Managers have a lot to juggle. In addition to concrete problems involving strategy and finances, managers also have to deal with less tangible issues that affect attitudes and relationships.
There's no easy fix for every dilemma, but there are tools out there to help you minimise challenges and (with a little perseverance) even make some of them go away entirely. One of those tools is TINYpulse. TINYpulse gives managers a way to identify and address the human issues that are preventing their teams from reaching their full potential.
Check out our roundup below of six management problems that TINYpulse can help you solve.
1. Problem: Burning issues are addressed too late
By the time an annual survey rolls around, your most talented employee might already be looking for opportunities elsewhere. Managers are often blindsided when a top performer hands in their two-week notice and can’t help but wonder why they failed to spot the tell-tale signs the employee was unhappy.
Solution: Get real time feedback
No manager is a mind reader. In order to discover and address problems before they develop, employees need to voice concerns as soon as they arise. But even with an open door policy, encouraging that sort of behaviour can be difficult. That’s where TINYpulse comes in. TINYpulse allows managers to collect and respond to feedback when it’s most relevant - right away.
For the CEO of LeaderSync, Frances Roy, collecting regular feedback to help her managers become better leaders was a top priority:
“Getting information in real time through TINYpulse enables us to look at where some of our gaps are and what we need to be doing in terms of developing our leaders to improve our culture.”
2. Problem: Communication breakdowns with remote workers
Despite technological advances, communicating with someone far away just isn't quite the same as if they were sitting in the same room. Language barriers, time zones and cultural misunderstandings can exacerbate the problem and lead to feelings of frustration for all involved.
Solution: Bring communication problems out in the open and address them head-on
Small perpetual problems associated with remote workers are often left to linger in the background. With TINYpulse, these issues are brought out in the open through anonymous suggestions, leading to swift and decisive action to drive positive change.
TINYpulse can also help increase camaraderie across different office locations. It's easy to create a sense of team spirit with the folks you eat lunch with everyday, but not so much with someone you've never met in person. After signing up for TINYpulse, Chief of Staff at Crescent Bank, Stephen Notarianni, found that TINYpulse’s Cheers for Peers feature helped foster those emotional connections.
“TINYpulse solved a problem that I was personally trying to solve, which was bringing everybody together across all our locations. Cheers for Peers has been a huge success. People are really engaging with it and getting back in touch with one another to say ‘thank you for doing that’. We have so much to do culture-wise in our organisation but we’ve already kick-started this feel good factor from everyone praising each other and acknowledging people in other offices. I’d say that’s been one of the most positive changes so far.”
3. Problem: Assumptions are made about employee needs
When you’ve worked at an organisation for a long time, it’s easy to forget that less-tenured employees are not as well versed in the finer details of the business. Sometimes, quite by accident, institutional knowledge and access to important resources exist in bubbles, cut off from many team members. This can lead to inefficiencies, poor performance and ultimately, disengagement.
Solution: Gather hard data to find out how to best serve your team
Take the guesswork out of managing your employees’ interests by asking them what they need to be successful in their roles. Through TINYpulse, managers can then aggregate the data to identify trends and measure progress over time. For TINYpulse admins, the red flags uncovered by this data are sometimes ones that take them by surprise.
Take One Click, for example - an e-commerce company run by Angie Stocklin and her husband, Randy. After signing up for TINYpulse, the husband and wife duo were shocked to discover how much employees didn’t know about the company. To address this, they overhauled their onboarding process to include a ninety minute training from the CEO on culture, values and expectations. They also organised meet and greets so new hires could forge connections with people in other departments.
By measuring sentiment through TINYpulse, One Click were able to spot negative trends and ensure past mistakes were not repeated for new hires.
We all have to experience awkward conversations at some point in our careers. These discussions could be about something small like a missed deadline, or something truly painful like a problem at home that’s affecting work. Nobody likes to be the instigator of these conversations and that often means they never take place at all. Before long, there’s an elephant in the room and talking about it becomes harder and harder.
