Management is more of an art than a science. Every person is different, which requires a manager to understand each person separately rather than managing everyone in the same way. Saying something to an employee in one way can be interpreted by another employee in a completely different way.
One thing that does change when managing people is holding them accountable to their work.
While the style or approach a manager takes with people may be different, each employee must be held accountable for their work regardless of what part of the business they function in. This is very important in a small business where roles can often be shared, changed, and undefined due to the growing culture.
David Schnurman, CEO of Lawline.com, believes in order to make people accountable for their actions agreements must be in place. “I learned early on in starting my own company that people will do their best work on things they want to do or enjoy. This is why when I speak to my employees I want them to tell me they can do something or they will get the work done.”
David believes in asking people if they can complete tasks rather than telling them.
“If I say to an employee ‘Create 40 new CLE courses for us this month’ this is an order coming from me. They can easily tell me at the end of the month that I have set the bar too high for them and it was impossible for them to get the work done. But if I ask them ‘Do you think you can create 40 CLE programs this month?’ then it becomes an idea they are agreeing to. They have the choice to say no and suggest a different number, but now it has become their idea.”
This accountability and management style is what has allowed Lawline.com to grow with confidence to now 35 employees! (with more on the way!)