Supervisors And Managers
now browsing by category
Before you can focus on chemistry, you must understand teams. Start at the beginning by defining what teams are and how people feel about being on them. Additionally, you need to be aware of how teams can be effective and what causes them to fall apart. Knowing the pros and cons of teams will help you avoid pitfalls and build a strong chemistry.
Teams are described as groups of people with complementary skill sets who work on projects or activities towards common goals. Team members are cooperative and interdependent. In the business world, there are different types of teams.
- Functional – These teams work in a general area or department to support the customer needs.
- Cross-functional – Team members come with different areas of expertise to complete a single goal.
- Self-managing – These teams do not have much oversight as members work independently towards goals.
Regardless of the type of team a company implements, the individual team members have to work well together.
Many people do not like the idea of being on teams. This dread of teamwork often stems from past experiences. Everyone has been on a team with that one person who did not contribute. Additionally, some managers force teams on people believing that they will magically work better without taking the necessary steps to ensure that the team members will work well together and develop chemistry. Teams that are not launched correctly have little chance of being successful. It is important to get teams off to a positive start from the very beginning by developing relationships, inspiring goals, and defining roles.
For more on our Team Building Through Chemistry course, please visit: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Team_Building_Through_Chemistry
Establishing Performance Goals
Performance goals require strategic action. To be effective, these goals should not be handed down to employees. It is important to include employees in the goal setting process and encourage them to meet their individual performance goals. This will improve individual and company performance.
A strategic plan determines where employees are, where they want to be, and how they will get there. It should embrace the values of the organization and align with the following company information. The organization must create a strategic plan before creating performance goals.
Company Strategic Plan:
Employee performance goals need to consider the company’s strategic plan. Individual performance goals must be SMART goals that include strategies and actions for employees to take.
Example Goal: Stay informed about innovations in the industry, it can help improve productivity by 10 percent this year.
Examples of Actions:
- Attend training classes
- Meet with a mentor
- Communicate consistently
A job analysis determines what is required to do a specific job. It will help determine which skills and attributes an employee needs to complete a job successfully. A job analysis will help determine who to hire, how to train, and what compensation a job should receive. Job analyses are instrumental in determining performance. Research a position to determine the following information:
- Tools or systems used
- Reporting requirements
- Necessary certification
Performance goals need to be SMART goals. They need to address behavior, competency, and results. Remember to involve employees in their performance goals.
Examples of Goals:
- Behavior: Employees have complained about distance. Communicate with employees in person every week, rather than just sending emails.
- Competency: New equipment is being installed. Perform all the training within three weeks.
- Results: Sales are down. Increase sales by 5 percent this quarter.
Performance is related to motivation. Motivation is the job of every leader. There is not a single method for motivating employees. People have different personal motives, and leaders must meet the needs of individuals.
- Lead by example: Motivate yourself before you can motivate others.
- Meet with individuals: Communicate with employees directly to find out what motivates them.
- Reward employees: Find motivating rewards for individuals.
- Delegate: Do not micromanage employees.
- Inform: Inform people about how they are making a difference in the organization.
- Celebrate: Pay attention to achievements and celebrate with employees.
For more on our Performance Management course, please visit:
Managers Learn by Being Managed Well
If you ask a good manager where he or she learned how to manage, the answer is likely to be from a manager who was important to their own career. While courses and trainings on management skills are valuable and should be used, people appear to learn the most about managing by being managed. And while a bad manager can provide valuable lessons in what not to do, people learn more about management by being managed well. Employees who are managed effectively tend to be happier and more productive. As a result, when they enter management, they want to recreate that environment for their own employees or direct reports.
Pair New Managers with Mentors
Mentoring is invaluable when developing new managers, whether they are freshly in the position or on the management track for the future. Identify the top managers in your organization, and encourage them to mentor up and coming managers. When you hire a new manager, or identify an employee with management potential, pair him or her with a manager who has a track record of effectiveness. Encourage employees who aspire to management to seek out mentor relationships with managers they admire as well. Mentoring relationships give employees a chance to see good management “in action” and also to seek feedback from someone they respect. Mentors can help provide development opportunities and can also serve as valuable sounding boards for new managers.
Reward Effective Managers
One of the surest ways to promote and reinforce effective, quality management is to reward effective managers. Recognizing and rewarding those managers who demonstrate the skills and competencies valued by the organization reinforces that good management is itself valued. When employees at all levels see effective managers being recognized and rewarded, they aspire to demonstrate the same traits they see from these individuals. Depending on your company culture, rewards for effective managers may be financial (as in raises), incentives (such as extra vacation time), symbolic (such as plaques or certificates) or a mix of the three. Finding out what motivates individual managers and tailoring the rewards is also an effective strategy. Whatever reward system you choose, take the time to not only reward effective managers but recognize their efforts in a public way.
