By Ruoro Kairu
As a manager, the role of ensuring everything runs smoothly in your department falls squarely on you. The CEO and top management are looking at you to provide results. At the same time, employees are looking to you to provide guidance and direction. In essence, you’re the bridge that links the CEO to the company and the employees.
Two weeks ago, a manager from an up-and-coming advertising agency reached out to our General Manager, Ms. Muthoni Ndegwa. The manager revealed he was having trouble with the performance at the advertising firm.
He wanted to know what he can do to ensure the employees are productive. At the same time, he spoke of how when he was in an entry-level position, he had a manager that would talk down on them and was only interested in the bottom line. He did not want to be such a manager; he wanted to achieve the company’s goals while looking at the wellbeing of the employees.
Here’s what Ms. Muthoni had to say about management practices that will lead to productivity.
1. Provide training and support to employees
One of the key reasons why workers may underperform is the lack of proper training. When an employee joins your department or organization, they should presumably have the hard skills required to succeed in the position they’re joining.
However, training and support are still essential. For example, think of the soft skills an employee needs to be successful. You can guide the employee to nurture these soft skills. You can also put your employees in situations where they have to employ these soft skills. This will help them hone relevant skills.
Most importantly, you’ll need to provide training and support in the products the employee will be dealing with. When they have a deep understanding of the products, they’ll be in a better position to perform their tasks.
You might also want to consider training the whole department. For instance, if you have a sales team, you can take them through a sales training course.
2. Provide meaningful feedback
One of the reasons why employees may not be performing is the way you give your feedback. I have seen managers who will sweeten any feedback to employees. Sure, you do not want to be the bad guy, at the same time, you want the department to improve on productivity.
When it comes to giving feedback, be honest, and give it as it is. Do not sugarcoat anything, at the same time, do not paint everything in a bad light.
As a manager, it is important to give meaningful feedback. When someone drops the ball, let them know. This feedback is what the employees will use to either improve or sustain what they have been doing.
3. Give recognition for outstanding performance
I have interacted with managers who do not see the need for recognition. To an extent, they are correct. An employee shouldn’t be praised to do what they ought to. However, there are those instances when an employee surpasses a major milestone. In such a case, you should recognize the efforts of the employee.
When an employee feels recognized for outstanding achievement, they get the motivation to achieve even higher goals. Besides, other employees are also motivated to work as hard as the colleague so they too can get recognized.
4. Have a clear vision
Often times, employees will be concerned with the short term goals –to meet their targets for the day, week or month. As the manager, you have to keep in mind both the short term goals and the vision of the company.
When you have a clear vision, you’re able to effectively communicate what each member of the team needs to do in order to work towards the bigger picture.
Moreover, you’ll also be able to tie the day-to-day running of your department with the vision of the company. When a member of your department does not work in alignment with the goals of the company, you’re able to see and guide them back to the vision.
While a company is in the growth stage, proper leadership will go a long way in helping the employees and taking the business to the next level. For SME’s especially, effective leadership will be detailed in how well the department does, and how effective and productive the employees are.
You can improve your leadership skills today by enrolling in leadership training.