By Abel Pagaling
As a business owner, you want the right staff to work for you or your business goes south. If you’re a manager, you want your employees to be on the spotlight for the right reasons – positive reasons. If you have problematic employees, chances are upper management will start to question your ability to manage staff.
However, a group, no matter how talented, will only go as high as their leader’s ability to lead or manage them. Therefore, management skills are crucial to the success of any manager or employer.
Here are four tips on how to you can take your team to the next level:
- Be clear on the results you want your staff to achieve.
When you buy mutual funds, bonds, or any financial investments, you want to know your expected “return on investment” or ROI. This lets you decide whether to keep your investment or sell. If an investment meets or exceeds your expected ROI, you keep it. If it doesn’t, then you have a decision to make.
The same principle applies to employees. When you hire, you’re making a very big investment. You want the employee to meet or exceed your performance expectations.
The problem arises when there’s no clear expectation for the employees. When a manager or a business owner doesn’t have clear goals for their staff, managing performance becomes subjective. Unclear expectations create unclear efforts. This results in questionable employee performance. This creates emotional tension in the workplace that doesn’t usually end well.
To make sure you’re getting your ROI from your staff, be clear on what they need to achieve and how they can excel in their job. Be clear on the performance you want to see and the result you want them to deliver. Your staff must know exactly how they can meet and over-perform in your organization. This will help you determine whether they stay or go.
- Be FAIR – work with the BEST, coach the AVERAGE, fire your UNDERPERFORMERS
Not all employees are created equal. Some will perform and exceed your expectations; some will not.
Here’s a tip to get the most out of your team’s efforts: Work with your best performers, coach the average, and let go of your underperformers.
“Working” with your best performers mean making sure they get sufficient attention and support from you. These are your high achievers. Reward them. Your presence and praise will keep them motivated and ensure they continue to deliver and exceed your expectations.
For the average, coach them on how they can become high achievers. Present them with opportunities to shine. Partner them with your high achievers. Some of the average workers just need that extra push to tip them over to the high achiever territory.
For your underperformers, let them go. You’d be doing them, yourself, and your company a favor. An underperformer in your organization or team might not be in the right role to begin with. Or they might not be the right fit for your organization. The quicker they move on, the better it will be for everyone. Tolerated underperformers reflect poorly on the manager, which will demotivate your high and average performers.
- Give an honest and timely feedback.
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
In your schooldays, you were constantly graded. Teachers measure your competence. Exams determine your level of understanding. You pass or fail based on these checks and feedback.
It’s no different in the workplace. Timely and honest feedback ensures your employees remain productive. Address behavioural issues you see right away before it turns into bad habits which will hurt your results, and ultimately, your organization.
Don’t sugar coat poor results or poor behaviour? Say it as it is. Be a manager or a business owner who is not afraid to offend your staff. If an issue needs to be addressed, do it quickly and honestly (based it on facts, not assumptions). By having tough discussions when called for, your staff will know that you take your responsibility seriously. It will also show to your organization that you have its best interest at heart.
- Catch them doing the RIGHT stuff.
If you have kids, you know how important it is for them to be appreciated when they are doing something right. It makes them happy. It gives them confidence. They are more likely to repeat the good behaviour because of how you made them feel about it.
The same can be said about the workplace.
An appreciated staff is a motivated staff.
One way to make your staff hate their work is to catch their mistakes constantly but pay little attention to what they do right. If you want them to love coming to work, catch them doing the right things. Appreciate the extra effort they give or do for the company. Recognize their good work and praise them for it. Make them feel valued. This will motivate your staff to keep working for you in good times and bad times.
If you’re an employer, whether as a manager or a business owner, know that you have a significant impact on your employees’ lives. Be the boss they can proudly speak of. Give them clear goals, be fair on your treatment, give them feedback, and catch the great things they do for you.
Abel Pagaling is a co-founder of FCM.
He is a manager, an entrepreneur, a writer, a community servant, and a motivational speaker. His passion is personal development and leadership.
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