It’s every manager’s desire to have employees who are highly motivated, productive, and cooperative. Employees who give their all for the company, their boss, the customers and their co-workers every day. Although it may be an unattainable goal, managers can make great strides toward achieving these objectives.
First You Must Have Employees Capable of Extraordinary Performance
It all begins with the recruitment and hiring process. High performance organizations have a careful, methodical process to find, develop, and retain the best people. They realize the negative implications that a poor hiring decision can have on workforce morale and organizational performance. These managers also recognize the time, effort and cost involved in monitoring poor performers, correcting misbehavior, disciplining, documenting and ultimately discharging problem workers.
Think of it as a relationship. In every relationship the participants want and expect something from each other. The best relationships are based commonality of goals, mutual benefit, support, trust and respect. It’s when one party fails to uphold their part of the bargain that the trouble begins. Good managers know this and expend considerable effort developing the relationship. You know the standard advice: Support and defend your employees; criticize in private, praise in public; maintain professionalism; don’t condone betrayal; have clear expectations and open lines of communication; express concern and tolerance; and, value the other and recognize the importance of the relationship.
Lead by Example
Talking the talk; walking the walk comes to mind. The manager must be considered trustworthy, dependable, and fair. In the absence of one or more of these character qualities the relationship will suffer. When the relationship becomes adversarial, confrontational, suspicious, or damaged in other ways both the manager and her employees will suffer. And so will the organization and its outcomes. The manager must make special efforts to model the behavior she wants her staff to emulate. Lazy, inconsiderate, undisciplined, unfair managers will not enjoy the respect of their employees and will not inspire the employee’s best efforts. Perhaps even worse, the manager will lose respect and be viewed as a hypocrite. It definitely is a “do as I do” world, because we’ve all learned how cheap talk really is. Words mean little without corresponding and consistent actions and behaviors.
Leadership is a journey, a process, and requires a relationship with those you will lead. In summary, then, here are the basics:
–Make sure you hire only the best employees
–Have high expectations for performance and attitude
–Work hard to develop a positive, productive relationship with your staff (don’t be a tyrant)
–Be supportive of your subordinates
–Develop your employees’ skills, attitudes, competence and confidence (coach and mentor)
–Model the behavior you want to see from your employees
–Acknowledge and reward superior effort and results
–Enjoy and celebrate the results of your efforts and the team’s accomplishments