As managers lead their teams and projects, they strive for improvement in each aspect of their work. Specifically, the most effective improvement opportunities likely exist with how managers manage their employees- individually and as a collective team.
Here are tips on how to avoid the 3 most common mistakes that managers make with their employees- and, how they can work to avoid these mistakes in 2015.
1) Ask employees for their feedback and then don’t do anything about it
It is admirable to ask employees for feedback- especially if you are truly planning on considering using it for positive change. Employees long to be relevant- they long to be an integral part of the organization and often have ideas and experience that they happily will share and that when implemented will make significant improvements. If you are asking your employees to put the time and effort into providing feedback- either formal or casual, it is imperative that that feedback is given the respect that it deserves. Communicate back to the employee (s) what was done with their feedback and what changes, if any, are implemented as a result.
2) Measure performance and then don’t coach employees
Measuring performance – through the use of mystery shopping, customer surveys or observations- provides a basis for organizational improvement. It's what you do with this information that will make the difference in whether the work was worth the effort. Once data is collected, be sure to provide timely feedback and coaching to your employees. Immediate feedback is essential to shaping behavior. Note areas of success (what was great!) and opportunity (where did we fall short?) to provide praise and tips or examples on how to deliver on performance expectations.
3) Expect results from your team without understanding your own management style
Open, honest, timely communication goes a long way in establishing trusting, healthy work relationships- and results. How can we improve our communication and effectiveness? Start with understanding yourself, what you prioritize, and why you behave, react, or think the way you do- then, seek the same out in your employees. Learn what drives their behaviors and what they prioritize. This will allow you to better communicate with your employees by not only being aware of your similarities and differences, but also acting on them.
Taking on all three of these at once may be a bit overwhelming. Instead- choose the one that you think would be the easiest for you to implement. Make it a priority. Practice the behavior every day. Then, once it is a habit, begin to incorporate the second and then the third. Before you know it, 2015 will be a year of increasing improvement for you and your employees!
For more information and a guide on how to coach your employees on performance measures, download our "Coaching Guide and Action Plan"!