From churches to football teams and armies to corporations, every group with a mission needs a leader. Being in a position of authority doesn't necessarily translate into good leadership. General George Custer had the rank, but his poor management skills cost him his life and the lives of his entire force at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Nothing that dire is at stake in the office, but bad management can tank productivity, sour the work force and sabotage the company's goals and mission.
Businesses rely on managers to oversee the processes that create the product or service that make their profits. A company is not a democracy; leadership is imperative for efficient function. However, some managers see themselves as monarchs, and regard those who work for them as subjects of the kingdom. This attitude never produces a good outcome.
Here are four tips for managers who are doing it wrong:
- The employees you manage are valuable assets of the company. You wouldn't ruin company equipment by not maintaining it. The talent you supervise belongs to the company you work for. They were hired for their skills and enthusiasm. Value what they have to contribute. The most powerful benefit a manager can provide employees is allow them to use the best of their natural talents, adding skills and knowledge to develop and apply their strengths.
- Remember you are part of the team as well. Your job is to facilitate the mission of the business by getting the optimal performance from its work force. You are a member of that group as well. Their success is your goal. Holding yourself up as superior with constant criticism breeds resentment. General George Patton said, "Always do everything you ask of those you command." A little praise goes a long way. Give credit wherever you can and recognize outstanding effort for that helps achieve goals.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Communication is paramount to any relationship, personal or business. People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything. Explaining what is expected of them is the first step to keeping employees on task. Meetings often waste time and siphon time that could be spent producing. Maintain the focus, ask for suggestions, and don't revisit issues that have already been resolved.
- Create an environment where people want to work. Retaining good employees means making work a place they want to come to every day. Fifty percent of professionals surveyed said they had quit a job in their career to “get away” from their boss. We've all heard the phrase "hostile work environment". If your corporate culture includes intimidation, favoritism and inconsistency, turnover is guaranteed. If your company is hemorrhaging talent because of you, you will be looking for a new job. Motivate those you manage by being willing to admit when you're wrong, recognizing that their job is not the only thing in their life, and creating a workplace that is conducive to a sense of community.
Finding talented people for medical and allied health positions is easier with experts. Contact us if you are looking for talent, or have a talent to use in a new position.
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