Employee management is never an easy task.

And the more employees you have, the harder it becomes. But just because it’s difficult, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Finding what works for your management style is key, so check out our employee management techniques for improving productivity below, then let us know what worked for you!

1. Take Advantage of Employee Management Apps

If you’ve ever wished that there “was an app for that” there probably is. There is an app for everything these days and employee management is no exception. Though there are dozens of apps out there that can help you manage staff more efficiently, WhenIWork is one of those tools that will revolutionize how you manage employees. This handy dandy app allows you to create your staff schedules from the convenience of your phone, while individual employees can request shift changes from their mobile device. Adopting employee management apps not only assist you in communicating hours to your staff, but also free up time for you to work on more pressing issues in your business or personal life.

Man using an employee management app on his phone.

2. Adopt an iPad-Based POS System

An iPad-based POS system is not only a great tool for creating a streamlined point of sale experience and for developing exceptional inventory management techniques, but it’s also a powerful tool for employee management. In addition to keeping track of employee hours, it can help you identify top performing employees, assist with shift allocation and help prevent employee theft. Interested in learning more about POS systems and employee management? Check out 4 Ways POS Software Employee Reporting Can Change Your Business.

3. Get to Know Your Employees

We know that running a small business doesn’t allow for much free time, so getting to know your employees might often take a back seat to more pressing issues such as inventory management and sales reports. But going beyond the initial conversation in your one-on-one interviews is an essential step for successful employee management. Remember, your staff is the life and blood of your business. And happy staff means happy customers, which means more sales. Find the time to grab coffee with a new employee (or an old one for that matter) and learn what their career and life goals are. You’ll not only foster a healthier working environment, but could discover hidden talents among your employees you didn’t know were there.

SEE ALSO: 10 of the Most Inspiring New Year’s Resolutions for Retailers

Bearded men toasting with beer at a bar table.

4. Reward Exceptional Performance

Everyone appreciates a hearty thank you. But if you hire the right employees for your business, at some point you’re going to want the go the extra mile and reward outstanding performances. Before you go off worrying that this sounds expensive, remember that there are many ways to show your appreciation and reward an outstanding work ethic. We won’t lie and say your employees wouldn’t prefer monetary compensation, but if you’re a small business they are also going to be aware of your financial constraints and appreciate whatever you are able to give. So if cash bonuses are out of the question, there are plenty of other ways to acknowledge their hard work.

Smiling restaurant employee holding a platter of food.

If it’s one specific employee that has gone above and beyond, take that employee out for a cup of coffee after their shift and genuinely thank them. Also, remember that being a positive role model and mentor to your employees can far outweigh any monetary compensation you might provide. If it’s more than a single employee you are looking to show your appreciation to, try ordering in lunch for the entire staff or doing a joint outing to the movies after hours. Depending on the demographic of your employees and the hours available, the options are endless. The important thing is that whether the gesture is large or small, that your employees notice the effort and appreciate the thought.

SEE ALSO: Find the Employee of Your Dreams

5. Streamline Employee Evaluations

For many businesses, employee evaluations can often seem rushed or appear subjective to employees. Streamlining this process will not only make it easier for you to complete but will also give your employees the peace of mind that their hard work is being evaluated appropriately and fairly. So what is the best way to streamline this process you might ask? Defining clear and transparent guidelines for evaluating your employees is the first step. This should be done ASAP well before evaluation time comes. Your staff should never feel sidelined by anything written in their evaluation. Transparency and clear objectives for every employee is key. Whether this is done via a sit-down meeting with each staff member or distributed as a boilerplate form, providing your employees with the guidance and standards on which they will be evaluated is crucial.

A woman sitting with a pad of paper thinking.

The second step for streamlining employee evaluations is to determine how you will gauge specific employee metrics. This is where your POS system comes in handy. Running weekly (or daily) sales-by-employee reports will help you keep track of who on your staff is blowing it out of the water and who is just squeaking by. This will give you a baseline to review with your employees to help them improve their overall performance and reach both their personal and professional goals.

Now that you’ve read a few recommendations for improving your employee management techniques, adapt them for your business as you see fit and take a few out for a test drive. As always, we want to hear your feedback so leave a comment below or tweet us @ShopKeep and let us know what you think!

Sara Sugar

Sara Sugar

As Managing Editor at ShopKeep, a leading iPad Point of Sale System, Sara Sugar uses her distinguished journalism background to boil down small business and point of sale topics.