Management is a hard enough job with all the dynamics with people that are involved. Everyone has their own preferences of doing things, and then you have your goals as a leader. The two may not necessarily align.
But over the years working with many different organizations, I have found some powerful ways to get the alignment that works. It does not happen overnight. In fact, there’s a great deal of vigilance that a manager has to focus on.
Ultimately, you are building culture. And culture is a double-edge sword. It is hard to build and also hard to change. That’s a good thing if you have great culture. It’s discouraging when you have bad culture.
If you find yourself having the same problems repeatedly in your organization, here are some guidelines to managing your organization in a world-class way. You have to put in the right systems and process that produce culture:
- Build a strong onboarding process. You have to have a personal coaching process for new employees. It cannot be accidental. Defining what is expected and training around these with continual reviews is critical.
- Create a personal coaching approach. You cannot read your employee’s mind. They don’t want to tell you when they don’t know something. Therefore, it’s important to build trust and continual collaboration with ongoing coaching. A great way to do this is to spend their first day setting up a Yammer Private Network where you and the person will collaborate. Tell them to post questions using their iPhone or Android anytime they think about it. Make it an ongoing dialogue area. It becomes a virtual and convenient FAQ area that they can use. You may have to prompt them, but the expectation should be daily and frequent postings.
- Define a clear, concrete metric. You have to quantify what you are expecting. Build a scorecard on what success looks like for this person. Keep it to 1 to 2 metrics. Then have a third party, perhaps an assistant, post this metric in your Yammer Network daily or weekly. Having the metric front and center helps your employee understand if they are succeeding or failing. It also allows you to engage around facts and clear agreements up front to avoid any ambiguity on what is expected.
- Know what is going on. If you have everyone on your team collaborating and knowing their scorecard, then you can watch continuous data flow. Namely, this would be posts with you or posts between people. It gives you control by seeing data streams – conversations – flow. You may have to mandate this, and most likely will have to, as a leader. If you get alignment around collaboration, then you have control. That control allows you to make effective business decisions towards goals that matter.
Ultimately, you are building culture. People should be accountable to a concrete metric. They should be sharing their knowledge in a system.
You should know what is happening and what people are thinking continually. Otherwise, you are spending a lot of time managing by feelings. And this can become ambiguous and frustrating.
If you want to have a more powerful way of managing your people, then start working at this or feel free to connect with me.