Thursday, September 17, 2009

Give Foolproof Instructions

When staffers follow instructions correctly the first time, their productivity soars and your frustration level drops! Follow these steps to help employees get it right every time:
  • Verify Verbal Instructions. When you assign a task, ask the staffer to write it down and watch as the person takes notes. If you speak with someone by phone, ask the person to read back the instructions. That guarantees the person understood what you want done.
  • Create Deadlines. Thasks without deadlines never get done. When you assign a task, state the specific date and time you need it by. That creates a sense of urgency.
  • Allow for a margin of error. Things don'e always go as planned, so build in a little lead time. If your boss needs the report by Friday, tell your staff that you'll need the work Wednesday afternoon.

- Adapted from "Put It in Writing," Jeffery J. Mayer,

Does something else work for you?
Please - Comment and share!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

When will we understand?

I conducted an informal survey and found that most managers do not understand what their most important function is at work. Most managers feel that their most important function is to provide revenue, reduce costs or maintain margins. They do not realize that those things come from the results being produced by the organization through its people and processes not through anything else. Those metrics usually reflect the effectiveness of the organization.

So what makes an organization effective? Plain and simple; when a company focuses on it’s people and there is enhanced performance and improved productivity. In an article that I recently read, it was noted that in the software development industry, turnover rates approached 20%. Yet one company is that industry exhibited less than a 5% turnover! Imagine the savings to the company in terms of time saved in recruiting, training, and just plain managing.

We continue to find that middle management is most important ingredient to preserve good to great employees. First, an employee’s boss is the company to them and they will leave if they don’t receive positive feedback from the boss. Secondly, positive feedback must be timely. Most managers don’t realize that their role must be focused on their people and their performance is a direct reflection of their people’s success. People need to be engaged and if they aren’t engaged, they move on to another job. People will not stay in a job where engagement is not fulfilled, period. So what are you doing about it?

Your primary role as a manager is the development of your people. The CEO, President, HR Professional, and any decision maker in the company must realize that management training is the most important ingredient they can provide because the managers’ tasks revolve around making sure their people are well served and they understand the value of their work. If you don’t have an engaged workforce, then you have a workforce with their eyes on the door. Most managers do not exhibit good interpersonal skills with their staff but companies still are not responding to their training needs.

Please forward this article to back up the need for training.