Post about "management"

The First Line Manager: Trust Begins a Process That Leads to Success

What can trust do for a first line manager? Trust opens opportunities for you.As night auditor at the Ramada in Tuscaloosa, I thought management did not care about how I did my job. I performed night audits prior to the Ramada at two hotels. These prior hotel managers required me to balance the books daily. Here at the Ramada, they let me a carry “out of balance totals” forward. I was not required to balance the audit. I started to not care. My figures on the sheets were sloppy. I did not care if I finished the audit on my shift. I would come back and finish the audit during the day. A fellow employee told me I was going to be fired. I needed this job to pay for my college. I went to the manager. I told him I was sorry about my performance, I would do better. I became energized again. I regained control of my attitude about my job. I learned that my attitude was mine to control. The manager renewed his trust in me. This trust led to his faith in me.Trust leads to faith. I graduated from the university. The next week the manager promoted me to a management trainee position with the company. This was because my trust worthiness led to his faith in me. Two weeks after this; the manager quit.The day he quit I came into the restaurant. I saw the owners sitting at a table in the restaurant. They motioned for me to come to the table. I sat down. They told me the manager quit. Then, Mr. Edmondson asked me, “Can you manage the restaurant and lounge?” I think they would have not asked me the question if they did not trust me. Their faith in me; gave me faith in myself. I said, “Yes, Sir.” I was the restaurant manager. Trust leads to faith. Their faith in me; and, my faith in myself.Faith leads to action. The owner’s faith in me, led me to take actions to make our restaurant better. I took actions to learn the business; thus, to justify their faith in me. I took the restaurant from a business with a primary cost of around 72% to one of 65% in three months. Their faith led to my willingness to take action to become knowledgeable of the restaurant business. My actions increased the faith the owners had in me; I got a chance to manage a larger restaurant. I eventually became a general manager for the company. They gave me the restaurant manager’s job because of their faith in me. Their faith led to my actions.Action leads to change. My actions, most importantly, led to changing me. Your actions let you make change. First line managers get to implement changes from others; and, they can formulate changes. Change is not an option in today’s world; it is mandatory. Mostly this change is not necessarily innovation. These changes are mainly small improvements in existing processes; or, changes you are instructed to do by your manager. You are there to maintain the status quo. This does require changes to support the activities of the operation as business processes change.There is a need for caretaker management and for innovation management. These first line management types are very different. Let me explain.Bill, a manager at the bakery where I worked, is a good example of what I call caretaker management. His station was at the panning machine. This machine took the raw dough cut it, and placed it in pans. Workers placed these dough pans on sheet pans before they went into the proofer. Bill stood there during the shift. He hardly every moved. He listened to the machine and watched the workers. Mostly, he did not have to do anything. His role was to do just make sure the machine was working properly. He managed change by making sure nothing went wrong in this process. He was a caretaker. If something went wrong he made changes to restore the process. Otherwise, he only made changes given to him by the plant manager.Change leads to innovation. Innovation is change to better ways of doing things; new paradigms in thinking. A first line manager can be an innovation manager. It take courage to change paradigms, because you are stepping out of the traditional way of doing things. This is the first step in first line leadership; when, change leads to innovation.For example, I changed the way we sold appliances at the West Blocton office. These innovations lead to an increase in sales from $47,000 to $213,000 in two years. This sales increase required a new marketing paradigm. My Vice President questioned some of the innovative processes; because, other mangers did not know how to do them. He did not think that was fair.Here is the difference between a caretaker manager and an innovation manager. For example: if a company hires a caretaker manager for a cemetery, they mainly want someone to make sure all the processes work. The grass is cut regularly. The hedges are trimmed. The grounds keepers perform all the burial routines. The cemetery is open at sunrise and closed at sunset.What would they get if they hired an innovation manager? This innovation manager would perform all the routine duties. This manager knows how to manage a cemetery. But, in addition, this manager might make innovative changes. Install lighting so the cemetery could be open at night. Fireworks on the 4th of July. Have spring and Fall fairs. Companies that hire this innovation manager you might not be happy with these innovations; and, the innovation manager would not be happy if the innovations were not made. Companies should not hire an innovation manager, if they want a caretaker manager. The innovation manager might make the cemetery a lively place.But, remember, innovation leads to more successful change. A change that may preserve a department or company’s future. Companies’ need both types of managers; and, both management styles are valuable.Innovation leads to success. Innovation gives you a chance to be the best. Innovation sets you apart from other first line managers. Innovators find new ways of doing traditional processes. They create new paradigms that lead to their department and company’s success.Here is what innovation might feel like. I and our division supervisors formulated a new training system. This program is to replace the traditional corporate training program. My manager approved the process because he had faith in my ability. Our new training requires the employees to take an active part in training for a new computer dispatch and order management program. Our training program is only four hours instead of the traditional corporate 8 hours.The day before we were to start or training classes; my manager called me on the radio. He asked me,” was I sure the training course will work?” I told him I am confident the training is more effective than that being done by corporate trainers. He then told me the corporate team would be in the class watching me. If they did not like the program, “They were going to jerk the training from under me.”
The new way of training was very effective. It saved our company over $18,000. But, more importantly our employees were trained better and more effectively.The point is, trust leads to faith; faith leads to action; action leads to change; change leads to innovation; and innovation leads to success.The first line manager must be aware; the start of effective management begins with trust. There is one destroyer of trust; dishonesty. I was truthful with the motel manager. This gave him trust in me; and, eventually, led to my success as a first line manager.Most important, remember, trust leads to your success. Success leads to respect.

