Category: Professional Development

Effective Management: Developing Your Employees, Building Teams & Growing a Department

Have you been told you’re too friendly to be an effective manager or leader? It’s not your job to be liked. Your job is to be the be the most effective leader and manager you can be for your employees and team.

Measure your effectiveness as a leader and manager on:

  1. How well you understand what your employees highest potential is
  2. How well you help the employee realize what their highest potential is
  3. How much of that you are developing and unlocking

Developing Your Employees

An effective manager provides their employees clear direction, goals, expectations and feedback as well as an overall understanding of where they fit in and what’s next for them.

  • If you asked all of your employees if they know where they currently stand, do they REALLY know where they stand?
  • Would their overall response be “I think I’m doing pretty well?”
  • 85% of employees say that career growth is the key reward at an organization. If we asked your employees what’s next for them and their career, do they have a clear vision and pathway from you?

Actionable item: Create a list all of your employees and next to each one write a sentence or two summarizing where they REALLY stand. Then tell them – directly, with support and candor. Get the dialogue started on their career. Ask them “what’s next” for them.

Building Your Team

An effective manager has a relentless pursuit for uncovering deep-rooted problems within their team, candidly discussing problems and solutions with a key group of people, then implementing and driving a plan to completion.  As much as you would like to think your employees tell you what’s wrong, there only telling you what you want to hear. The essential pieces of feedback are left unsaid and you’ve got to make it your mission to find it.

  • Are you being honest and transparent with yourself and your team about the REAL issues plaguing your department, employees, or team? What are the issues people are talking or thinking about, that they are not willing for comfortable to discuss.
  • Are you discussing the tough issues with your core team weekly and working with them to find solutions?
  • How frequent are your one on ones? Not the “How’s everything going” one on ones, but the “tell me what’s really busted in our department” one on ones.

Actionable Item: Go on a fact finding mission throughout the week. Solicit employees for their feedback and let them know you want to hear ALL the issues so you can start addressing the problems. Meet with your core team on Friday and prep them to come to the meeting with the top departmental issues, top people issues, and top opportunities. Use the Friday meeting as an nondiscriminatory brainstorming session, prioritize the issues order, and then over the weekend develop the directives for the upcoming week based on the feedback session.

Growing Your Department

A well run department has specific work guidelines, consistent communication of goals and progress, clear performance expectations from its members, and strong reinforcement and adherence to those performance expectations.

  • Do your employees have a defined structure with clear boundaries, defined roles, and know their work expectations?
  • Are members clearly and immediately addressed when expectations are not met?
  • How well would your team rate the quality and frequency of your group communication relating to the progress and goals of the department and how it fits into the organization and strategy?

Actionable Item: Create a list of general performance expectations. Print out the job descriptions that each employee received and make sure that they are current; expectations are clear, and the job duties and roles are still relevant. If they aren’t, then you need to rewrite them immediately and re-establish job role and duties with your employee.

How to Deal With Stress at Work

As a business owner I deal with a lot of stress and frustration. If I’m not careful it can easily get the best of me.

Issues ranging from implementing something simple but it unexpectedly doesn’t work, employee relations or management issues, general anxiety or worry about the performance or future of the company, flawed processes or cultural bottlenecks within the organization, or just people that do stupid things because they lack common sense.  Depending on the level of the frustration or problems I encounter, I have to keep reminding myself to put things in perspective. I’ve trained my brain to do this.

Here’s how I deal with stress during the workday:

Minor Frustrations/Problems:  I tell myself that businesses exist to solve problems. If there were no problems to solve, there would be no need for businesses. I’ve learned to welcome problems as challenges, realizing it’s the only way for my business to grow and evolve. Learning strategies and developing skills to manage problems also helps me grow personally and professionally, just like developing muscles working out. Come at me.

Moderate Frustrations/Problems:  I reflect back and think about similar past challenges that were easily overcome, reminding myself that issues like these had no real threat to me or the organization. I separate the fear from anxiety. Why waste time and energy causing myself excessive amounts of stress when I’ve dealt with these types of issues before? I’ve got this.

Major Frustrations/Problems:  I remind myself that building a business isn’t easy, and most people won’t ever attempt the things that I have. I step back and think about what I’ve accomplished and overcome, reflecting on everything that’s good in my life; my wonderful family, good supportive friends, and my own health and well-being. Wasting energy on and anxiety and worry is an exercise in futility. Life is good.

How do you deal with stress at work?