Going Through the Motions

Ever had that recurring nightmare where you’re running as fast as you can, but you aren’t going anywhere? Processes in your organization can work like this, slowing or killing productivity.

Processes are meant to streamline, but your day can quickly get eaten up by all kinds of tasks.

Asking permission before acting on assignments.
Filling out reports or time sheets.
Attending unnecessary meetings.

If an organization’s focus is shifted heavily toward process, productivity may diminish and morale will likely drop.

Ask yourself these questions.

How many meetings are you having each week? Are they all necessary?
Do you have a clear vision and company goal that everyone understands?
How much employee time is spent on administrative duties like filling out reports and time sheets or answering irrelevant emails?

It boils down to priority and balance. Sometimes processes need to be reevaluated and streamlined themselves. As we change, so must those.

Praise Protocol

Praise is among the most powerful ways we communicate. It can be a true motivator.

Effective praise can lead to positive performance. Likewise, poor praise techniques can be devastating.

One of the worst types of praise is called the “sandwich approach.” Management sandwiches negative feedback between two pieces of positive feedback. This is all too common, and it undermines not only the feedback being given, but also relationships with employees.

Be transparent. Share negative feedback in a straightforward manner and allow employees to understand your reasoning. Chances are, those certain unwanted behaviors won’t be repeated.

For praise to be most effective, it should be sincere and specific. Don’t praise every little thing. The impact will be lost. Save it for moments that really deserve it.

Identify exactly what your employee did well. If you want that behavior to be replicated, describe it as it’s being praised.

People in management are most successful when they are confident enough to ask their team members to teach them, too. Sometimes that can be the most powerful piece of praise they give.

Whistle While You Work, Part 2

Employees get burnt out sometimes.

What can you do as a manager?

Make conversations count. Go beyond the basic step of assigning a task. Recognize employees’ specific skill sets and make them feel irreplaceable.

Include others in the praise. Show them that they are appreciated by clients, co-workers, and executives. If a client sends a complimentary email about the work done, pass it along to everyone. Remind them about how important their role is within the company.

Strike a balance. Grunt work is a reality in any job, but make sure that you are challenging your workforce. This shows that you trust them.

Give recognition on an individual level. There is nothing wrong with singling out an individual employee to make them feel valued. Small gestures can make a big difference.