Tag: performance

Are you derailing productivity?

iStock_LowProductivityGraph_350

It’s in your best interest as a manager to ensure that your team is productive, but despite your good intentions, there are plenty of ways managers unintentionally stifle the successful workplace environment you’re striving to foster. Here are a few common ways your efforts to be a supportive manager may actually hinder your team’s productivity potential.

1. You don’t scrutinize meeting agendas. Though ensuring you have a relationship with the people you report to is important (nearly 55% of respondents to a Society for Human Resource Man­­age­­ment (SHRM) Employee Job Sat­­is­­fac­­tion and Engagement survey said it was a key factor in the level of engagement they feel with their jobs), meetings aren’t the way to foster a connection among employees. To facilitate productivity, all meetings should have one defining purpose: to move further toward a defined and desired result.

Before a meeting, ask yourself:

(1) Is there an agenda?

(2) Does each item on the agenda have a defined and specific outcome that will lead to either continued momentum, and/or completion?

(3) Does each agenda item specify the amount of time and attention it will receive?

(4) Does each agenda item have an “owner” assigned?

(5) Are all the people who need to be involved in an agenda item available?

(6) Does everyone on the invite have a “place” on the agenda?

(7) Does the meeting end time coincide with the amount of time each agenda item will receive?

Lead by example, and encourage your staff to get in the habit of strategically scrutinizing every meeting for these criteria as well.  If every question above can’t be answered in the affirmative, consider alternative ways to communicate.

2. You force your way. Taking a “hands off” approach isn’t all there is to delegating; you must also be mindful about allowing employees to have a voice. “It isn’t about you, it is about the work,” says Dr. Jené Kapela, a leadership coach, consultant, and the founder of Jené Kapela Leadership Solutions. “Don’t be concerned that things get done your way —just that they get done well. Your staff members will do a better job if they can do things in a way that makes sense to them.” With that in mind, however, she says you’ll need to create opportunities for those discussions to take place—and keep an open mind about any approach.

3. You don’t confirm communication. Miscommunications usually aren’t revealed until a mistake occurs in the midst of a project, or until an employee hits a “roadblock” that causes him or her to seek clarification. By that time, countless hours of what could have been productive time are lost. To eliminate potential miscommunication, Mark Goulston, management consultant and author of six best-selling books including Just Listen suggests tweaking your language when you give direction. “Instead of asking ‘Do you have any questions?’ replace it with a phrase like ‘So that we are clear, please tell me what I have asked you to do, by when and why it’s important to what we are trying to achieve,’” says Goulston. Not only will repeating the information help the em­­ployee begin to process the task and reveal miscommunication before it’s problematic, you’ll gradually gain a better understanding of how to communicate effectively with the different personalities on your team.

4. You do more than one thing at a time. Though multitasking may seem like the only way to handle a demanding workload, it’s ineffective in terms of maximizing productivity. “Constant multitasking makes us more prone to mistakes, more likely to miss important information and cues, and less likely to retain information in working memory—which impairs problem solving and creativity,” says Maura Thomas, author of Personal Productivity Secrets. Further, she points out that it can lead to job unhappiness and undue stress among your staff. “In multitasking environments, employees work in reactive mode all day long; it prevents them from being proactive, and robs them of the opportunity to assess their overall workload and choose what to work on next.”

To encourage more single-task focus, remember that the team looks to you for the “right” behavior. Don’t take your smart­­phone into meetings, don’t check emails while you’re on conference calls, and establish a protocol for how “urgent” requests for information are to be handled. For example, you may instill a policy that when urgent needs arise, colleagues visit one another in person, versus sending urgent emails that make it impossible to temporarily disconnect from online distractions.

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in CENTERPIECE,LEADERS & MANAGERS,PEOPLE MANAGEMENT

” This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com:http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/38721/are-you-derailing-productivity ”

 

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Performance Appraisal and Year End Bonus Payments


If you have a performance appraisal system this is appraisal time.

Holiday season or Christmas Bonus. This is what all workers look forward to.

Even if you do not have one this is the time you decide who gets what bonus or salary increase.

There is sometimes excitement if the company had been performing well, however if business was not too good there are some concerned faces walking around.

Those who complete quarterly appraisals would have finalized this by now so staff are aware where they are with their performance and if this was not too good the race is on to improve this last quarter.

Even if you are a manager or supervisor in the company you will need to do an appraisal on yourself.

Appraisals can be so difficult if the process is not managed properly.

Whether you are assessing yourself or your team some things to bear in mind:

– Be sure the information is in the right category on the appraisal form – sales under sales and operations under operations.

– Your statements must be supported by facts e.g – how many new accounts did you or the individual team member bring in? how many times you had to be counselled about your behaviour towards customers or staff and what are the details?

