Thongtaccong Management

Managers are people who do things right

Month: January 2016

The 10 Golden Rules of Effective Management

The 10 Golden Rules of Effective Management

Even if your job title doesn’t include “manager,” there’s a good chance you’ll have to handle some management duty sometime in your career. And, as an entrepreneur, you’re already a manager, because almost every one of your responsibilities has some management element to it.

In short, your employees are the ones making your vision a reality, and your job is to make sure they do it efficiently.

But being an effective manager is about more than just driving your employees to work harder — or more efficiently. Forcing employees to work a certain way can breed resentment, even disloyalty, while being too soft can lead to bad habits, laziness or boredom. There’s no “right” management style, as each employee and company is going to have an individual perspective.

But there are some universally “wrong” ways to manage. Avoid them by following these 10 “golden” rules of effective management:

1. Be consistent.

This is the first rule because it applies to most of the others. Before your management approach can be effective, it must be consistent. You must reward the same behaviors every time they appear, discourage the same behaviors when they appear and treat every member of your team with an equal, level-headed view.

2. Focus on clarity, accuracy and thoroughness in communication.

How you communicate to your team can dictate your eventual success. When relaying instructions, recapping meetings or just doling out company updates, strive for the clarity, accuracy and thoroughness of your communication. This goes for any other medium, whether that means in-person communication, email or a phone call. Clarity, accuracy and thoroughness are the best way to avoid miscommunication and keep your team on the same page.

3. Set the goal of working as a team.

If you want your team members to work together, have them work for something together. Setting goals just for the department or one individual breeds a limited mentality and forces team members to remain isolated. Instead, give staffers a unified focus and purpose, to inspire them together.

4. Publicly reward and recognize hard work.

When a member of your team does something exceptional, reward him/her — with a bonus, a small trophy or even just a vocal recognition. Do this in front of the group; it will make the intended recipient feel good and show the rest of the team that hard work is rewarded. The only caveat goes back to rule one: Be consistent in your rewards so you won’t be seen as playing favorites.

5. Be the example.

As the manager and leader, you should set an example in terms of your behavior. If you show up late, your team will be less punctual. If you lose your temper easily, others will be amiss in keeping their emotions in check. Strive to be your own ideal of the perfect worker, especially in front of the team.

6. Never go with ‘one-size-fits-all.’

Your team is comprised of individuals with unique preferences, strengths, weaknesses and ideas. Never use the exact same approach to motivate, encourage or mold all of them. Focus on individuals, and customize your approach to fit each one.

7. Remain as transparent as possible.

Transparency shows your integrity as a leader, and builds trust with the individual members of your team. If you lie about something, or withhold information, you could jeopardize your relationships and the respect you command as a leader.

8. Encourage all opinions and ideas.

The more people you have actively participating in discussions and attempting to make improvements to the organization, the better. Never chastise a team member for voicing an opinion respectfully — even if it goes against your original vision or isn’t well thought out. Cutting someone down for voicing an opinion builds resentment, and discourages people from sharing their own new thoughts.

9. Help people enjoy work.

You don’t need a pool table or dress code abolition to make work fun. You can make the workday more enjoyable with such new elements as surprise lunch outings, a dedicated break room or even just casual conversations with your workers. Help your people enjoy coming to work, and they’ll do their best work for you.

10. Listen and ask questions.

If someone doesn’t agree with your management style or doesn’t like the direction of the company, don’t silence that person. Listen. And ask questions of your entire team: What do you think of this? How do you feel about that? This open dialogue makes it easier to proactively identify problems and work together to create a mutually beneficial environment. It will also make your employees feel appreciated and acknowledged.

As you’ll notice, these rules leave plenty of wiggle room to apply your own personal “brand” of leadership and management. They stand as fundamental truths, considerations and principles that govern an effective management role rather than a strict instruction manual to success. Stay true to these principles in addition to your own, and you’ll unify your team in a rewarding and enriching environment.

4 Things About Managing People I Wish I Knew When I Started

If I could jump in a time machine and start again knowing what I know now, here’s what I’d tell my 17-year-old self about managing people:

1. Your age doesn’t matter.

When I was 23, I was managing people twice my age. I used to always think to myself “Why would a 45 year old listen to me?” I would get nervous interviewing candidates and a little jittery as we would do our one-on-one and planning meetings.

That wore off pretty quickly, though. As it turns out, age is only a barrier in your head. Being young is not a negative. Sure, you’re learning as you go, but as long as you pick things up quickly and either read books from great leaders or find a mentor, you’ll be more than fine.

When I think about great young managers at fast-growing companies, I think of Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook and Evan Spiegel at Snapchat. Both started in their early 20s and not only lead thousands of people today, but also many people double or even triple their age.

