Managers tell us every day that they struggle with so many factors outside their control. Here are the five unavoidable realities of today’s workplace that constantly vex managers:
- Personnel discontinuity. People come and go. That’s always been true. But employment relationshipstoday are far more short term and fluid than they have been before in the modern economy. So you are always losing goodpeople. And you are always trying to get new people on board and up to speed. On top of that, one great employee is worthmore than three or four or five mediocre employees. Sometimes you have to go to great lengths to effectively reward, retain,and develop the very best employees.
- Constant change coming at you from every direction. Technology. The markets. The weather. Geopolitics.Micropolitics. Customer requirements; vendor requirements; employee requirements. Change regularly forces rework, ofteninvolving lots of moving parts, and therefore lots of counterparts here there and everywhere.
- Interdependency. More and more of our work involves lots of moving parts and, therefore, lots ofcounterparts here, there, and everywhere. Most people must rely on many others within and without their immediate work groupin order to do their own work.
- Resource constraints. Everybody is expected nowadays to do more with less. Increasingly people reportthat they are making do with tighter and tighter resources, longer and more complex supply lines, and shorter and shorterlead times. Often people find themselves trying to do their jobs with what they feel are insufficient resources.
- Employees are human. Human beings have weaknesses as well as strengths. Humans are not always great atself-management. They have habits—and not always good ones. Not only that, but everybody has bad days. Some people have badweeks, months, even years. Productivity and quality of work are highly variable, sometimes due to employee performance. Ontop of all that, humans have attitudes, and not always good ones.
Highly-engaged management is all about focusing on the factors you can control and helping your direct reports focus on the factors they can control every step of the way. The key is to keep all of these factors in mind, plan for them, plan around them, anticipate and avoid them, and be ready to take action to mitigate the down-sides. Strong leadership will help you stay a few steps ahead on all of these issues. Highly-engaged management will give you a head start when it comes to the most effective ways to attract and retain talent, navigating through change, interdependency, and resource constraints. And if you are highly-engaged, you will remember to give those human beings more guidance, direction, support and coaching every step of the way.
Looking for some help to handle these problems, and more? Check out the Tips and Tools on our website!
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MILLENNIALS IN THE WORKPLACE
In order to win today’s competition for the most talented young employees, you need to develop a systematic effort to find the right candidates, develop methodical recruiting campaigns anchored in powerful messaging, implement rigorous selection techniques, and then get new staff members in the door, on board, up to speed, and deciding one day at a time to NOT leave. Here’s our approach in a nutshell:
- Diversify your sourcing
- Deliver a killer message
- Determine why your brand may not be enough to attract the best
- Grab hold of them, and don’t let go
- Low tech: train them one task at a time
- High tech: don’t fight their desire for the latest and greatest information technology
Zero to Two Year Retention
- Create an upward spiral of continuous improvement
- Focus on solutions, not problems
- Teach them how to get what they need from you
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