I’ve been considering writing a post like this for a while, and in fact I’m currently batting around some ideas to see if I can have a stand alone, business related blog alongside this one-so when Marty Stallone asked me if I fancied working with them to write a business related post, it made sense to give it a try. Here’s my tips on how to be a manager AND a nice person.
Bbefore starting freelancing, before 18 months for a Telecomms company and a year of temporary roles in different places, I was a Regional Organiser for Community Union. Before that I was a Local Organiser for UNISON for nearly three years, and before THAT I, alongside my day job in Motor Claims, was a Workplace Rep for Unite. Does this make me qualified in Employment Law? No, but I have had a LOT of useful training and experience, and I used to merit assess cases to decide whether they had any chance of success before passing them to our solicitor at Community-so I’ve picked up a fair few bits of useful information. Do you think I should start a more business themed blog to share some of this knowledge? Let me know in the comments below!
Know your staff
This should be obvious, but in lots of jobs you’re not a person, you’re a number. A good manager should know, or be learning, your strengths and weaknesses, what makes you tick, and what’s going on in your life outside work (if that’s relevant) They should know if you’re a carer, have children, have a long term illness, or something else that could affect your performance or mood at work.
Treat staff fairly
It’s important to note that ‘fairly’ doesn’t mean ‘the same’. If you’ve got a staff member who has to put a disabled child onto their school bus before coming to work, and that bus is often late, making the staff member late, you shouldn’t be treating them the same as the colleague who lives a five minute walk away, has only themselves to get sorted in a morning, and turns up late with no apology or explaination.
There’s nothing more frustrating, either as a staff member of their Union Rep, than knowing the person has tried to raise an issue with management over and over and they’ve not been listened to. If someone keeps telling you that they don’t understand how to do part of their role, listen to them, and help them to put a plan in place so that they can improve. Don’t keep telling them they do know, then put them on a disciplinary a few months later for making ‘silly’ mistakes. That links back, I guess, to my first two points. Treat staff fairly, and know your staff, or be trying to.
*This post was written in collaboration with Marty Stallone who have paid me a small fee for this. All thoughts, words and opinions on how to be a manager AND a nice person are my own.