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If you have to manage your employees, you hired wrong

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Ted Blackwater |
Managing employeesAlmost all managers will agree that managing their employees is one of the most important tasks in their daily duties. But, let’s take a look from a different angle, we might learn something very interesting, especially for younger CEOs.


Let's take a look at some usual advice when it comes to managing people. Each of them sound very logical, indeed, but we will try to find are they useful for you as a CEO, what's wrong with them and are they really good advice or just very basic management chat.

"Manage each day and focus on certain employees each day."

Looks OK. Since your business is alive seven days a week, there is a need to manage your employees every day. If we assume you set a one-on-one session of 15 minutes with, say, four employees, that's one hour a day. Five hours a week. If you have a considerable number of employees it will soon become clear to you that you'll spend all your time talking with employees instead of doing your CEO job. So, this advice is not as good as it seems at the first sight.

"Before one-on-one meeting, ask yourself 'What do I need to talk about with her?'"

Well, this one is easy: If you need to ask yourself that question you a) obviously have no idea why you have that meeting in the first place or b) you became a CEO my mistake.

"Ask employees can you do this?"

This question makes sense only when the problem at hand is a very complex one, a new situation you have never encountered before, or you have a serious crisis in the company. In other words, this is a question appropriate for a crisis management, in all other cases it shouldn't be asked because you hired that particular person to do the job. Otherwise you wouldn't hire her. So, "Can you do this?" is a waste of time: If she can there's no need for the question, if she doesn't, fire her.

"How are you going to do that?"

That question means that you love to control every single detail in your company and that's not good. As a CEO you should delegate responsibility and get the report when the job is done. If you trust your employee, their judgement and skills, there is no need to check on them like they are in the kindergarten. And if you have to ask that, then your employees are not up to the task and you must find another solution.

"Track performance at each step."

This is not something a CEO should be doing. First, this is a job of a middle manager, and even in this case there is no need to measure performance at each and every step, that will just show your employees that you don't trust them. Second, imagine that you have 1000 workers, each of them working dozens of things every day, how can you track performance at each step? Impossible.

So, if those advice have their very negative side, how to manage people? The answer is very simple: If you have to manage your employees, you hired wrong people.

Indeed, yes, this is the right conclusion: If you hired well, you don't have to spend time convincing your employees to do their job and check their every step. You delegate duties and continue with your work. At the end of the day, nobody manages you, right?

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