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Fresh Tracks

The Perks don’t Work! 5 Steps to Better Management

October 12, 2012

Subsidised restaurants, table football games and fashionable work wear are a few examples of initiatives employers adopt in the hope of creating a great workplace.

Team Management

A great team leader could be key to a great workplace

Whilst it’s true that some of the best places to work do have games in their office, great food and contemporary dress codes, it’s not these initiatives that make them great workplaces.  It’s the people, in particular the managers.

One third of an employee’s productivity is determined by their line manager. Line managers also influence staff productivity more than any other factor and when asked why people left their previous job over 70% said it was their manager that they wanted to change, not their work or the company.

Under-performing people managers are arguably the greatest threat to your organisation’s performance yet it’s one of the easiest issues to address. Unlike markets, exchange rates and technological changes our managers are entirely under our control.  Here are some suggestions for transforming your organisation’s line management capability:

  • MEASURE – use online surveys, exit interviews, anonymous feedback and 360 degree reviews to measure managers’ performance.  In teams where staff turnover is high it’s likely that this manager needs some support. Regular measurement can spot the trend before your best people leave.
  • MOTIVATE – reward good management.  Where leaders are inspiring their teams they should be recognised both publicly and privately; create a culture where everyone knows what excellent management should look like.
  • MONITOR – it can be tough managing a team, especially when your own line manager expects you to deliver a large chunk of the work yourself alongside leading the team.  If managers are flying around the world schmoozing with customers they may well be neglecting their team. Set minimum standards for manager-team contact, such as weekly one to ones where goals are set and progress monitored.  It’s not acceptable for any manager to be too busy to coach their team.
  • MOVE – one of the keys to running a successful organisation is to “get the right people on the bus, in the right seats and the wrong people off the bus”. Some highly competent individuals make appalling managers. You wouldn’t let a ineffective pilot fly an aeroplane so don’t leave poor managers in charge of your people.  Better still select those who are going to lead others on both their character and their competence as a people manager, not on the basis that they’ve been around a while and it’s a ‘natural step.’
  • MIX – perhaps we shouldn’t limit management roles to just the more experienced and educated members of the workforce.  It may be that a parent returning to work part time might manage your sales team more effectively than your most experienced sales rep.  If we really believe our managers’ primary responsibility is to monitor and motivate our workforce then surely we should be prepared to appoint based on EQ not IQ.

For more ideas on Team Management, contact Fresh Tracks today.

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