Your presentation was one of the BEST presentations I’ve seen in my entire Agency career.
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Sep 2, 2014

Management Challenge #9: When You Have an Employee Who Needs to Increase Productivity
Excerpted from The 27 Challenges Managers Face

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FROM BRUCE

Greetings from the last weeks of summer. I just returned from an
exhilarating trip to keynote the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce Luncheon
in Franklin, Tennessee and meet with the world class team at Premiere Speakers Bureau. Thanks to Premiere, the Chamber, and everyone I met, including Mr. Trevor Goulding, Director of Sales at the Embassy Suites where the luncheon was held. By coincidence, Mr. Goulding was kind enough to tell me that he was just about to watch
his weekly short-video lesson from our “Back to Fundamentals” program at RainmakerThinking. training when he realized I would be speaking in the conference room next door. After my speech, he showed me the video lesson cued up on his iPhone. To wit…

Check out RainmakerThinking. training, our newly launched on-line training platform.
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The 27 Challenges Managers Face

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Stay strong!

Bruce

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Productivity means “output per labor unit.” How much work does an employee get done? If an employee doesn’t get “enough” work done, then there are only three logical possibilities: Either that employee needs to work more, faster, or both. Simple, right? Just keep that employee in his chair and keep a fire lit under it.

But it’s rarely quite so simple. Let’s assume you are already coaching your employees as needed on the fundamentals of self-management, so your direct-reports are already tuned-in to living by a schedule and working a plan.

Managers ask me every day, “What about the employee who is in his chair working all day but just seems to work very slowly? How do you help that person speed up and start working at a faster pace?”

Metrics are great. But they are only step one in performance management. Staring at the numbers would be like a sports coach running down the field alongside a runner saying “run faster, run faster.” The runner is already trying to run faster. What the runner needs to hear from the coach is how to run faster, in the form of good course- correcting feedback: “Pick your knees up. Push off hard. Reach with your stride. Pull your shoulders back. Tuck your chin. Pull your elbows in.” And the runner thinks, “Ah ha! That’s HOW to run faster. Now that helps me.”

You are the performance coach. The metrics are only valuable if you use them every step of the way to develop good course-correcting feedback for your employees. You need to be able to coach your employees on how to get faster.

Start with a time/motion study of each task in question. Figure out: How long should the task take? Step by step; concrete action by concrete action. Create a time-budget for each task; for each step; for each concrete action. Identify the micro-gaps between the time budget and the employee’s actual time step by step; concrete action by concrete action. In these micro-gaps lie the potential opportunities to speed up.

FROM OUR RESEARCH:

Our research shows there are four common surprises managers most often discover when they conduct a time/motion study of that employee’s work:

THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE DOING IT WRONG

Look at the employee’s every action in the process and check it against the very best practices, action by action. do a micro-gap analysis. Start coaching to fill the gaps.

THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE DOING UNNECESSARY TASKS

Start coaching to stop doing those unnecessary tasks regardless of what itch they might scratch.

THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE BUILDING IN UNNECESSARY STEPS IN SOME TASKS

If so, streamline the process, then start coaching others on how to adopt the streamlined process.

THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE ENCOUNTERING RECURRING OBSTACLES THAT HAVE NOT BEEN TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT

If so, can the obstacles be removed? Or can a ready-made solution be provided to deal with the obstacles when they occur? Start coaching on using those ready-made solutions when the obstacles come up.

VIDEO TIP

There Are Five Ways to Monitor Employee Performance

DON’T MISS!

Bruce has another free webinar coming up in September!

Join our webinar on managing multiple generations in the workforce.

Managing generational differences in the workplace is proving to be a challenge for many – especially when a customer service aspect is involved.

September 10, 2014 1:00PM

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