Emulate Effective Managers
Who was the best manager you ever had? What qualities did he or she demonstrate? Managers who have been managed well often emulate behaviors and practices they’ve learned from past managers, which in turn give their own employees the experience of being managed well. Emulating effective managers whether they are currently inside your organization or not, is another way to model desired behavior and develop new managers. When working with new managers, encourage them to emulate the best traits and practices of managers they’ve had in the past, whether at your organization or another. Encourage new managers or those aspiring to management to reflect on the best bosses, supervisors, or other managers they have ever worked with. Have them list the qualities, behaviors, or practices that made them so memorable and so effective. Encourage employees to emulate these qualities, behaviors, and practices. Also encourage them to look to managers they see as effective in your organization, and identify traits of those individuals they can emulate as well.
Create and Document Best Practices
There are many ways to be an effective manager, and each organization’s culture will influence the type of management it values. Creating and documenting a set of best management practices helps to reinforce the organizational culture and serves as a resource for new managers – and indeed for all managers as they grow and develop in their careers. A best practices document need not be long or exhaustive, and it should be a living document which can change as new practices emerge as effective. Working with employees at multiple levels, identify what management practices and behaviors are consistently identified as effective, engaging, and motivating. Also review organizational policies (such as around hiring and termination) and develop a set of best practices based on these. Adopting a central set of best practices helps to ensure consistency, and also serves as another guidepost for managers as they develop and grow. Make the best practices document readily available.
For more on the Developing New Managers Course from Corporate Training Materials, please visit:
The G.R.O.W. Model
Introducing the G.R.O.W. Model
Having a consistent and uniform approach to coaching enables you to coach more effectively with strategy and direction. Using a coaching model will also instill confidence in your employee, because they see a methodical approach. When we approach coaching haphazardly, we become disorganized and this creates frustrating coaching sessions.
The GROW model helps you organize your coaching process in a flow that identifies the goal first and ends with putting a plan together.
Here are the details of the GROW model:
- Goal setting: a goal has to be set in order to give direction and purpose to the coaching session. Ambiguous goals are usually never achieved. Setting the goal first shapes your discussion with your employee and sets the tone.
- Reality check: both you and your employee must come to terms on the current state or level of performance or any issues that are causing breakdowns. Getting to the bottom of the problem begins with identifying it and claiming. From there obstacles are better identified.
- Options developed: here you and your employee explore action steps that will help them improve their performance. Usually goals options that are prefabricated by an employee’s manager result in poor buy-in and missed goals. Allow your employee to explore options they develop.
- Wrap it up with a plan: once you nail down an option or two, it is time to strike it down on paper so to speak. If it is not written down, it won’t happen. Creating a well-defined plan is essential in order to know the direction you need to go and to demonstrate success or failure.
GROW is simple yet powerful. Following the GROW process consistently will develop a natural process for you. Coaching should be natural. This puts you and your employee at ease, making the process more valuable and rewarding. Let us unpack the GROW model over the next few modules and see how to incorporate it into our daily work lives.
For more information on our Coaching and Mentoring course, please visit:
One of the best ways a facilitator can anticipate problems in a group discussion is to set ground rules. Ground rules orient participants with what is expected from them. Moreover, they set boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behavior during the discussion. For best results, ground rules must be set in a consultative fashion, with the rules, and sometimes the consequences of violation of rules, negotiated among members of the group and agreed upon by consensus.
When setting ground rules, it is important to both verify if the rules are understood, and if they are acceptable. Make sure too that a documentation of the ground rules is available for everyone, either as a hand-out or posted in a flipchart paper for everyone to see.
Ground rules in a group meeting can relate to:
- How to make the most of the meeting. For example: practice timely attendance, participate fully.
- How to make a contribution to the discussion. For example: do the members raise their hands and ask the facilitator for permission to speak; use I-messages.
- How members should treat other members. For example: “don’t interrupt whoever is speaking, listen actively to whoever has the floor, accept that everyone has a right to their own opinion, no swearing or any aggressive behavior.
- Issues relating to confidentiality. Example: all matters discussed in the group shall remain within the group. This is also the moment for the facilitator to reveal if the minutes of the meeting will remain solely for his or her reference, or will it be given to an authority in the organization.
- How violations of ground rules would be addressed. Example: the use of graduated interventions from warning to expulsion from the group.
For more from our Facilitation Skills training course, please visit:
Budgets are critical for businesses. Many stakeholders within the organization require that budgets be submitted for review every year. The budget sets spending limits and usually is broken down to the individual departments or business units. Typically, budget numbers are reviewed every month to determine how well the company is keeping within the budget.
In order to begin a budget, you will need the following three pieces of information:
- Goal: Identifying a goal is the first step to creating a budget. Think about what you need to accomplish. This could be a sales goal, an efficiency goal or quality goal. No matter what the goal is, it is important to think carefully about the feasibility of the goal. Use the SMART technique for goal setting, which is making the goal Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time driven.
- Money: How much money do you have? In the corporate environment, you may need to review the financial reports to determine how well the company is doing. When things are financially tight, the monies allocated to the budgets may be limited. Knowing how much is available will help you determine what you should request in terms of the business environment.
- Costs: You will need to determine how much are the costs related to your goals. This may require you to breakdown your goals in to smaller components so you can put a price on each of them. Knowing how much things will cost will help weed out unnecessary expenses in your budget.