– Be sure to remember all the good things that support your performance. We sometimes focus on the bad things. What about the customer you convince to stay with the company?

– If you or the staff member had been performing just satisfactorily or just meeting the expectations of the job it is difficult to attain an above average or exceeds expectations for the year.

– If you had been constantly supervising the staff member it is a challenge to state that the staff member meets the expectations of the job.

– Remember Friendship does not play a role in appraisals neither is not liking the person.

– If you decide that this staff member needs to move on because they are not suitable for the position it is sometimes tempting to give this person a high performance grade because you do not want to deal with the problem. You can also argue that if you record the weaknesses in the file it would scar the person’s record and no department would want to take them. Whatever you do every action must be done with integrity.

– After everyone receives their bonus and salary increases you still have to work with them so if you have been honest and open with your staff there should be no surprises in the performance appraisal.

– Even if you are not attached to a business and run your own business you need to perform some sort of assessment to provide your staff with an end of year bonus.

– This is also a great time to set the tone with regards to goals etc for the following year.

Good luck with your appraisals. If you need help or do not have an appraisal system send me an email.


What to do when everything else fails?

We all have problems some more than others. How do we deal with our problems?
Some people internalize their problems and these manifest into various illnesses – headaches, digestive problems, cancer and arthritis to name a few.

Others take their problems out on whoever they can – at home they quarrel, fight, at work they find fault in everything, they are very bitter and complain about everything and everybody.

On the job it affects your performance – you make mistakes, you miss deadlines and if you are a supervisor or manager you jeopardize your relationship with your team.

I thought that I would share the following excerpt taken from the Bible in One Year by Nickel Gumbel:

When all else fails – Keep praising God in spite of every difficulty

2 Corinthians 1:1-11
Are you experiencing trouble in your life? Have you been hurt, disappointed or mistreated in some way? Have you suffered loss or bereavement? Are you under great pressure? Are you facing great temptations or difficult personal relationships?

Paul was the founding pastor of the Corinthian church. In this, his most personal letter, he reveals the heart of a leader. He reveals his feelings as a man of flesh and blood who knows what it is to go through trouble (v.4), sufferings (vv.5–8), distress (v.6), hardship (v.8), pressure (v.8) – the word Paul used means to be pushed down under great weight.

He had been in despair (v.8), he had felt like he had ‘been sent to death row’ (v.9, MSG), he had faced ‘deadly peril’ (v.10). As well as physical persecution, he had faced criticism, ridicule, sickness, depression, bereavement, injustice, disappointments, temptations and difficult personal relationships.

Sir Winston Churchill said, ‘The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.’ By this definition Paul was definitely an optimist!

He starts the letter with praise – not for the problems but for the positive benefits that have come through them. What are these benefits? How can you and I see the benefits in every difficulty?

You will be comforted
‘The God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles’ (vv.3–4). The word for comfort means to encourage, cheer, come alongside. He is the ‘Father of compassion’ (v.3). He is not aloof from suffering. He comes alongside us and suffers with us.

You will be a help to others
If you are in a time of suffering right now it may not seem much comfort – but one day you will bring great comfort to other people. ‘He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us’ (v.4, MSG). Those who have faced difficulty in life make the most effective ministers.

You will be changed
Hardship ‘produces in you patient endurance’ (v.6). Like gold refined by fire or a vine pruned to produce more fruit, difficulties lead to patience, endurance, steadfastness and perseverance. They lead to character transformation.

You will not be alone
Paul writes ‘Just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort’ (v.7). The word he uses for ‘share’ comes from the Greek word koinonia which is the word used to describe the closest possible relationship. As we are going through difficulties together we should experience an extraordinary closeness of relationship as we comfort and encourage one another, ‘Your hard times are also our hard times’ (v.7, MSG).

You will learn to trust God
When things go well it is easy to become self-reliant. But when everything goes wrong and we reach the end of our tether, we are forced to trust God. As Paul puts it, ‘Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally’ (v.9, MSG).

As Oswald Chambers wrote, ‘God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crisis they are the ones who are reliable.’

You will be rescued
Paul writes, ‘He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us’ (v.10). As we look back and see that God has delivered us in the past, we can be confident he will deliver us in the future.

Your prayers will help others
Prayer is powerful. God really does answer prayer. One of the best ways we can help other people is by praying for them ‘As you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many’ (v.11). When your prayers are answered God will be glorified.

Lord, thank you that there is a reason that you allow us to go through trials and troubles. Help us to see the benefits in every difficulty. May we experience your comfort and learn to rely not on ourselves but on you. Lord, as I look to the months ahead, I cry out to you for help …

As a supervisor or manager I urge you to email me for a free Life Coach session.

Most successful people have coaches why shouldn’t you?


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