’t fall behind.

  • Go mobile. Find a staff management solution that allows employees to view their schedules (and request time off) right on their phones.
  • Learn from your peers. If you haven’t been to a conference or networking event, you should. There are plenty of local events that don’t cost a lot of money. And hearing how your peers keep up with the latest trends can give you the inspiration you need.
  • Survey your staff. Your employees can be your harshest critics. If you’ve been hearing rumblings that people want change, send a survey to see what the current employee satisfaction rating is — and learn exactly what they want changed.

Staff management mistake #3: You don’t set clear expectations

As part of new predictive schedule regulations, some laws mandate that employees must receive an estimate of their minimum hours and schedule before they take up employment.

For example, employers in Oregon are expected to give employees their schedules at least seven days in advance of the first day of their work schedule. While in Seattle, employers are expected to post employee schedules at least 14 days in advance. But these types of regulations aren’t limited to the United States. Australia and the UK have also seen stricter laws over the years.

Here are a few tips to ensure you set clear expectations.

  • Before your new employee starts, create written documentation of their expected working hours and tasks. Review that document regularly (for example, every other month) to ensure you and your employee are aligned.
  • Check in with your staff to make sure they understand what’s expected of them — and give regular feedback to keep them on track.
  • Develop and share clear company objectives. If you don’t have meetings with all of your staff, send emails or notices that remind your staff what your company objectives are.

Staff management mistake #4: You give too much (or too little) overtime

While your staff might love the extra cash, they don’t want to spend all their time at work. So when you surprise them with multiple hours of overtime, they’re going to burn out.

And similarly, some employees might beg for additional hours. If you regularly give the wrong employees overtime, you’re going to frustrate everyone.

  • Agree on overtime. Before your employee starts, make sure you agree on what overtime looks like at your company. How often will it be required? What’s the pay?
  • Make it easy for someone to pick up extra hours. Use your workforce management software to allow staff to request (and pick up) additional hours.
  • Let staff swap shifts. Empower your staff to swap shifts amongst themselves (with your approval). That will save you time trying to decide who should or shouldn’t work overtime, and it will give your staff the choice on whether or not they want to take the shift.

When you’re a manager, you have a lot on your plate. But there are simple things you can do every day to keep your staff happy — and in return make your life easier. Check out this ebook to learn how workforce management can also help make work better for you and your staff.

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