No one ever said managing people was easy, but trends in today’s work environment often make it harder still. While employees used to be able to retreat to their offices or cubicles when the need arose–whether because of an interpersonal conflict or just a desire to focus uninterrupted–today’s open office plans and glass walls offer little respite from co-workers. In addition, the employees at any one company may hail from many different countries and cultures, creating the potential for misunderstandings and misinterpretation.
Yet, one of the biggest challenges for managers has remained consistent over the years: dealing with a lone, difficult employee. The woman who behaves imperiously with teammates. The man who grumbles over every assignment. The new recruit who refuses to communicate. The variations can be endless, with experts identifying categories as various as “Space Cadets” (as described by Marie McIntyre, founder of the Web company Your Office Coach COH +1.00%), “Volcanoes” (in Inc magazine) and “Splicers and Dicers” (according to Vicky Oliver, a Manhattan-based career adviser).
Managing people is not easy! Here are six tips for dealing with the especially difficult employees…
Fortunately, most people who work at creating
With company shareholders and board members frequently focused on the bottom line, change management typically starts and ends with the numbers. This kind of tight attention to the goal — and not to the people responsible for meeting it — often results in disgruntled employees, resistance to the changes, slow adoption of new procedures and results that don’t always hit the mark.
However, it is possible to chart and navigate even drastic changes within a company and succeed, both in a financial sense and from a human resources perspective. Here are five indispensable change management tips for achieving this unique balance.
1. Involve employees
The most essential tip for successful change management is also the simplest: Include your employees from the beginning. A top-down approach doesn’t work. Upper management can become insular and secretive about changes, especially those related to layoffs or restructuring. Springing major changes on employees at the last minute can lead to anger, resentment, strikes and even violence.
Involve employees as soon as goals are set. Ask their opinions and get their input on how the business runs today and what they believe should be changed.
2. Delegate effectively
Too often, participants in performance appraisal meetings seem awkward and uncomfortable. To some extent, that’s unavoidable — it’s always a bit awkward for one person to deliver a formal assessment of the quality of work performed by another.
But following some simple suggestions can eliminate a lot of the awkwardness in performance appraisal meetings. Here are some couple of tips that will help put both players at ease.
Gather Your Appraisal Information and Materials in Advance
The most important item you need to have is a copy of the individual’s performance appraisal. That’s obvious. But that’s not all.
At the beginning of the year you and the individual probably had a performance planning meeting. Ideally, the individual would have taken notes on a blank copy of the appraisal form and made a copy for you. That document
Face the facts: Creating a new performance appraisal system is a difficult undertaking. It’s even more difficult if the organization doesn’t have a logical, well-tested, step-by-step process to follow in developing their new procedure.
Based on my experience in helping dozens of companies create performance appraisal systems that actually work, here are ten tips that will help any company create a new performance evaluation system that will provide useful data and be enthusiastically supported by all system users.
One — Get top management actively involved. Without top management’s commitment and visible support, no program can succeed. Top management must establish strategic plans, identify values and core competencies, appoint an appropriate Implementation Team, demonstrate the importance of performance management by being active participants in the process, and use appraisal results in management decisions.
Two — Establish the criteria for an ideal system. Consider the needs of the four stakeholder groups of any appraisal system: Appraisers who must evaluate performance; Appraisees whose performance is being assessed; Human Resources professionals who must administer the system; and the Senior Management group that must lead the organization into the future. Identifying their expectations at the start helps assure their support once the system is finally designed. Ask each group: “What
The question asked by executives and managers – “How can I motivate my employees?” – is sometimes difficult to answer. Since each employee is motivated by a variety of different incentives, you need to find out what is of value for each person. Research shows that people often leave an employer because they haven’t received the recognition they want, or feedback on how they are doing. With this in mind, designing a positive, employee-driven motivation program works with some of your employees, but then what do you do for the others?
Leaders continue to look for ways to boost morale. Many organizations feel that if you want innovative and unique ways to boost your employees’ morale, just ask them. Of course, employees may not want to tell employers face-to-face what they want and what they are thinking. So the employer can conduct an anonymous “morale audit,” giving employees a survey to fill out. This is only one method.
