The Management Blog
Tips & advice to help you improve your performance
Sooner or later, unless you’re a brilliant manager or extremely lucky, you will get a situation where two members of your team have a disagreement. This may result in conflict and you have to do something about it.
Most conflicts occur because of a role conflict. It’s seldom these days that it’s a personality conflict where two people can’t stand to be in the same room with each other. So how do you deal with a situation that requires your input? Learn More
Ask why a person joins a sales team, and they will normally answer because of the quality of the manager. Ask why they stay with that team and it’s usually because of the quality of the manager. Ask why they leave, and it’s often because of the quality of the manager.
You play a vital role in keeping the team together. Your position is vital in raising or decreasing the morale and motivation of the team. We have often seen people on our courses who are complaining about how things are in their working environment.
When questioned about this, it invariably comes down to how their immediate manager is handling things that will determine how this person will react long-term.
As manager, we know that we have to spend time specifically with individuals within our team. But what can you specifically do to make sure these team members are kept motivated, energised and convinced they should add their time and efforts to your team goals?
Here are some ideas:
* Practice participative management: People closer to the front line have more day-to-day experiences of what actually happens in the real world, whether it’s on the shop floor, in front of the customer or out in the field.
By tapping into this knowledge, you can find out exactly what’s going on and identify how you can help people achieve their goals. Participative leaders know they don’t know all the answers, and they encourage their team to share information on what they see as the best way forward.
Listen closely. They may have some golden nuggets that you hadn’t thought of before.
* Be clear in your expectations: Unclear expectations will only cause confusion and negativity. A laser will burn a hole in piece of material that a flashlight never could.
Similarly, a clear, specific, focused objective can be the key to ensuring quality results pinpointed in exactly the right areas.
* Build their self-esteem: This has been described as the degree to which people feel praiseworthy. By building people’s self-confidence in what they are doing, you tap into the potential that is inside every person, and you create a base from which to build great results.
Keep any praise genuine, honest and non-patronising. The self-worth you build in your team will be well worth the time and effort you put in.
* Keep the lines of communication open: People kept in the dark feel lost and can start rumours based on what they think the meaning is of being short-changed in the communication stakes.
Don’t add fuel to the inevitable rumour fire by keeping information to yourself. Each person has a deep need to feel they a part of something bigger than themselves and if you refuse to communicate, they will defensively recoil back into their own area of security. That should be the last thing you want, so make sure you keep those lines open.
* Remember the three keys of motivation: Reward, Recognition, Responsibility. They have to be made in unison, as it will not be very uplifting if someone gets the responsibility they’ve been craving, the recognition for a job well done, and no reward for it.
Make sure there’s some cohesion between the three, and you’ll tap into the potential that lies in everyone.
All the above will provide reasons for loyalty, commitment and motivation if you approach it correctly and follow through on your promises. The effective team manager will create a great team, concentrated on results and high achievement.
Stephen Covey wrote a business best-seller in the 1990’s that is still very relevant today, called ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’. If you haven’t got a copy, shame on you. Get one quickly. Learn More
In a previous blog, we discussed the benefits of listening effectively, a communications skill highly prized in all business settings. By improving our listening skills, we prove ourselves knowledgeable and create excellent rapport with the person we’re speaking to. Learn More
What are the characteristics of High-Performing teams?
Many companies have asked us to help build efficiencies and effectiveness within their teams, and we have noticed key similarities between the most successful ones. Here is our list of characteristics of team that tend to do well in all sorts of organisations: Learn More
Many managers practice strategic planning because it offers a clear vision and direction for their department. It’s necessary because, without it, you are driving in the dark with no lights. You’ll get to your destination, maybe, but it will be difficult and take a lot of effort and concentration.
So why should strategic planning be on your list of priorities?
Strategic planning serves a variety of purposes. Here are some of them:
1. It clearly defines the purpose of your business and establishes goals and objectives consistent with that purpose within a stated time frame
2. It allows you to communicate those goals and objectives to the stakeholders.
3. It helps you develop a sense of ownership of the plan.
4. You get the most effective use of your resources by focusing them on the key priorities.
5. You provide a base for measurable progress and establish a process for change when needed.
6. You can listen to everyone’s opinions and build a natural journey towards success for your department
7. You provide a clearer focus for your department, producing more efficiency and effectiveness.
8. It creates a link in working practices between the team and higher management.
9. It develops cohesion between all team members.
10. Everyone sings the same vision statement from the same song-sheet.
11. It increases productivity because of effective goal channeling.
12. It helps solve most major directional inefficiencies in the business.
So there’s many reasons why strategic planning helps you in the short and long-run.
Here’s what you should consider when you are making the strategy:
Mission and Objectives
This is your business vision, including your values and purposes and visionary goals that drive you forward.
You can then perform an industry analysis using a framework like Michael Porter’s five forces.
Then you can match your strengths to the opportunities identified in Porter’s analysis, while addressing its weaknesses and external threats.
To get greater profitability, you seek to develop a competitive advantage. This can be based on cost or differentiation. Michael Porter identified three industry-independent generic strategies from which the firm can choose.
The strategy is then implemented through a series programs, budgets, and procedures. You need to look at your resources and motivation of staff to achieve your objectives.
Evaluation & Control
When you put the strategy into operation it must be monitored and adjustments made as needed.
Take these steps when you evaluate and control:
1. Define parameters to be measured
2. Define target values for those parameters
3. Perform measurements
4. Compare measured results to the pre-defined standard
5. Make necessary changes
When all these have been done satisfactorily, you are well on your way to achieving the goals of strategic planning, and giving yourself and your team the opportunities to achieve the objectives you have aimed for.