It was recently Random Acts of Kindness week, February 11-17, where people celebrate the simple power of kindness. This isn’t about “grand gestures,” rather it’s about the small things we do in a spirit of compassion.
Your employees go through a maze of “dots” every day that are directly related to how they can and will perform on the job. Unfortunately, rarely are they equipped to find the answers on their own. To set the stage, here are some examples:
+ People begin a new job and it’s up to them to figure out how to navigate through the firm’s unique culture.
Have you noticed that more people are behaving badly these days? I’m not going to speculate about the triggers, but how to deal with bad behavior has crept into many of my conversations with clients.
It seems that the offenders don’t hesitate to be contentious, whereas previously they would have been more patient or conciliatory to reach consensus. Here are a but a few of the examples that have surfaced recently.
How do you engage your people to be more involved in their work? The old cliché about the carrot and the stick comes to mind. Some managers feel that they need to be tough, demanding, or unrelenting in their approach.
Well, barking at your employees or dictating to them or condescending to them is usually more detrimental than effective. And if you randomly schmooze with them, people may feel good, but this doesn’t portend more engagement.
A recent article in The Washington Post discussed the concept of emotional labor. This is described as “the work someone does to regulate, modulate or manipulate their feelings to affect the emotions of people around them.”
The author, Rose Hackman, suggests that most emotional labor is provided by women. She contends that those who embrace emotional labor in the workplace are not being compensated for these behaviors.
A recurring management theme is leaders who assume that their people know what’s on their minds. I call this “managing by telepathy”, as these leaders often neglect to articulate what they want.
This is rarely intentional. After all, you don’t sit in your office and think about how you can avoid good communication with your people. But you can get swept up in the busy-ness of your day and simply think that you said something when actually it never left your mind.
How do your employees represent your business when you aren’t looking? Obviously, you can’t be omnipresent but are you comfortable that your employees are good brand ambassadors?
If you haven’t done so recently, you’d be well served to see how your people are doing in this regard.
Management successions occur every day in organizations around the world. These range from promotions to first level supervisors to appointments of new CEOs.
A person who is new in the job and immediately proclaims, “This is how it’s going to be now” will face resistance on multiple levels, while the person who steps in and listens will be received quite differently.
How do you handle the weak links on your staff? My guess is that in most cases you wait too long to take appropriate action. No matter what your experience is, it’s human to avoid conflict, and weak links are, de facto, conflicts.
You know the basics: can the employee improve from skills training? Would the person be a better fit in another department in the organization? Can the person benefit from one-on-one mentoring?