Help! I love running a small business, but I hate managing my team

Okay, so first of all, if you are feeling this way, it’s a fairly common dilemma to be in.

I come across lots of small business owners who begin their entrepreneurial journey by running their company by themselves. But, when their business grows and they hire employees, they hate the job of managing them 😱

And let’s face it, it is a “job”. Humans are complex and sometimes needy, and it takes skill and practice to manage them effectively.

In this blog, I’ll hopefully get you thinking about what it is you hate about managing your staff, and provide some tips to make it less stressful 👍

WHAT’S DRIVING YOU NUTS? 😨

What is it about human beings that drive managers crazy with despair? 🙄

In my experience, it’s when your employees:

😡 Don’t do what’s asked of them

😡 Fail to meet deadlines

😡 Show little, if any, initiative or passion

😡 Take advantage of your generosity or kindness

😡Need constant direction or supervision from you

😡 Are negative or whingeing about work, your customers, or their colleagues

😡Let you down, continuously 

😡 Cause your customers or suppliers to complain

😡 Don’t appear to care about their work, or your business


Does any of this sound familiar? If so, these behaviours can be real time-stealers and the consequences can be horrible to deal with.

ACTION FOR YOU ⚠ It’s worth having a long, hard think about what it is that you’re hating right now. Jot down the triggers that cause you to feel this way. And do this in an objective way that’s wholly evidence-based.

For example 👉 I get annoyed with Tom because he constantly makes mistakes. For example, six weeks ago, he sent an incorrect invoice to a supplier. Last week he put the wrong information in a social media post. And this week he’s forgotten to invite a key stakeholder to an important meeting.

By keeping a log of the issues, it’ll help you to test how valid your feelings of frustration are. It’ll also help you to identify the root cause of the problem and why problems are happening and what can be done about them. Don’t forget you can use this evidence to communicate with your employee – when the time comes.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME? 🤔

Okay, so you’re not going to like what I’m about to say. But when business owners have problems with their staff, the root cause often sits with them.

Working with hundreds of entrepreneurs, CEO's, and business leaders, I’ve discovered that they often fall out of love with managing their people because they:

❌ Have hired the wrong person in the first place

❌ Are simply unable to delegate

❌ Struggle to have honest conversations with their staff

❌ Have never been taught how to manage people

ACTION FOR YOU ⚠ Think about the example I use with Tom in the section above. What could be causing him to constantly make mistakes?

It could be that he’s the wrong person for the job, right? Or, it could be that his boss is not having the honest conversation with him about his performance, and therefore he continues to make mistakes?

Now think about your own situation. Is there anything that you’re doing to cause this problem, or make the situation worse for yourself? Try and hold yourself accountable if you can.

Also, take a peek at my blog. It talks about individual leadership style and the impact it can have. It’s called: WHAT'S YOUR LEADERSHIP PERSONA

CHANGE YOUR MINDSET 💡

Remember, you need people to help you to scale your business 📈 You can’t do it all by yourself. So, you mustn’t let this dislike of managing people fester and grow. It’s about finding a way to make it work.

TIPS FOR LOVING PEOPLE MANAGEMENT

Okay, so “love” might be a strong word. But here are some ways to help you to enjoy managing your employees a little more than you do today:

  • Invest in yourself. Just because you’re the boss, it doesn’t mean you’re perfect. There will be gaps in your own skills – like people management – that you need to address. So, get help and do something about it.

  • Tap into your own business network (outside of your own company) to see how others approach the art of people management! An objective voice may just do the trick.

  • Regularly give ‘on-the-spot’ feedback to your employees – in both positive and negative situations. This generates a culture of honest conversations; shows them you’re the boss; and means you get what you want from them.

  • Avoid micro-managing your people. Tell them the end results you want to see, not how to go about it. This is much more motivating for them

  • Do something about poor performance or bad behaviours. If you don’t nip this in the bud, you send a powerful message that you tolerate incompetence or bad conduct. I’ve written a useful blog on having honest conversations, because let’s face it, they’re REALLY hard to have. It’s called: HOW DO I TELL MY EMPLOYEE THEY AREN'T PERFORMING, WITHOUT MAKING THE SITUATION WORSE?

  • Avoid trying to be your employee’s friend. It’ll make it SOOO much harder for you to communicate what you need from them.

  • Delegate more, so you feel like you’re getting more from your employees. Try splitting tasks into three buckets:
  1. Do it yourself – things only you should and want to do
  2. Delegate it – things that must be done, but don’t have to be done by you
  3. Ditch it – things that aren’t delivering any value
  • Make sure you have HR policies in place that describe how you do business and what the consequences are when behaviour or performance is below par. This will allow you to have something to refer to and fall back on. It’s also helps you to act fairly and consistently with all your staff members.

 

HOW I CAN HELP YOU 🤗

Fear not. You’re not alone. There are loads of ways I can help you.

👉First up, take my quick quiz to assess your leadership skills and identify what you need to work on.

👉Then, book a FREE 30-minute consultation with me, to see how I might be able to help you.

TO SUM THINGS UP THEN

👥Many small business owners, whether they choose to admit it or not, find people management one of the hardest jobs to do. So, you’re not alone

☹There are lots of reasons for this. From employees not doing what they’re asked to do, to staff always moaning. It can all take its toll

😡It’s worth thinking about what it actually is, that’s getting on your goat. Ask yourself if you’ve got any evidence to substantiate that

😨Tough as it is to imagine, YOU could be the at the heart of the problem. How? By not having honest conversations with your staff, or through failing to delegate tasks

🤔Changing your mindset helps. Accept that in order to grow your business, you need staff, so you’re gonna have to make it work

🗣There are loads of things you can start doing to make the situation better. For example, through giving ‘on-the-spot’ feedback to your employees to help them perform better. Or, by stepping away from micro-managing your people

❤Remember, there are ways I can help too, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch

 

Mandy Hamerla

Mandy Hamerla​


Virtual HR Director & Leadership Mentor. I create game-changing HR & Hiring Strategies for ambitious small businesses in the UK and support you to lead your team with confidence. Check out my shop to download HR Templates & Contracts designed to make life easier. 

​www.modernhr.co.uk