If you poll everyone you know in the workforce you will find that all managers aren’t good managers. Whether you’re a front line manager, mid-level manager, or in upper management the people you manage expect you to lead. I’m not talking about mentoring or coaching I’m talking about being the decision maker. The line “I’m not a leader, the only way I could get a promotion was to take a management position” is outdated.
I agree, in many organizations the only way to move up is to become a manager. The flip side of that coin is everyone doesn’t want to be a manager and everyone isn’t built to be one. By default people end up in management positions where they do not want to be, or are not built for. This post isn’t about analyzing the structure of companies, it is to highlight many managers leave their employees in limbo.
Regardless of how managers got to their positions, employees expect managers to lead. Employees need leadership when things are good and when things are bad. Leadership qualities shine in the midst of a bad situation. If a manager can lead their employees out of a bad situation they will be an instant hit. If a manager doesn’t lead when things are good or bad they create a leadership vacuum.
Leadership vacuums not only occur when a manager isn’t leading they also occur when a management position is left open too long or there is a leadership merry-go-round. A leadership merry-go-round is when a management position is occupied by several people in a short period of time. When employees have more than one manager in a short period of time it’s difficult for them to get their bearings. When a leadership vacuum occurs employees are left in limbo. They don’t know what to expect on a day-to-day basis and are left in a state of confusion.
When employees experience a leadership vacuum morale can go down. Morale goes down because the employees don’t trust the current decision maker(s). Employees will blame the current decision maker(s) for everything that is going on. Low morale can lead to a decrease in production, a decrease in the quality of work, and could ultimately lead to employees leaving the company/organization. If managers lead they will not leave employees in limbo.
I’m passionate about my profession! I want us to be the best we can be at all times. I’m tired of hearing negative stories because we provide poor customer service, our processes are antiquated or we’re incompetent. I want HR professionals to create something. Group-think is overrated and obsolete. Thinking like everyone else in your HR department will garner you a boring life every day you go to work.
Whether you’ve been in the same position for eons or you’re new to HR think of something new to do. Or think of a way to improve your organizations current HR practices and procedures. HR is vital to every organization so doing the same thing the same way for decades doesn’t cut the mustard.
You (your organization) will be as effective as your last invention. If 2010 was the last time your HR department implemented something new, shame on you (your organization). With all of the HR organizations, conferences, magazines etc. that exists there is no reason 2010 should be the last time your organization implemented something new. Technology, analytics, and software are constantly so no HR department can afford to be seven years behind the curve.
In her blog post All About ‘Experiments’ HR professional Ankita Poddar provides the definition of the word experiment and gives a step-by-step how to so you can conduct your own experiment. HR professionals need to conduct experiments on their current practices and processes. Looking at the same thing from a different perspective can provide insight that will improve what you’re already doing. My fellow HR professionals create something!
If you have questions about this and more please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.linkedin.com/pub/cornell-jenkins/11/476/897/
Who needs supervision more employees or children? Children between the ages of one and ten need a babysitter. Due to the lack of boundaries in the workplace managers view themselves as babysitters.
Just like children, employees are a product of their environment. In 2014 what type of environment are managers creating for their employees? When I was in the eighth grade every day in my algebra class was a circus. My teacher didn’t have control of the class. Her lack of control allowed me to sleep 2-3 days a week.
If managers don’t set expectations for their employees’ performance and behavior the employees will do whatever comes to mind. Regardless of age people need boundaries. Setting boundaries is the only way to properly govern the performance and behavior of employees.
Managers, if you need to treat your employees like children then by all means act accordingly. I had a supervisor that said I have no problem treating you all like children. My supervisor set expectations for her employees’ performance and behavior. She constantly communicated those expectations. The repetitiveness of her expectations made it difficult to forget how you were expected to conduct yourself. Managers what message are you communicating to your employees? Are you communicating expectations or mayhem?
Managers have the responsibility to create an environment in which employees can grow professionally. Mayhem creates an unhealthy work environment which produces sub-par performance. A healthy work environment allows employees to reach their potential.
A healthy work environment has boundaries that govern the actions and performance of its employees. People need boundaries and without them mayhem ensues.
If you want to create a healthy work environment I can be reached at:
In the last post I talked about confronting an employee regarding their future with your company. In his blog post on April 3rd Dan Steer gave an excellent example of how the CEO of his previous employer helped Dan realize that he would not be a good fit for the company Dan Steer.
Now back to turning this unproductive employee into a productive employee. Their lack of productivity could be as simple as a lack of organization. They could be a slow worker (working hard but not smart) or mismanagement of their time. Then the granddaddy of them all, they may not have the skill-set to perform the job.
Before we get into making them productive remember you can take a personnel action against an unproductive employee, however it must be based solely on job performance.
Once you determine the cause of their unproductiveness you have to decide if you’re willing to invest the time, money or both into developing this employee. Some skills can be taught on the job such as; teaching someone how to work smarter and not harder, simple organizational or time management skills. If they need formal training that may be a tough pill to swallow. In our current economic climate companies are struggling not to lay people off so paying for formal training maybe out of the question.
It could be more cost-effective to train them rather than hire someone. If you decide to hire someone you have to decide if you’re going to hire internally or externally. An internal hire would eliminate the learning curve and the new employee could hit the ground running but you don’t know how soon they will be able to start. You don’t know what projects they are currently working or if their supervisor is willing to part with them. If you hire externally you have the cost of advertising the job, the time spent interviewing applicants and so on. Is it worth not training them? I’m not suggesting you keep an unproductive employee around just because it may be difficult to replace them. I’m just saying count the cost before you make a decision.
If you want to reach me you can email me at email@example.com or leave a comment