Since many employers don’t have the time to write the specific questions and survey their employees, don’t know what specific questions to ask, or don’t want to take the time to write, conduct, and evaluate a survey, here are seven ways I believe you
Business pundits have recognized now for a number of years that a motivated employee is a productive employee. This is true across international boundaries, as major research studies have shown. Studies conducted by research houses such as Towers Perrin, BlessingWhite and Gallup Consulting consistently reveal a strong correlation between the level of employee engagement in an organization and its ability to meet its business goals.
There are many organizational and personal factors that contribute to an employee’s commitment level. One powerful but often unused method for raising employee motivation and effectiveness is mapping business processes. Process mapping entails identifying and representing in simple graphical form the steps used to deliver a product or service to both internal and external customers. Mapping processes is a central activity in all quality initiatives. And it’s no wonder. You can’t improve what you don’t understand.
Many organizations continue to struggle with poorly defined and communicated processes. How an invoice is processed, customer complaint handled or engineering drawing approved in many organizations depends more on who does it and what day of the week it was done on rather than on sound business reasoning. With this lack of process and role clarity, employee motivation takes a tumble
Performance Appraisal, Individual Performance Review, Personal Performance Development Plan. There are numerous names for this artifact of the post-1990s organisation, but they are names for basically the same concept: the measurement, review, evaluation and management of the performance of an employee. And it is one of the most contentious management processes of them all!
Why Organisations Do It
There are many reasons why managers continue to use individual performance appraisals, despite their love-hate relationship with them:
- to motivate staff to perform better, to contribute more to the organisation’s results
- to reward and recognise great performers
- to validate decisions to get rid of (or manage) poor performers
- to give staff the opportunity to continually learn and develop
- to make the organisation and its processes perform better – to inform succession planning and promotion decisions
The intentions behind almost every employee performance management system are good and just. It’s about making things better. But are they really making things better, the way most organisations currently design and implement them?
Why People Are Asking for Help
It seems that the majority of organisations will claim they have some kind of individual performance evaluation process, but that it doesn’t work the way they want it to. There are some very common criticisms about it.
How effective are organizations at driving superior performance from their employees? If we are to believe human resources professionals, then the answer is that our performance management systems are failing to make the grade. This is the sobering conclusion from Sibson Consulting’s worldwide survey.
In mid-2010, Sibson Consulting, in concert with the WorldatWork association, surveyed the association’s members on the status and effectiveness of their organizations’ performance management systems. Some 750 members responded in a variety of countries and industries and covered organizations of less than 100 employees to those employing more than 500,000.
Performance management systems, as set up and administered by HR functions, typically serve to rate the performance of individual employees and shape their behavior towards superior performance for the next rating period. Those employees not so fortunate may be moved out of the organization. Such systems are very pervasive in today’s organizations, with 91% of respondents reporting that their organization has a formal performance management system in place. The results of this survey, therefore, have very wide application.
How do HR professionals rate their own performance management system? After over four decades of fine tuning the system, less than half of them saw their system as helping the organization
The annual performance appraisal is an opportunity to enhance employee performance and create greater success for the company and the individual. My intent is to explore how coaching skills can be used in creating a good performance appraisal experience for both the employee and the supervisor and how to keep good performance going throughout the year. As a manager for 18 years my experience was that performance appraisals were a tense time for the employee and the supervisor. In either position, for me it often felt uncomfortable, so how do we reframe it so that it is a good experience for both?
Start with vision:
It’s important to start with vision: the company’s and the employee’s. What is the company vision? The company vision should be compelling and known by staff. When staff don’t know the owner’s vision for the company it is hard for them to help move it forward. Having a clear and compelling vision that employees can buy into provides a foundation for success.
But what drives the individual isn’t the bosses vision, the company’s vision, but their own compelling vision.
- Employees can embrace the company vision but …
- True success comes from within and from personal vision.
