Lean Wednesday Tip: Target Employee Strengths for optimized performance and employee satisfaction

“Great managers know the importance of recognizing individual employee strengths, praising them when they do a good job, and allowing them to enhance these strengths by giving them projects that require them to use them.”

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E.O.W (End of the Week) Notable Tip: The 4 Struggles of an inexperienced Manager

Happy Friday!

I hope you had a great week. This week I’ve been discussing employee to manager transitions with clients and the problems they have encountered with the newly appointed yet inexperienced manager. You may have witnessed an employee that has been promoted to a managerial position lose their shine as they demonstrate that they don’t actually comprehend the position. Before they were task driven and now they have to think and act strategically. Below I have noted the top 4 struggles that inexperienced managers face:

  • Inability to empower others
  • Poor delegating: Lack of trust of staff to complete tasks
  • Little or no constructive feedback given to staff
  • Lack of focus and/or skills in strategic thinking

Early manager to employee support and coaching in the inexperienced manager’s early years in the company is the best course of action in molding effective managers. Employees do what they see their managers do so make sure you walk the talk!

 

 

E.O.W (End of the Week) Notable Tip: Managing Employees when mistakes are made

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a great week. Today, I want to end this week with the topic of employee management specifically when they make mistakes. In my career, I have seen “Screaming Managers”, those that yell like banshees at their employees when something goes wrong or a mistake is made. Its worse when this is done in front of everyone as the employee’s confidence is being eaten alive coupled with the horrific embarrassment.

Then we have the passive aggressive managers, who say everything is okay but have plans to kick you out the door even if this is your first mistake. An effective and strong manager does not scream nor is passive aggressive. So, “What is the best way to manage an employee when they make a mistake?”

“Effective leaders quickly respond to an employee that has made a mistake. They use firm yet positive language to express how the mistake makes them feel and how it affects the company. They make sure the employee understands what they did wrong and give them a brief moment to digest it. Most importantly, they make it clear to the employee that confidence has not been lost and they are certain the employee will be able to not only correct it but also ensure that it is not repeated. In short, effective leaders don’t erode employee confidence they mold them to be champions.”

4 Step Process for Motivating Employees

Motivating employees effectively takes thorough understanding of what truly motivates them and yourself as the leader of the company. Effective leaders communicate performance expectations and goals clearly. It is more than just a reward for getting a big client or exceeding/meeting a goal. It is about clear expectations, communication, regular feedback and performance measures.

The First step in your employee motivation process journey should be to set realistic goals and standards, develop checkpoints to measure progress, create measures of performance to measure progress and encourage innovation.

The Second step, emphasizes the importance of communicating effectively by imploring that goals and objectives are communicated clearly, resistance to change is handled diplomatically, employee concerns are heard and solutions are developed quickly, you as a leader inspire cooperation and commitment, and the brainstorming of new ideas is encouraged.

The Third step, delves into the regularity of employee feedback. It is critical that a feedback system is established along with timely feedback, constructive criticism and the proper managing of conflict.

The Fourth and last step is about the development and reporting of performance metrics. This involves setting priorities, approving solutions, encouraging continuous improvement by providing educational and training opportunities, managing differences, and providing timely recognition and rewards.

In short, stay abreast of the needs, concerns, and accomplishments of your employees on a daily basis. Your employees are not just seat fillers nor numbers; make an effort to get to know them on a personal level. Take the time to verbally appreciate them everyday and showcase your own motivation.

E.O.W (End of the Week) Notable Tip: Retaining Millennial Talent

Happy Friday!

I hope you had a great week!

Recently, I’ve been reading numerous articles and speaking with clients on the millennial job hopping issues many companies are having. “How can I keep a talented millennial employee from moving on?”, a particular client asked me. I responded immediately with this answer: “Ask them want they want and listen to them!”.

“To keep your millennial talent from moving on to greener pastures you must first ask and listen to what they want. You must have an abundance of educational and training benefits and opportunities. If you offer student loan assistance, you are already a winner. Most importantly, role responsibilities, expectations, and advancement/promotion processes should be made clear to your millennial employees. In short, to increase millennial workplace satisfaction you must take the time to listen to them!”

Lean Wednesday Tip: Client Relations

“Never let a client treat your employees badly and if such incident does occur fire the client immediately. It is of most importance that the clients you work with have cultures that naturally sync with yours. A sale is never worth the mistreatment of your employees.”

Culture Engagement Starts with Top Management

Creating a Word or PowerPoint Culture reference material and distributing to employees on on-boarding day and briefly talking about it in your Monday morning meeting because you feel your employees are not “getting it” is not going to drive any significant results. Human Resources is not the captain when it comes to engaging employees in the company’s culture. Culture is top management responsibility.

Effective leaders are known to practice and support their culture on a daily basis. They integrate visual controls and visual KPI Metrics so that quality, productivity, cost goals and objectives are visibly clear. To quote Dwight Eisenhower, “They never listen to what I said; they always watch what I do.”

For example, if a Procurement Manager sees the CEO ignoring client calls when the culture document states, “Serve the Client”, it would now seem that the culture document is void because the CEO is not practicing it. The Procurement Manager now thinks its okay to ignore vendors/clients because the CEO does.

Leaders should engage with their employees everyday instead of only appearing when there is a problem. By actively participating in all the departments of the company and listening to employees, leaders can use the Voice of the Employee to identify bottlenecks and improve overall employee satisfaction. They also include all employees in the decision-making process by making strategic plans visual and accessible to all employees; and ensure their actions correspond with the company’s written vision and mission statements.

The fault lies with leadership when the employee does not know what she/he is supposed to do, does not know what is expected of them, has no means to assess if the work is being doing properly, nor has the authority or means to correct the process when something is wrong. Effective leaders know the importance of translating the vision and mission of the company into daily activities. They set realistic goals for their employees and provide timely rewards to those who meet them. And offer educational and training opportunities to enhance their employees’ capabilities.

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