Articles tagged "Management Expectations"
Ahhh, this is the wonderful time of year when organizations REQUIRE managers, supervisors, and team leaders sit down with their various team members to conduct one-on-one performance reviews. Doesn't just the thought of holding one of these sessions turn your stomach? If you're like most people it does.
Human beings tend to be creatures of habit. That's good in that we can enhance our efficiencies by doing things over and over again. However, we can also become a bit too comfortable with our habits. When that happens, we don't recognize when our habits are no longer helping us, but are instead hurting us and our businesses.
As business owners, when we become too comfortable with our habits, we don't recognize when they're hurting us.
I've been working with several business owners to help them each break just one habit that's no longer helpful to them and their businesses. Each business owner's habit is different; yet each habit is causing serious problems for their respective employees and companies.
We've worked with numerous leadership teams over the years who have needed to help their team members create basic Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s), document critical processes, and identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These actions help the leadership teams and their employees understand more clearly, what each employee needs to do to help their respective organization move forward, what can be further systematized, and what the results are showing you.
However, all of the documentation in the world isn't going to ensure the employees actually do any of the critical processes they help create. Simply developing the resource guides doesn’t change the way employees do their jobs. Changing behaviors does. But changing behaviors also takes time and follow-up (a.k.a. accountability).
One of our clients experienced this shortly after they had hired a new manager. This manager came to them with a great set of credentials and more than enough experience. In the executive team meetings and leadership strategy sessions, the new manager often discussed the documentation and tracking systems he had put in place with his teams to enhance quality, consistency and cross-training -- all key organizational goals. The systems he shared were simple, clean, and easy for his teams to use. This guy seemed like the answer to my client's prayers!
The only problem was, the new manager wasn't using the new systems himself. In fact, when the executive team conducted their spot checks on all of their direct report managers, they found that this new manager hadn’t used the new procedures in weeks! His teams were following their procedures; he wasn't following his.
Hmmm. You've got a bit of a problem now. How can you expect your employees to implement new systems if your managers don’t? How can you, as executive team members, assure your customers quality is a priority when your managers and supervisors don’t adhere to quality standards themselves? How can you as leaders rest assured that your managers are doing what they say they are? You can’t.
As managers, leaders, or CEO/owners, you like everyone else in your organizations, need basic processes to spot check those critical procedures or key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure what you want to have happen actually happens. You can’t monitor everything – and you don’t need to. You just need to monitor and spot check those procedures or KPIs you determine are critical. You need to manage those procedures that have to be done exactly as specified time and again, as well as those KPIs that will drive your organization forward. When you do that, you'll have systems and tracking metrics that help nudge changes in behaviors. The changing behaviors will change the way your employees do their jobs and the way your managers manage, and how you as leaders, lead.
But this all hinges on a little bit of monitoring – just to make sure what you think is being done is getting done.
I heard another manager suggest it this past week :
No, it's not the least you can do to show your appreciation for your team's dedication. In fact, rewarding perfect attendance is wrong. Let me tell you why.
First, I'll share just a few of the most obvious reasons (we've all experienced in the workplace) as to why it's not a smart management move to reward perfect attendance:
Employees with perfect attendance often:
Come to work when they're sick - OR - when they're contagious.
I don't think I'm alone on this one, but: I DON'T WANT TO GET SICK! Stay home when you're sick and get better there. Don't come to work and spread your germs here. If you're coming into work because you're out of sick leave or you don't want to stay home by yourself, I feel bad for you. However, you're an adult and you need to make the right choice and do what's right for your colleagues. Stay home.
Don't want to disappoint others.
Over the years, I've heard too many managers in client organizations say they come to work when they're sick for fear they'll be viewed negatively by their bosses if they don't come in. So the managers come to work, spread their germs, try to focus, and perform far from optimally. They're doing all of these things while their colleagues try to stay away from them so they don't get sick. (See point #1 above.)
Believe they're irreplaceable.
People achieving perfect attendance often believe no one else can do their jobs. Again, I will be the bearer of bad news: Everyone is replaceable. Yes, I've had to accept the fact that even I am! If no one else can do the job, that employee has too much control on your business, your department, or team. What happens if that employee leaves your organization?
Focus on succeeding at work at the expense of their families and personal lives.
Work can become an escape from personal pressures and difficulties. That's fine. However, when it becomes a hide-out instead of a place for thought and performance, it affects the individual's and the team's performance and again becomes a management issue. The workplace should not become someone's life to the exclusion of everything else.
Fail to use their available leave.
There have been numerous studies on this, but if we don't take time every now and then to get away and recharge, our ability to perform at our best drops. Take the leave you have coming to you. You don't need to go anyplace. Have a "staycation" or do something else relaxing at home or in the local area. Just get away from work and its pressures and recharge yourself.
Now let me share some insights I've provided my clients to help them gain a deeper appreciation as to why rewarding perfect attendance is really not a smart management move.
Pay them to come to work...twice.
If your team members need to be physically present to do their jobs, why would you pay them a bonus for doing what they're supposed to be doing anyway (i.e., Showing up for work to do their jobs)?
When employees take leave or stay away when they're sick, others have to pick up their workload. Invariably having another set of eyes on a process provides opportunities to identify inefficiencies that well-intentioned team members have just learned to deal with and work around.
Overload strong performers.
When employees are out, note how many people have to cover for just one key employee when s/he is out. If three people have to cover for one person, you're probably over-loading a key person. It's time to reallocate tasks, cross-train, develop others, and really show your hard-working team members you are aware and appreciate what they do.
If you want to show your team members you appreciate their work, I applaud you. However, I suggest you show them you appreciate their work by monitoring what they do all year long. Support them by telling them to go home when they're sick and get better. Support them by minimizing the inefficient office systems, equipment, etc they've had to work with and work around. Support them by acknowledging that they've been carrying more than their fair share of the work and you will work with them in bringing others up to speed.
If you want to show your employees you appreciate their dedication, do it. Just do it in a way that actually helps them, the other members of your team, and your organization.
If you were asked to describe your employees, would "motivated" be one of the adjectives you'd use? If not, why not?
If you respond by saying something such as "They just don't care…," or "All they want is a paycheck…," those statements are not true for most employees. Your employees want many of the same things in life you do; things such as a means to provide for and protect their families, strong family and social interactions, a stable work environment, and the opportunity to utilize their skills and be recognized for them.
As an employer, your acknowledgement and support of these basic human needs, leads to more motivated employees. Why? Well, if your employees have these "human needs" fulfilled they're not distracted during work. They're able to focus on production instead of trying to figure out how to deal with a serious family issue or how to reduce their boredom and utilize some skills you haven't tapped yet.
So what does this mean for you the employer. No, you don't have to become a family counseling center or provide babysitting services, but you do have to be aware of your employees' concerns. You need to help them find resources either within your organization or outside that can help them. It also means you need to sit down with employees to find out what skills they aren't using and how you can help them tap them. The sooner basic steps such as these are taken, the sooner your employees' focus returns to production. Once employees can focus on production -- their internal drive and motivation increases.
So ask yourself, "Are my employees motivated? If not, what can I do to get them there?"
Copyright MCMXCIX Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC.