Five Rules for Successful Staff Management

If you manage people, or wish to manage people, you must know the rules for solving staff problems. Examples:

“How should I treat Jenny when she gives me the silent treatment?”

“What should I do about this conflict between Steve and Pete?”

“How should I respond when people want favors from me?”

If you are not yet a manager of people, you soon will be one, IF you follow these rules whenever you can.

An article by L. Ron Hubbard called “How to Fill Jobs” outlines seventeen rules. Here are five of those rules.

1. Do not expect to improve your status or popularity with your staff members by giving them raises. Instead, just do your job and lead your group.

For example, one of your employees says, “Come on Boss, I really need that raise. I have to pay my rent and am desperate. I would consider it a personal favor and will be very, very happy if you give me the raise. Okay?”

You say, “Sorry Jed. No raise. Maybe if you improve your productivity for a few months we can discuss it. Let’s get to work on that project as we’re already behind.”

2. People will work very hard IF you have them do the work they agreed to do when they were hired.

For example, your computer system crashes and 5000 records need to be entered by your data-entry staff ASAP. Because they were hired to do data entry, you say, “I know this will be hard, but you people need to get these 5000 records entered by the end of the day, even if you need to work all night. And then by the end of tomorrow, you need to catch up your regular work, as well.”

The data-entry staff grumble a bit, but soon they are working harder than ever. They laugh about having pizza for dinner and decide they can finish by 7 pm. They are doing the work they agreed to do when they were hired.

If you were stupid and ordered them to clean up the basement ASAP, they would be quite unhappy!

3. Pay attention to your staff’s work. Make regular comments about their performance.

For instance, you say, “Good job on getting those 5000 records entered by 7 pm!”

If you ignore them, they believe you do not care what they do.

4. Do not play favorites or form a clique (a small, exclusive group).

For instance, someone says, “Boss, a few of us want to buy you lunch.”

You say, “Great! Let’s bring the whole team.”

5. Demand excellent work standards.

For example, one of your staff says, “I will mail these statements even though they are a little crooked. The copier messed up, but you can still read them.”

You say, “Throw them away and do it right. Learn to use the copier or get it fixed. We’re professionals, okay?”

L. Ron Hubbard summarizes with this advice: “If you do all these fairly well, you’ll really make it. You only have to be 51% right all the time to win. Just make sure the 49% loses don’t include anything important.” — L. Ron Hubbard