The Bottom Line

Most often corporate structured businesses rely heavily on managers to oversee departments and provide direction for how employees do their jobs. However, they don’t always hire or promote someone to oversee the department who has experience leading an individual or a team.  The manager’s role is created for the purpose of ensuring that strategies to increase the bottom line are being met and maintaining order within their department but the underlying problem with this approach is that the employees become unsatisfied with their job because there is no room for growth.  The employees’ are expected to follow protocol and do their job with no questions asked, which further delays the success of the organization as a whole because the very people who are hired to do the jobs that produce revenue or new business are not allowed to contribute ideas or strategies to assist with the prosperity of the organization.

Management is for process, procedure, time and finances but not for people. By and large, people are not inclined to be “managed” because they simply want leadership and guidance.  People want their ideas to be heard, their efforts to be acknowledged and the opportunity to advance their positions because of their contributions to the organization.  They aren’t seeking someone to provide dictatorship or stand over their shoulder to micro-manage every step of their day, but they are seeking mentors, guidance, support and inclusion in the decision making process of the organization, as well as respect for their efforts and achievements.  

Effectively managing an organization includes putting leaders with people skills into supervisory positions.  Call them managers if that is your preference but the overall strategy of retaining a productive and satisfied workforce should be a more leadership focused approach.  Leadership isn’t about managing, it is about people and having the ability to remain objective and open to new ideas and helping employees develop strategies that benefit both the organization and their individual methods of success within the organization.

Consider this; let’s say you have twelve people who work for a single department and they all were hired based on their previous experience, skills and abilities with the expectation that they will conform to your organizations methods, procedures and process.  However, did you know that these same people also bring knowledge, personality and creative ideas of their own because of their previous training?  Have you given them an opportunity to talk with you about their motivations, challenges, concerns and growth opportunities without the fear of losing their job?

 These are the leadership qualities that people look for in organizations because by being able to have conversations with management and corporate executives, employees are more likely to feel empowered, valued and supported by the organization and furthermore will stay longer, be more productive and be open to changes when change is necessary.  

Are you applying these 10 ideas to effectively lead your staff… 

  1. Have you taken the time to get to know your employees beyond what skills they possess? 
  2. Have you asked them what kind of training/education would support their professional goals? 
  3. Have you offered training or education in support of their professional goals if relevant to your organization? 
  4. Have you asked them what other departments or positions they might be interested in and offered to let them job shadow? 
  5. Have you asked them for ideas or suggestions to improve process or strategies within their individual jobs or departments? 
  6. Have you asked them how they organize their day or what strategies work or don’t work in their jobs? 
  7. Have you included them in the decision making process or strategic planning when implementing changes that directly affect them? 
  8. Have you been flexible in your business practices and asked for input from your staff about personnel and Human Resource decisions? 
  9. Have you allowed employees to contribute to their manager’s performance evaluations? 
  10. Have you engaged employees in conversations other than what their results for the day, week or month were? 

If you have done all of these things, have you also remained open and objective about their answers? Have you provided leadership, guidance and support around their concerns and questions? In other words, are you listening to your employees or just hearing what you want to hear and providing generalized information to quell their opinions and requests?

 If you are not asking these questions and further engaging your employees through open and objective conversations regarding the goals of the organization, strategic planning and including them in sharing their ideas for increasing outcomes, then you may be putting your organization at risk of an unproductive and unsatisfied workforce, which in the long run could be detrimental to the future success of your organization.  

Something to remember-Business and the needs of an organization are always changing, things that worked three years ago may not be as relevant today and who knows best what is working and what isn’t working?

  1. Is it you? 
  2. Is it your corporate executives?
  3. Is it your managers? 
  4. Is it your customers? 
  5. Is it your employees? 

Bottom line, it is all of the above and implementing new strategies, coming up with new ideas and providing better solutions should absolutely include input from everyone; not just you, not just the corporate executives and not just the management team.

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