People or A Process

Do you manage people or a process? If you can distinguish which one you manage you will be able to focus more time and energy on the big picture. Seeing the big picture is what managing is all about. You cannot get bogged down with the day-to-day grind of the work. Employees do the work and managers and manage.

There is a difference between managing people and managing a process. Here are some examples of a process: an assembly line, telemarketing and call centers. A process is predictable and routine it does not require creativity. On the other hand managing people means focusing more on the personalities doing the work.

If you manage a process your goal is to keep the process going at all costs. It’s not so much about the employees and the culture as it is are they keeping the process going. It’s more about the process and less about the people in the process.

If there is a downturn in the service you’re providing or the product you’re producing it’s your job to determine the cause and correct it. Are the people doing less work or is there something wrong with the process? You have to find out what and where the cog is in the wheel. Once you have determined what and where the cog is you have to make the necessary changes. Does the process need to be tweaked do you need different people in the process or both?

If you manage people your responsibility is to keep your employees focused on their assigned tasks. Are they lacking anything that would prevent them from doing their job to the best of their abilities? Do they have the proper equipment (i.e. up-to-date software) and supplies they need to do their job? Are they adequately trained and last but not least are they motivated to obtain the goals you’ve set?

If you manage people you should be consisting evaluating your employees. I’m not suggesting that you consisting conduct employee evaluations. You should pay attention to what your employees are doing. How productive and effective are they at their job? If there is a dip in an employee’s performance you have to discover the cause and address it. Your focus is the people not the work.

Make sure you’re spending more of your time and energy focusing on the big picture not the day-to-day work. Remember employees do the work and managers and manage. If you use your influence on the right thing you will see the changes you want.

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A Multi-Generational Workforce

Today’s workforce poses problems for managers because it consists of three generations: baby boomers (boomers), generation X (Xer’s) and generation Y (millennials). The recent economic collapse has kept many boomers in the workforce longer than they expected. It has also forced many boomers back into the workforce. Even with all of these boomers in the workforce, most of the workforce comprises Xer’s and millennials.

It is important for managers to know the strengths and weaknesses of each person they manage. In our current workforce, some of the strengths and weaknesses of employees stem from when they were born.

Boomers will make any necessary sacrifices to get the job done. They will sacrifice personal time, family ect. Xer’s will also make the necessary sacrifices to get the job done. While willing to make the necessary sacrifices Xer’s will also aim for a work life balance. They are not as willing as boomers to sacrifice their personal time, family etc. Millennials have an attitude of entitlement. The world revolves around them. Not to say they aren’t hard workers but for the most part millennials are not willing to sacrifice any of their time for something that does not directly benefit them.

Managers have to be aware of the tendencies of each generation. Boomers have been in the workforce longer and possess a wealth knowledge and wisdom. Millennials are tech savvy but lack wisdom and experience. Xer’s have the benefit of being between the two. They have been in the workforce long enough to have gained some wisdom and are young enough to be tech savvy.

Boomers will not embrace change as easily as Xer’s and millennials. Managers should not allow the unwillingness of boomers to affect their ability to glean wisdom from the older generation. Managers also have to help millennials realize that technology is not the solution to every problem. Xer’s have both problems, some of them are slow adapters and others think technology has a solution for every problem that exists.

Regardless of which generation you are a part of, make sure you consider the tendencies of the other generations. The following link provides a more indepth look into managing boomers, Xer’s and millennials .
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Employees Gone Wild

Are your employees doing the job you hired them to do? Are they achieving the goals you set for them, if not why? There is a difference between your employees doing the job you hired them to do and doing the job you want them to do.

You cannot hire someone to do a job but want them to achieve a different goal. You cannot expect them to do a job you didn’t hire them to do. They took the job expecting to do one thing but you want them to do something totally different. That’s not fair to them.

You have to decide which change you are going to make. Are you going to change your goals or change the work they are doing? You may need to change their job description. If you decide to change their job description make sure the new job description accomplishes the goals you are trying to obtain.

Changing someone’s job description has major implications. When you change someone’s job description they may have to acquire a new skill(s). If they don’t have the skill(s) you’re looking for you may have to hire someone.

If you want more information on job descriptions, have a question or comment you can leave it here or email me at

Wow I’m a Manager

By virtue of being a manager you have a certain amount of influence that others don’t. You have the ability to change the environment in your office. How you choose to use your influence will determine the environment. For specific ways to change the environment in your office see my post on March 15th.

Your management style directly affects the work environment. Are you a micro-manager or a macro-manager? Your management style should depend on the individuals you manage. Some people require more of a hands-on approach and will flourish in that type of environment. Others will flourish in an environment where they have a lot of autonomy. You have to figure out which environment will bring out the best in each person.

You must protect and defend your employees against outside forces. Most jobs involve some level of internal or external interaction. If you don’t protect and defend your employees you’re saying you don’t value them. As a result of not valuing your employees one of the first things to happen is you will lose their respect.

You cannot realistically expect someone to work hard for you if you don’t value them. A devalued employee will come to work just to make a check. Whether you’re new to management or have been a manager for a long time the most important thing to you should be the environment you create. The environment you create determines the productivity of your employees.

If you have a question or comment leave it below or email me at

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