When you are launching a new product or a new company, it can be tough going it alone. More likely than not, you will have at least a few employees helping you get started. Whether you are a small startup with a few employees or a multinational corporation with employees spread out all over the globe, effective employee management is key.

Keep the following advice for managing your employees in mind:

Keep your employees engaged

Effectively managing employees isn’t simply about getting employees to do what you want them to do. Rather, the most effective managers are able to inspire and motivate their employees through engagement. How can you keep your employees engaged? Well, you need to be engaged as a manager.

“Engaged managers till the soil for their direct reports, creating the same conditions that lead to the manager’s full engagement in work and workplace culture. They then encourage employees to find engagement in ways that are unique to them, based on what the manager knows about their passions, interests, and needs,” explained Tracy Maylett, the CEO of management consulting firm DecisionWise. “Disengaged managers, on the other hand, either don’t know what motivates their people or simply don’t care. It’s about management by authority, threat, and coercion.”

Pay attention to how different people respond to and cope with stress

There is no denying it: Work can be stressful at times. Effectively managing your team requires emotional intelligence. If you’re trying to tie up loose ends a mere 48 hours before a product launch, it’s likely going to be a stressful experience for your team. You, as the leader, need to pay attention to how your team is responding to and coping with that stress. Work to foster collaboration in high-stress times, and always make sure that your employees’ needs are being met.

Never make promises you can’t keep

Whether deliberate or not, when you make a promise you can’t keep, you erode your employees’ ability to trust you, which undermines your strength as a leader. This can happen, albeit inadvertently, as a company is just getting off the ground. The founder might make overly optimistic projections about the company’s future, and his employees’ role in it.

“Misunderstandings in this area arise because people tend to talk generally about what might happen and how good things are going to be in the future,” explained Aubrey Daniels, an expert on management and human performance issues and the founder and CEO of management consulting firm Aubrey Daniels & Associates (ADA). “People often hear things are going to happen that were never intended, and when they don’t come about, they’re disappointed in the organization and in you. Older employees may test you early in the relationship to see if you can deliver. If you fail the test, your effectiveness as a manager will be dramatically reduced.”

Work to maintain a positive company culture

The bottom line is that it’s in your best interest to have happy employees. It not only makes working a better experience, it also makes economic sense. Believe it or not, unhappy workers cost U.S. employers a staggering $550 billion each year. That is because disgruntled, disengaged employees are much less productive. You can work to facilitate a positive company culture by encouraging teamwork between employees, recognizing employees when they perform well, and respecting boundaries between your employees’ work time and their personal time.

Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with strengths in software development, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial design. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.