Managing People’s Performance – Fact or Fiction?

Managing people’s performance is key to every manager’s success. It is often the cause of their failure. Why? Something has gone badly wrong if managers cannot get the basics of people management right.The answer lies in the five greatest mistakes that managers make.
Promoted into management on the basis that they are technically strong and personally effective, many managers have failed to change their mindsets and priorities.With their focus still on personal achievement, they often operate as a super technician, oblivious to their team’s needs.A primary need of any team is involvement, particularly in the definition of its objectives. Managers need to involve their teams, and their people, in agreeing on objectives. If they don’t, they simply become managers in name only. The organisation would be better off with self-directed teams.
Push For Results
Managers are achievement oriented and results driven; they have to be. In their push for results, however, they can fail to understand the motivation needs of others.Pushing for results rapidly becomes pushing their people; pushing their people then becomes pushing their people harder. If the best results are willingly given, then the satisfaction needs of individuals are critically important to a manager’s success.Ignoring these needs, in the push for results, simply creates a used, or even abused, workforce. A workforce that withdraws its discretionary effort, seeks to do the least, not the most. Overlooking the needs of employees, in a push for results, ultimately has a bulldozer effect – increased resistance to increased managerial efforts.
Most managers are “self-motivated” individuals. That’s how they became managers. They are not always motivators of others, or people who find it easy to praise and recognise the efforts of others. They often try to motivate by example, modelling hard work and long hours, but failing to engage the hearts and minds of their people. They become “burnt-out” solo performers; their people check out, and many eventually leave. Failing to create a psychological contract, by recognising people’s motivation needs, is often the first step towards managerial failure.
No Added Value
Managers should constantly add value to their people. (Why else would their people need a manager?). This means training and developing them, coaching and counselling them, and encouraging individual growth. Managers constantly miss opportunities to add value to their people in these areas. Failing to put effort into their own personal growth and development, they fail to see the connection between learning and results. When people are learning, they become more engaged in their work. The stimulation of learning stimulates a desire for improved personal performance.Managers, who understand this, invest time in growing their people, and look for every opportunity to do so. Managers, who cannot grasp this essential truth, struggle to perform. They suffer, their people suffer, and the whole organisation suffers.
It has been said that there is no such thing as a completely fair manager. After all, what is considered to be unfair treatment by one individual might be considered utterly fair by another. This is no excuse however for having favourites, “picking on” certain individuals, and deliberately “making points” through the different treatment of people.No matter what a manager’s feelings are towards certain individuals, personal bias and subjective views must be replaced by a fair, honest and objective treatment of them. This is hard for managers to grasp. They fail to see that their whole credibility is at stake, if they fail to treat people fairly. A lack of credibility quickly turns to a lack of leadership, and the seeds of future failure have been sown.How do your managers stack up against the five greatest mistakes?
Failing to incorporate employee ideas into their objectives