Before starting their companies they’d never managed anyone, let alone people much older than they are. They picked it all up as they went along and the results speak for themselves.

2. You can’t fake it.

Managing people doesn’t mean having a “work” persona and a “non-work” persona. I’m sure you know people who are completely different outside the office. You might see them at a function or dinner and think “Is that the same person?”

Management, or more accurately, leadership, is all about being your authentic self. That means not trying to be something you’re not. It means being comfortable with who you are and leaning on your strengths to manage effectively.

One of the best ways to build relationships with the people on your team is to actually mix your work and non-work personas. And to do that, you need to be your authentic self.

During your meetings, you need to talk about any work issues, but you can (and should) also sprinkle in topics such as what you did on the weekend, questions about employees’ kids, last night’s game or your favorite new restaurant.

When your team does a great job, get them out of the office and do something together as a group that has nothing to do with work. Go bowling. Have a dinner party. Go on a picnic and bring your partners and kids. Get to know who they really are and show them who you are, too.

Definitely take cues from great managers you know, but approach things in your own unique way. There are too many average managers in the world who just punch the clock and take a pay check.

Being your authentic self helps you rise above the mediocrity. Your team will notice and the word will get around. Pretty soon the best people at your company will be asking to come and work for you.

3. You’ll screw up.

Being a manager is hard. You have to think on your feet, make decisions that affect people’s lives and deal with all sorts of interesting and unique personalities.

Sometimes you have to trust your gut or make decisions with limited (or incorrect) information. It’s important to understand that not every decision you make will be correct.

When it turns out you’ve made a bad decision, you can either stick with it or admit you were wrong. Standing by a wrong decision is the quickest way to not only harm your team, but also to lose their trust in you a a leader.

There’s no shame in making a wrong decision if you made it with the best intentions and the best information you could find at the time. Just don’t beat yourself up over it and move quickly to get things back on track.

Most important, tell your team you were wrong and let them know why you’ve changed course. Humility and honesty are absolutely everything when it comes to being an exceptional manager.

4. It’s worth your time.

I had to learn everything I mentioned the hard way. I thought I couldn’t manage people who were older than me. I tried to be a “real” manager. And I stuck by too many bad decisions, just because I didn’t want people to think I’d made a mistake.

Luckily, that’s all behind me now. If you keep an open mind, find amazing mentors (either in books or in real life) and have a genuine interest in your team and helping them succeed, you’ll become a great manager.

Being a great manager unlocks huge career opportunities that you can’t even imagine, quite simply because most managers just aren’t that good. Whether you’re 17 or 70, learning to be a great manager is worth your time.

9 Things Managers Do That Make Good Employees Quit

It’s pretty incredible how often you hear managers complaining about their best employees leaving, and they really do have something to complain about—few things are as costly and disruptive as good people walking out the door.

Managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything under the sun, while ignoring the crux of the matter: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.

The sad thing is that this can easily be avoided. All that’s required is a new perspective and some extra effort on the manager’s part.

First, we need to understand the nine worst things that managers do that send good people packing.

1. They overwork people.

Nothing burns good employees out quite like overworking them. It’s so tempting to work your best people hard that managers frequently fall into this trap. Overworking good employees is perplexing; it makes them feel as if they’re being punished for great performance. Overworking employees is also counterproductive. New research from Stanford shows that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that you don’t get anything out of working more.

If you must increase how much work your talented employees are doing, you’d better increase their status as well. Talented employees will take on a bigger workload, but they won’t stay if their job suffocates them in the process. Raises, promotions, and title-changes are all acceptable ways to increase workload. If you simply increase workload because people are talented, without changing a thing, they will seek another job that gives them what they deserve.

2. They don’t recognize contributions and reward good work.

It’s easy to underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially with top performers who are intrinsically motivated. Everyone likes kudos, none more so than those who work hard and give their all. Managers need to communicate with their people to find out what makes them feel good (for some, it’s a raise; for others, it’s public recognition) and then to reward them for a job well done. With top performers, this will happen often if you’re doing it right.

3. They don’t care about their employees.

More than half of people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make certain their managers know how to balance being professional with being human. These are the bosses who celebrate an employee’s success, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge people, even when it hurts. Bosses who fail to really care will always have high turnover rates. It’s impossible to work for someone eight-plus hours a day when they aren’t personally involved and don’t care about anything other than your production yield.

4. They don’t honor their commitments.

Making promises to people places you on the fine line that lies between making them very happy and watching them walk out the door. When you uphold a commitment, you grow in the eyes of your employees because you prove yourself to be trustworthy and honorable (two very important qualities in a boss). But when you disregard your commitment, you come across as slimy, uncaring, and disrespectful. After all, if the boss doesn’t honor his or her commitments, why should everyone else?

