Managing Work vs. Managing People

Is it the process or the people who are affecting performance?

When you are looking for ways to boost results, there are many questions you need to ask:

Are my people lowering performance? Do they have the knowledge, skills, tools, and attitude necessary to achieve better results? These checklist items can help you determine what steps you should take to make your team the absolute most productive they can be.

• Knowledge and skills
— What further training is required?
— Is this the best fit for this employee?
— How can I better convey my expectations?
— How can I better convey my instructions?

• Attitude
— Do they exhibit the right attitude for the job?
— How can they change their attitude?

• Tools
— Do they have the right tools to perform the task?
— If I had an unlimited budget, what could I do to get them to improve and speed up their results?

Are the processes lowering results?

ThinkstockPhotos-509119713If it’s not your team that is the problem, then perhaps you have unclear policies.  Or perhaps you have not done an adequate job in explaining the purpose of existing policies.

• Which steps make sense? Which ones don’t?

• How can we eliminate unnecessary work?

• Where are there bottlenecks?

Keys to Policies
Most companies have policies in place for very good and sound reasons: they want to establish rules to ensure the safety, fair treatment, and compliance of their employees.

It is the manager’s job to understand, follow, and communicate these policies for the good of the employees and for the good of the organization.

ThinkstockPhotos-179246136Don’t assume that your employees have memorized the employee manual. Take mini-opportunities to remind everyone of pertinent items.

• Explain the rationale behind the policy. If you don’t know or if it doesn’t make sense to you, talk to others in the organization until you can present the information in a convincing manner.

• Discuss the consequences of not following the rules.

• Remember that you represent the company. When you complain about company policies, your employees will consider it a license to be negative, too.

It is also the manager’s role to perceive when company policies are hampering success.

• Understand which policies can be bent and which ones can’t be touched.

• Don’t block out your common sense.

• Seek to limit company bureaucracy.

• Distinguish between values and rules.

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