Overlooking the needs of employees, in the push for results

Missing opportunities to motivate and coach employees

Withholding praise and recognition

Not treating their people fairly

The answer is the five greatest managerial behaviours:
Involvement Of People
The primary responsibility of any manager is involvement with his/her people. Involvement is vital to create a vision for the future, communicate that vision, formulate a plan to achieve it and then execute it.The management of change is not achieved in isolation, and if people are going to commit to it they need to be involved every step of the way. Turning a vision into agreed team and individual objectives then becomes a natural part of the involvement process. Implementation of plans then becomes easy and natural, as does the achievement of success.
Satisfaction Management
Satisfaction management is the key to unlocking the discretionary effort of employees. Discretionary effort is a key ingredient to high performance. Instead of a continuous push for results, the best managers invest in creating increased satisfaction for their people.They bring measurement to satisfaction in the same way they do performance. They actively involve people in identifying their satisfaction needs and in exploring ways to meet them. They modify their leadership style to bring the best out of people. They have “emotional intelligence” and they use it.
Coach, Counsellor And Facilitator
Effective managers not only balance their task and people focus, they actively seek to grow the capabilities of their people. They know that if they do this, continuous improvement in both team and individual performance can be achieved in a dramatic way.They see their primary roles as Coach, Counsellor and Facilitator to their people. They understand that without additional knowledge, fresh insights and the ability to solve their own problems, people cannot perform to their best ability.They have learned that a significant learning input into their people produces significant output for their organization. They have learned to “conduct an orchestra,” versus “play an instrument.”
Encouragement, Praise And Recognition
If you want to de-motivate someone, just ignore him/her. Ignoring people devalues them, demeans them, and undermines their dignity as a human being. How often are employees de-motivated, not by cruel, but rather by uncaring managers?Encouragement, praise and recognition create the high-octane gas that fills up people’s emotional tanks. It needs to be genuine; it needs to be attached to achievement or progress; and it needs to be regular.Blame and fear cultures are only replaced by learning cultures when genuine, positive reinforcement replaces continuous negative feedback, or a lack of any feedback. Managers need to be generous providers of the right feedback; they need the skills and the confidence to deliver it and the belief that it makes a difference.
Honest, Open And Fair
Managers cannot always be perceived to be utterly honest, open and fair, but they can strive to be so in their dealings with others. Culture and values need to be lived out, leadership needs to be modelled and not just talked about.Managers must be seen to be acting in the best interests of all. Difficult? Not really- if there is a genuine partnership relationship with their people. If loyalty to their teams, and giving others the credit for success become the norm, then honesty, openness and fairness become a way of life. So also does the mutual support that accompanies them, and which is needed in abundance if today’s managers are to succeed in the hostile, challenging and uncertain business environment of the twenty-first century.The five greatest managerial mistakes can break an organisation. The five greatest managerial behaviours can make it. These behaviours can be learned.Using our programme, Managing People’s Performance, we equip managers with these behaviours. Our programme turns the fiction of good people-management into a fact. A fact that will transform your organisation and its future success.

Should You Use a Web Based Project Management Software?

Web based project management software can help you manage your projects easily. This is a great partner for your business. But, perhaps you’re thinking or wondering if you should use it. If you are still on the fence, here are some things you need to know about web based project management software.Managing a business is not easy. You need diligent workers, teams or employees so that you will succeed in any project you are going to handle. But even if you have so many diligent workers, they are humans who get tired and become the reason why they cannot think and work well. They don’t realize that they are making mistakes, and they may not be able to monitor your project accurately. With a software, you can set it to send you and your team reminders when things are due. That way, you can manage your time easily.A web based software is program created for business to make management easy. Using the internet, you can keep your tasks in line, rather than relying on one piece of software all the time. This means you can also check up on your project with just an internet connection and a computer or even mobile device. This can be really convenient, especially if you travel a lot or you have many different team members in many locations. Indeed, having the ability to manage your projects online from remote locations can make you more productive and ensure you’re using your time wisely. Imagine being able to communicate with your team members while on your daily commute or while waiting to board at the airport. So, if you like being mobile and being to work anywhere, a web based project management software is for you.This program helps you in organizing, analyzing, planning, scheduling and designation of tasks online. You can use this program as project planner, so that you cannot forget any transaction. You can also monitor your team and designate those tasks. You can see their performance in this program and if your projects obtain progress. As long as you have web based project software you can easily share videos, images and documents with your team. There are web based project management software found online some are really useful but some are not, don’t forget to check the site if it is legitimate. So, if you enjoy the ease and convenience of web based apps and a project management software, you may want to look into web based project management software.