Here’s the problem with talking about management. Most of our focus seems to be on how managers need to fix bad employees. Which automatically lays the premise that most employees are problematic and need to be fixed. What we don’t talk about is how a manager can be better. This dogmatic affirmation that employees need to be broken down to be rebuilt comes from old-fashioned pragmatisms of organizational hierarchies. Which are just that… old fashioned. Even the most robust followers of a pyramidal theory—like Japan—are shedding this practice.
So how can you be a better manager in the reformist, 2014 sense? You can begin by following these 5 steps.
Step 1: Setting Standards
Management is not about setting goals from behind an iron curtain. It is about setting high, yet achievable standards. Think about management not in terms of being strict or friendly. Think about it in terms of ‘how can I get the best out of my human resource’. Accepting mediocrity does not bring out their best.
Step 2: Recognize the Strong Players
The most disengaged employee will be the one that is an overqualified high performer for the job that they’d been given. A good manager recognizes the high performers and offers them the chance to progress. Letting employees work in their respective areas of interest is rewarding for the company as a whole. What you’re doing is giving the employees a chance at personal and career growth.
Step 3: Keep an Open Door
Create a workplace atmosphere where employees don’t hesitate to come to you with new ideas, issues with coworkers, or simply to discuss their future prospects. The more the centralized workplace is, the more disengaged the employees will be.
Step 4: Address Conflict Straight-On
Conflict does not go away the longer you avoid it, it simple snowballs until it affects the company’s performance. If you address a conflict right away, you will not only be avoiding future complications, you’re sending out the message that you are a hands-on manager.
Step 5: Give Feedback
Once a task is complete and the desired end result has been acquired, there is one more thing left for you to do. Provide feedback to the people involved. Think of it like after sales service. Point out the things you were happy with and give credit. Underline things you want to happen differently next time.
This is Your Playing Field
In all honestly, there is going to be a point in your time as the manager where you’ll be creating your own rules. Don’t be afraid of that. Management guides can only take you so far. As long as you’re self-aware that you cannot possibly do everything yourself, you’ll start putting your employees to good use.