These three items will point you in the right direction when you are ready to begin your budget.
For more information on our Budgets and Financial Reports course, please visit:
You probably have an idea of your own personality type. A personality type is defined by the aspects of your character that emerge when around others or when doing important work. These character aspects are, as often as not, described as “soft skills”. You may have been described as “maternal”, “skeptical”, “humorous”, or any number of other things. These are issues which do not relate directly to your work but can aid or restrict your ability to do it, and can aid or restrict others. It is considered beneficial to have as many different types of personality in a workplace as possible.
There are countless tests that can be done to detect a personality type, and many different ways the results can be expressed, but there are certain things which hold true in all personality tests. Perhaps the best way in the workplace to detect a personality type is to judge your reaction to a problem which affects a whole team, or a group within it. Are you immediately looking for a way of overcoming the problem? Are you instinctively worried by what happens, and do you look to other people to help out? Do you comfort people who are stressed out by the problem? Or do you perhaps sit on the fringes, making comments and playing for laughs? Strange as it may sound, all of these elements are worthwhile in a team. The person who immediately looks for the solution is a “problem solver”; the second type is a “consensus seeker”. The third is considered a “nurturer” while the last listed is a “humorist”. All of these are classic personality types.
Equally, all of these people, and others, play a major part in making up a workplace.
- Without the problem solvers, an organization would be in trouble if things deviated from the plan as laid out.
- Without consensus seekers, it would be easy for a problem solver to become too autonomous, solving the problem to their satisfaction without being particularly concerned for how others felt about the solution.
- Without the nurturers, people would feel that a problem could too easily become a crisis.
- Without the humorists a bad situation would depress everyone.
Reason and etiquette dictate how much we allow our personality to take control of us, but most people will avoid becoming too “cliché” in how they behave.
When coaching, it is a temptation for you to talk more because we have plenty to say. However, in order to gain information and identifying appropriate goal areas, you must listen more. Remember, you have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you talk. Your objective here is to “catch” as much information as possible to help you determine what specific areas you can leverage and achieve results. Many times, allowing your employee to achieve even the smallest of goals begins a positive reinforcement of coaching. At some point before your actual coaching session, you want to engage in a brief discussion with your employee to determine their personal goals.
Here are some questions you should ask while during your pre-coaching meeting.
• What goals are you working on right now?
• Where are you in relation to those goals?
• What do you think is keeping you from reaching this goal?
• How will you know you reached that goal?
Asking these open-ended questions starts a conversation about your employee, which is what you want to achieve. Allowing your employee to speak more enables you to gather more information. Asking questions about their goals reveals their desires and this is something you can tie in to your coaching goal. Maybe an employee is furthering their education by going to college at night. Understanding this, you may be able to motivate your employee to achieve better performance, leading them to make more incentive they can use to fund their educational needs.
Furthermore, understanding where they are in relation to their goals reveals needs that may need support from you. Helping your employee with their personal goals builds a great working relationship. Finally, determining what roadblocks are preventing them from reaching their goals will provide insight into their personal circumstances. Granted, you may not solve all of your employee’s problems, but demonstrating empathy goes a long way and helps to form goals for you that take into consideration your employee’s personal situation. Remember, your employee does not care how much you know until you show how much you care. Listen more and talk less.
One final note, at first you may find asking questions challenging. This is normal. Give it time and do not give up. You may even have to let your employee know that you are interested more in their personal goals as a way to help them reach goals at work.
They say that leaders are born, not made. While it is true that some people are born leaders, some leaders are born in the midst of adversity. Often, simple people who have never had a leadership role will stand up and take the lead when a situation they care about requires it. A simple example is parenting. When a child arrives, many parents discover leadership abilities they never knew existed in order to guide and protect their offspring. There are countless war stories of simple GI’s and sailors who rose to a challenge on their own in the heat of battle.
Clearly, leadership potential exists within each of us. That potential can be triggered by outside events, or it can be learned by exploring ourselves from within. This training takes the latter approach. Once you learn the techniques of true leadership, you will be able to build the confidence it takes to take the lead. The more experience you have acting as a genuine leader, the easier it will be for you. It is never easy to take the lead, as you will need to make decisions and face challenges, but it can become natural and rewarding.
Leadership is not telling others what to do. Leadership is inspiring others to do what needs to be done. Many people around the world who are in leadership positions are not leaders. Dictators call themselves leaders but they are not. There have been many presidents of the United States, but few were real leaders. Genuine leaders take a stand and motivate others to join them in a noble purpose. One such leader was Abraham Lincoln, who ended slavery in the United States. Another was John F. Kennedy, who inspired a nation to go to the moon within a decade, and it did. General Patton had a completely different but no less effective leadership style. What is it that makes a leader, and what separates the good from the great?
Influence is subtle, yet incredibly powerful. You can order someone to do a task, but you cannot order them to do their best. It simply does not work and usually has the opposite effect. You can influence people to do their best by providing a strong, motivating example in addition to positive reinforcement. Leadership addresses tasks, while influence addresses attitudes and awareness. Influence is the soul of leadership.