Guest Author - Dianne Walker
No matter how good a manager we think we are, ask any employee and you will find that there is always room for improvement. What may work for some employees will not work for others, so how do you go about finding the balance to satisfy everyone? You canít. You can, however, work on universal improvements which is sure to make a difference in the workplace. Here are a few suggestions...
Give credit where itís due. Nothing angers employees more than when they do all the work and the manager takes all of the credit. If you receive praise for the outcome of a project or a brilliant idea, share the kudos with the people that actually did the work or came up with the idea. If you had nothing to do with it, be sure to give them all of the credit. Taking the credit destroys morale and initiative.
Be consistent and set high standards. What would you think of a boss who consistently arrived late, sat around on personal calls all day or submitted sloppy work? Probably not much. Set the bar high for the staff and yourself. You cannot yell at them for being late if you arrive five minutes late every day. In other words, practice what you preach Ė but perform it even better.
Give them the details. If there is a certain way you want the report to look or task to be completed, let them know. Donít wait until the project is complete to tell them they did it all wrong, especially if you did not provide guidelines on how you wanted it done.
Provide constructive criticism along the way. Performance evaluation to performance evaluation should be spent providing performance feedback - offer helpful tips, insights and instruction. Make sure, however, the criticism is constructive. Is it important that you point out that pink shirt does not go well with that blue suit? Is it important to the outcome of the project? Probably not. Make sure all criticism is work related, relevant and not personal.
Finally, open your mind to the fact there just may be a better way of doing things. Do you stifle creativity? You may have been around a long time, but keep in mind that with new technology there are always better, faster, cheaper ways of performing long standing tasks. If you wonít listen, you run the risk of losing customers and employees.
While the saying is true that you canít please everyone, sometimes itís the simple things that will make you a better manager.