Actively manage staff daily February 4, 2010

Guide early and often.

Managers actively manage staff, causing staff to be more accountable and self reliant. While providing feedback on performance relating to relevant Principles-of and KPI areas ensures that in the Performance Review the employee will be highly assessed, the real value is that employees are performing at their best at all times, resulting in increased job satisfaction, translating to increased productivity.

Manager’s goals must be to ensure that when a staff member leaves G Media, they are an exciting, skilled, empowered, passionate member of society and an advocate for working in the Company.

Performance issues are identified swiftly and addressed appropriately immediately, never ignored, or “let slide”. When errors occur, managers give sharper guidance. If errors persist or if the fit feels wrong, managers help staff to gracefully move on. Managers think, plan, develop, launch and tap good people to be responsible. Professional managers give them authority and hold them accountable.

Some examples include, causing staff to…

  • Observe their own personal energy levels, and take appropriate action
  • Regularly refine the scope of their work
  • Develop general professional skills (responsibility, time management, communication, organisation, writing, speaking, running meetings, etc)
  • Develop ideas and solutions, with the manager’s guidance
  • Explain in their own words what they are doing, and how it helps the business reach its goals
  • Actually apply the company vision and mission to their day to day work
  • Confirm they understand concepts by having them explain back, in their own words
  • Hold themselves accountable to deadlines
  • “Chair” weekly catch ups with their manager on progress, with action items, and performance plans
  • Make the connection between external forces (eg, Global Financial Crises), and the company, impacting their personal circumstances (eg, home loan repayments).
  • Understand what “running a lean business” means, and how it affects them
  • Understand the usefulness and importance of checklists
  • Understand the importance of their Position Description and associated KPI’s
  • Wear the “customer’s hat” often
  • Understand what Business As Usual (BAU) duties are, and why they are important
  • Meet their own hopes dreams and aspirations and associated goals

In addition to this list, professional managers proactively:

  • Provide candid and consistent feedback, and clearly articulated praise
  • Mediate grievances and other workplace relations issues
  • Use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based) goals
  • Manage issues relating to diminished staff performance or unsatisfactory conduct
  • Set team direction and goals and motivate staff to achieve them
  • Ensure staff follow their Detailed Duties Lists

When performance problems occur, they can only ever be the result of one of two things. Either:

  1. The employee refusing to do it (they need to be replaced, soon)
  2. The employee not doing it properly (increase accountability: create or fix process and systems, clear expectations, provide training)

Active management is being aware and having an “ear to the ground” about what staff are doing, outside of performance reviews, daily duties and reporting, so addressing things like extra long lunch breaks, or too many sick days / ciggie breaks, as well as good things like sharing tips on better ways to use software, or working an extra hour to help someone meet their deadline, or doing extra research to understand the true cause of a problem.

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