Small-business managers should not treat every employee the same.

Tips for small business managers

Posted on 2/6/14 9:00:00 AM

Being a small business manager is a lot like coaching an athletics team. The manager, like the coach, is responsible for the day-to-day operations, practices and procedures the team or company is asked to carry out.

Often times the manager or coach gets more blame than necessary when the team or business fails to perform up to standards, but the same is also true on the opposite end of the spectrum, when success is prevalent. Thus, too much praise is heaped on a manager or coach when his or her team or business is on the winning side. That's just the peril of doing business, and it's something that most people in those positions understand.

But like coaches with their players, a small business manager should not treat every employee in the same manner, according to a recent report from Fox Business. A coach isn't going to treat his star quarterback the same way he deals with the gunner on the punt return team.

But in business, shouldn't every employee be treated the same?

Fox Business said that line of thinking is a bit skewed. Every employee is different and will react to situations in their own individual way. If you're a manager treating every employee the same, a customized management approach might be more effective when engaging with staff.

Fox Business gave a few examples of common management activities where the manager should reassess treating everyone the same.

1. Doling out praise or feedback. Some employees require additional attention to keep them motivated. But whether it is a social compliment or a pat on the back for a job well done, not everyone in the office will need praise or feedback to perform at a top level.

Likewise, certain employees might relish the opportunity to speak in front of a group of colleagues or peers. Others might have no interest in speaking in front of a group, or even worse, despise the idea of public speaking. By customizing your management approach to fit the individuals of your workplace, it will be easier to find the right ways to keep employees productive.

2. Disciplining an employee. Certain people handle discipline or criticism extremely well. Other employees might be more sensitive to being called out, which could lead them to stop taking risks in fear of losing their job.

Fox Business said traditional management techniques typically address discipline with a gentle approach, often telling employees to look for a different way of doing things in the future. This softer approach might work great for some people, but others need a harsher critique to hit home.