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Managing Effectively

By From the career experts at Robert Half
Robert Half International

As a manager, you have a direct impact on the well-being of your employees. While maintaining an open-door policy and listening to the concerns of those you supervise are important acts that help establish a positive working relationship with staff members, there are additional steps you can take to motivate and inspire your employees. Following are some tips.

 Know their career goals.  Determine each person's career aspirations, then work with your staff members to identify ways to help them achieve their goals. Perhaps you can pair a new employee with a more experienced colleague to help the new person learn a company-specific software program.  Or you may consider offering a worker who is interested in pursuing continuing education the flexibility to attend courses at a local college.  Be sure to touch base regularly and let staff members know you're personally invested in their success and professional growth.

        Offer personalized praise.  When a staff member excels on a project, let him or her know -- and cater your kudos accordingly.  One employee may enjoy public praise while another might appreciate a hand-written thank-you note.  You staff will appreciate that you've paid attention to their preferences.

      Be sensitive to stress levels.  After a sustained period of heavy workloads, intense pressure and tight deadlines, your employees may feel burned out.  Signs of burnout include missed deadlines, increased absenteeism and changes in behavior or personality.  When you notice employees are nearing their limits, consider bringing in temporary workers. Given the cyclical nature of accounting, these professionals can be brought in for a finite period of time to help ease the strain on your full-time staff.

      Be fair.  While this may seem an obvious point, not all managers follow this maxim.  You can't expect your employees to remain loyal if they think you're playing favorites or inconsistently enforcing rules and policies.  You may have to closely examine your behavior toward each team member to determine whether you treat everyone equally.  For example, are you more lenient with one employee when she delivers a project late?  Do you spend a considerable amount of time asking a certain staff member about his weekend plans?  While these differences may appear subtle from your perspective, they could be very noticeable to your staff and lower morale. 

Founded in 1948, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a division of Robert Half International Inc., the world's largest specialized financial recruiting service and a leading authority on workplace and management trends. The company has more than 350 offices throughout North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Learn more at

Copyright 2008 Robert Half International. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authority.

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