Management is, in part, largely reliant on the professional relationships you maintain, the company culture you contribute to, and the systems that help keep both in place.
Managers have to be good organisers, confident communicators, and empathetic leaders. But it shouldn’t be believed that it’s all down to personality and interpersonal interaction. Data is the other half of management, and you can make it work not against the human element, but in tandem with it.
Meeting your goals
Some of the easiest data to measure is simply how productive the team is. With effective KPIs, you can better understand how each individual gets on with different work processes and how on track they are to completing recurring or long-term goals.
If people start to fall under what you consider acceptable levels in certain KPIs, there are a variety of ways to address it, too. You can tell them to work harder, but you can also find aspects of the process and the current way of doing it that isn’t working, or you can help them better organise their working day so they’re more likely to get more done.
Rewarding your team
The individual’s effort is very much a part of how productive they are likely to be, of course, so you shouldn’t ignore it entirely. Rather than solely focusing on disciplining those who fail their targets, however, you can better incentivise those who meet them or exceed them.
HRMS systems allow you to track different work processes and can inform the KPIs you measure to give you a more complete picture of why people fail or succeed their targets.
But it can also help you find the people most deserving of rewards and set incentive levels within reach of most of the team so that standards will continue to improve across the board.
Shifting incentives alongside progress allows you to keep fostering a more productive, motivated workplace.
Finding lost time
It requires help from the members of the team, but identifying sources of lost time can help you streamline the business dramatically.
There are a lot of little issues that can cause lost time. Inefficient communication, hardware or software failure, distraction. Some are internal, related to low motivation, that your employers might be less inclined to share.
External sources of distraction and interruption are as much of a pain to them as they are to the business. Start asking people to log the time they lost working and why. From there, you can better identify the biggest culprits and find ways to deal with them.
For instance, you can provide more privacy in an office that’s too open and causes too much background noise for many to focus, or you can switch to a new software suite if the current one is proving too cumbersome or unintuitive.
Data might seem like it’s uncaring and unfeeling, but the truth is that it can help you understand a lot more than just productivity. It can also help you better understand motivation, incentive, and engagement with work.
With the understanding and insight that a good manager should bring to the table, it will help you steer a much better course for the team.