Managing Employee Performance
Many managers fail to realize how their actions, attitudes, and communications affect the performance of a team or group of employees. They place the responsibility for performance on others and not themselves. Management success only comes when they learn to practice some basic principles of leadership and become someone who the employees wish to follow. Here are seven of these principles.
Most people would agree that a high degree of trust between a manager and employees is essential.
Former UK Prime Minister Harold McMillian is quoted as saying, “A man who trusts nobody is apt to be the man nobody trusts.” Trust is, therefore, at the basis of mutual respect. Managers need to be true to their word and true to their promises. In turn employees develop trust and the manager becomes a leader.
Communicate Effectively with the Team
Communication can be done in many forms such as letters emails, and conversation. With today’s communication technology, emails are easy and convenient. Never underestimate the need for being a good listener. The most effective means of communication is a conversation because it involves listening and immediate feedback.
Create a Team Environment
Be very careful on creating internal competition within a work group. Reward achievement not people. The aim needs to be to get the group to work together, not completely independent, and not in competition.
We once were in a coaching session with a highly dysfunctional sales group. The discussion centered on methods to find new prospective clients. Each person in the group made suggestions and one response was very strange. That person’s response was that if he told his secretive method then anyone could use it. There was no team environment in that room and hence a primary reason for the dysfunction. It was clear that the team leader had not created a team environment.
Understand the Goals of the Organization
Any good manager does not try to keep organizational goals a secret. The key here is to continuously discuss those goals so that they are included in the daily decision making by people within the work group. Goals may include a wide variety of areas including financial, growth, quality, delivery performance, and customer service. Achievement of goals needs to be celebrated. Goals which are not being achieve need to be prioritized and plans developed to redirect activities in those areas.
Lead the Team by Example
The example set by a manager or leader sets the tone for the actions of employees. If a manager talks negatively about a customer, others will do the same. If a manager comes to work late every day, so will others. What you do, you teach.
Help People Grow and Develop
The most productive and motivated employees will not settle for the status quo. They are interested in developing new skills and increasing their worth to their employer. If you don’t foster that advancement they go to someone else, who will. That someone may be in another company or organization. Encourage them to be involved in educational programs and assign them new responsibility, from which they can learn.