Solution: Give employees a way to communicate with you anonymously
Discover the deeper issues at hand by giving employees a way to communicate anonymously. TINYpulse gives employees a way to provide feedback, post suggestions and send recognition - safe in the knowledge that they can’t be identified. Unlike with traditional annual surveys, TINYpulse allows managers to reach out to employees who have expressed unhappiness to ask for further clarification, while never revealing the recipient. This provides employees a way to engage in a candid dialogue with their admin, without compromising anonymity.
For employees at Art to Remember, speaking candidly is actively encouraged. In fact, candor is one of their core values. Yet, when CEO Bill Boncosky first joined the company, he admits this was more of an aspirational value and the team had a long way to go before he could claim otherwise.
“What I really liked about TINYpulse was the fact it was a platform for candor to start to come out because of the anonymity of it. When I engaged in dialogue with employees through private messages and they could tell I didn't know who they were, people felt safe. I then started to see more candor throughout the organisation outside of TINYpulse. It really helped us down the road to candor becoming a true core value rather than an aspirational core value.”
5. Problem: Employees feel they don't have a voice
Offices are not prisons: employees are free to leave at any time and will do so if they feel exploited or oppressed. In most organisations, management has the best of intentions when it comes to giving their team a say in decisions that will impact them. But the reality is that employees often don't speak out against policies they disagree with for fear of repercussions. Or they might believe their views will be ignored or brushed off as unimportant when aired to management.
Solution: Give employees a platform on which to speak their minds
Let employees voice their suggestions in a way that is transparent and establish a clear process around how those suggestions are handled. Through the TINYpulse dashboard, coworkers can up-vote suggestions provided by their peers and feel empowered when their ideas are turned into ‘Wins’. All suggestions are anonymous so no bias exists when it comes to responding or commenting on opinions from a particular sender. With TINYpulse, no voice is too small.
Cindy Larson, an office manager at Wheelhouse Digital Marketing Group, has witnessed this cultural shift towards employee empowerment firsthand:
"TINYpulse gives our company a more democratic feel. Now, employees feel like they are leading initiatives and leading changes. Not only are they providing solutions, but we can participate in prioritising things together - rather than leaving it to management to decide how things will be prioritised."
6. Problem: Employees don't feel recognised for their achievements
A 2017 study found that 66% of employees say they would quit their job if they felt unappreciated. Most managers point to salary as the most important aspect of employee recognition. But salary increases and promotions are spaced months, or even years apart. How managers recognise hard work in the interim period is crucial to driving motivation and maintaining morale.
Solution: Make recognition part of your everyday routine
Recognition doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. A quick but heartfelt 'thank you' can go a long way. TINYpulse's Cheers for Peers feature offers a fun and convenient way to do just that. Cheers for Peers makes it easy, not only for managers to recognise employees but also for employees to recognise each other. Cheers are displayed for the whole team to see, which provides an added benefit for managers: you'll have more visibility into the work your team do for other people, giving you a better insight into how individuals are performing.
Some of Cheers for Peers' oldest fans include the folks over at Hubspot. In a blog post produced by the Hubspot Product and Engineering Team, Mike Champion explains how the feature has had a positive effect on company culture:
"Surface-level perks like ping pong tables and free food are great, but at the end of the day, employee engagement comes down to the people you work with. Encouraging employees to recognize each other's hard work and talent, even with something quick and easy like a Cheers, can make a big difference in their day-to-day."
Keeping your team engaged is a never-ending task. So why not make things easier by equipping yourself with the best tool for the job? You wouldn't try to hammer a nail with a screwdriver - people management is no different. With TINYpulse data at your fingertips, you can strengthen morale, direct energy towards what really matters and start addressing the issues that are holding your team back from success. Give TINYpulse a try and find out how the right tool can help you get ahead as a manager.
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