Getting Results Through Other People
The job of a manager is to get results through the employees who report to that manager. It is not the job of the manager to get results by doing the work that his employees should be doing. Nevertheless, that is often what happens in the workplace, leaving the manager to do their own work at night or on the weekends. So what should a manager be doing?
- Establish guidelines for how you will support your employees from Day 1 of their employment, including how you will work together, when support will be available, your expectations for their performance on the job and any possible career path that is available to the employee.
- Meet regularly with each direct report to discuss what is going well and provide support for the employee’s areas of challenge.
- Provide clarity regarding the result, work and standards that are the employee’s accountability. This is best done in the form of a “Position Agreement” which offers more clarity than a job description and includes standards that create shared expectations.
- Build and implement the systems that clarify how the work will be done to create shared expectations.
- Introduce your direct reports to these systems by holding training session that ensure understanding and offer an opportunity for practice and challenges that arise.
- When something goes wrong, offer a safe and private conversation about what went wrong and ask more than tell.
A Manager vs. A Management System
Most companies have managers, but not all have a Management System. A Management System offers a unifying approach to maximizing your team’s performance based on respect, trust, shared expectations, agreement and accountability. It also offers regular individual meetings that give recognition for excellent performance as well as support for challenges that occur. A Management System also provides tools for resolving a conflict and giving and receiving feedback that builds trust and a safe place to tell your manager the bad news and not just the good news. Without a Management System, often employees only hear from their Manager when something goes wrong. That can set up a fear-based relationship instead of one based on trust. Managers have different styles. Some will naturally do many of the things I mentioned here to support their employees. But others won’t. To create consistency company-wide, a Management Systems is a unifying force that encourages connection and engagement in what’s possible for the employee and their contribution to the workplace. Managers should be seen as a safe haven and not someone to avoid at all costs.
A Management System has the potential to create a foundation of trust that serves employees as well as the business. How does this apply to your company? Call Janice at 707-326-5681 for a complimentary conversation specific to your business environment.