5. They hire and promote the wrong people.

Good, hard-working employees want to work with like-minded professionals. When managers don’t do the hard work of hiring good people, it’s a major demotivator for those stuck working alongside them. Promoting the wrong people is even worse. When you work your tail off only to get passed over for a promotion that’s given to someone who glad-handed their way to the top, it’s a massive insult. No wonder it makes good people leave.

6. They don’t let people pursue their passions.

Talented employees are passionate. Providing opportunities for them to pursue their passions improves their productivity and job satisfaction. But many managers want people to work within a little box. These managers fear that productivity will decline if they let people expand their focus and pursue their passions. This fear is unfounded. Studies show that people who are able to pursue their passions at work experience flow, a euphoric state of mind that is five times more productive than the norm.

7. They fail to develop people’s skills.

When managers are asked about their inattention to employees, they try to excuse themselves, using words such as “trust,” “autonomy,” and “empowerment.” This is complete nonsense. Good managers manage, no matter how talented the employee. They pay attention and are constantly listening and giving feedback.

Management may have a beginning, but it certainly has no end. When you have a talented employee, it’s up to you to keep finding areas in which they can improve to expand their skill set. The most talented employees want feedback—more so than the less talented ones—and it’s your job to keep it coming. If you don’t, your best people will grow bored and complacent.

8. They fail to engage their creativity.

The most talented employees seek to improve everything they touch. If you take away their ability to change and improve things because you’re only comfortable with the status quo, this makes them hate their jobs. Caging up this innate desire to create not only limits them, it limits you.

9. They fail to challenge people intellectually.

Great bosses challenge their employees to accomplish things that seem inconceivable at first. Instead of setting mundane, incremental goals, they set lofty goals that push people out of their comfort zones. Then, good managers do everything in their power to help them succeed. When talented and intelligent people find themselves doing things that are too easy or boring, they seek other jobs that will challenge their intellects.

Bringing it all together

If you want your best people to stay, you need to think carefully about how you treat them. While good employees are as tough as nails, their talent gives them an abundance of options. You need to make themwant to work for you.

7 Caustic Management Behaviors to Avoid

7 Caustic Management Behaviors to Avoid

The number-one reason employees leave a company is because of poor management, period. And most anyone who’s ever worked can relate to that statement. Each time I’ve left a position, the reason hasn’t been because of low pay or poor benefits. Instead, I left because of what my manager did to disengage me.

Here are the top seven management behaviors that cause great employees to leave for greener pastures:

1. Not keeping your promises

If you aren’t keeping your promises, how can you expect those around you to keep theirs? This behavior can breed a culture that tolerates a lack of accountability within a team. And lack of accountability will lead to poor team performance. It will also decrease the trust others have for you.

2. Ignoring poor performers

Poor performers on a team can de-motivate your good and great performers. They’ll impact the work of others on the team as well as the overall success of the team. The longer you wait to address this poor performance, the higher the risk you’ll have of losing your high performers.

3. Having irregular meetings

When managers make the choice not to have regular team meetings, they send a signal that communication among team members isn’t important. And when a team isn’t communicating on a regular basis, chances are that its members aren’t included in key decisions, progress updates and learning from one other.

4. Dismissing the opinions and ideas of others

No one likes a “know-it-all,” and when a manager dismisses the ideas of others, the message being sent is that he or she is smarter than others on the team. Over time, people will stop sharing their ideas, and innovation will shut down. Ultimately, you’ll lose your competitive edge.

5. Micro-managing

Do you believe that there is only one way to accomplish a task and that you need to make all the decisions? People will probably then refer to you as a control freak or, a nicer term, a “perfectionist.” In the long run, you’ll be showing others that you don’t trust their judgment. Many will start to rely on you for all the solutions, and the next thing you’ll know, you’ll be doing all the work for your team.

6. Displaying arrogance

Just because you are a manager doesn’t make you king (or queen). Do you lecture and talk down to your employees? Or are your employees always “the ones making the mistakes,” rather than you? Arrogance can show up in the form of arriving late to meetings and wasting other people’s time. The bottom-line effect: Arrogance shows a disrespect for others.

7. Not delegating effectively

As a manager, your number one job is to get work done through the efforts of others, which means you have to delegate. Many new managers are challenged with this responsibility, whether it occurs through planning or in real time.

Some managers actually view delegating as risky. And a reluctance to delegate is often driven by fear: a fear they’ll lose control, lose their reputation as the “expert,” or have to face the unknown. Remember that delegating is much more than handing off a task or decision; it requires understanding whom to delegate to; how much information needs to be shared; and how often to follow up on a person’s progress and status.

Any of these sound familiar to you? If so, make a plan on how you can change these behaviors to avoid the risk you’ll lose your top performers. And, finally, remember that changing behaviors takes discipline, commitment and time.