- Personal vision should be compelling
All companies want to improve employee productivity, but how often do they examine their own management practices as a means of attaining it? Studiesconsistently show that a disturbingly high number of non-management employees are disengaged, not working at full productive capacity. Following are 7 practical suggestions – steps management can take to improve productivity by putting employees in a more productive mindset.
Design economic incentives so employees at all levels of an organization can benefit from them. There’s a natural tendency for management to focus most heavily on senior-level economic incentives. While this is completely understandable, it’s best not to neglect substantive incentives for lower-level employees… that is, if you expect them to be vigorously committed to an enterprise’s success. To the argument that this will be unduly costly, a program has to be carefully structured, of course, so additional payouts reflect clearly defined revenue and/or earnings targets.
Provide meaningful feedback in a constructive manner on a regular basis. Feedback is a foundational management skill; the ability to provide regular, helpful feedback to employees in a manner that encourages, not discourages, is a cornerstone of effective management. That’s not to say feedback is always positive – that wouldn’t be management at all – but that the communication
Incentive plans should not result in arbitrary distributions of money casually decided upon by senior management. Instead, a good incentive plan must be quantified, must be a predictable result to the employee and must be directly related to measurable performance beyond the norm. This differentiates incentive plans from savings or retirement plans.
Incentive Plans Should Be Universal
Get your entire staff to pull in the same direction by designing your incentive plan to include all employees at some level of participation and only after a temporary evaluation period with the company (often 90 days). Many plans include part timers as well as full timers but at a somewhat lesser share of the proceeds.
Incentives Must Be Significant and of Perceived Value to the Recipient
To create a real incentive, the recipient must perceive the potential
This article introduces the problem-solving model as a technique for managing performance issues that are more controversial, or that are not effectively addressed through coaching or feedback. Issues such as tardiness, being out of uniform, continual poor performance, and others are best handled by a direct, objective approach. By following the Problem Solving Dialogue Model taught in this article, you can feel confident in addressing these thorny issues with employees.
Problem solving sounds so simple. However, we know it isn’t as simple as it seems. Employees don’t behave as we hope they would. Problem solving conversations are the ones we all tend to – or want to – avoid. Why? Because we fear – or are concerned about – how the employees may react. In a minute we will find ways to overcome these challenging situations.
What you must remember is that it is important NOT to avoid these conversations as a result of feeling uncomfortable about having them. If you were the coach of a baseball team, you would want your players to give it their all. What they should be able to expect of you in return is that other players on the team are performing as they need to.
What’s an organization to do when all of its honest and genuine efforts to motivate Sally and Sam to come to work on time, work safely, deliver efficient services, and act as if they were happy to be a part of the team, fail? There is no shortage of pop-psych books and motivational speakers who’ll tell you a thousand-and-one ways to light a fire in Sam’s belly. But what do you do when the fire goes out and none of those thousand-and-one ways seem to work any more? What do we really know about motivation?
Does Anything Work?
Given the constant barrage of pep talks and posters, slogans and free advice on the topic of motivation, there should certainly be at least a couple of core principles that predictably work every time. Aren’t there? Or are we stuck with the notion that everybody’s an individual, and what’s a turn-on for Sally is likely to be a turn-off for Sam?
Rather than speculate, let’s gather some data. Think back through all the jobs you’ve ever had, and bring to mind the job you had that produced the greatest amount of motivation in you. It doesn’t matter what the job was — it might be
Possibly, the greatest untapped resource in any organization lies in its employees. These days, “giving 100 percent” is not enough to get ahead; you need to become more effective in unlocking your staff’s potential strengths, creativity, and resourcefulness. The best companies have the best people, and the top people are those who think and act faster and better than others. According to Gallup Research, organizations make use of less than 20 percent of their employee’s potential.
The following seven tips are what I believe are the specific ingredients in bringing the leader and his or her staff to their full potential:
- Leadership –Being an effective leader helps you and your staff as they look to you for all of the specifics in getting their work done, as with items that follow and more. Allow your staff to think on their own, have trust in them for accomplishing the tasks assigned to them, and in return you will find that managing your employees will help them perform at their optimum level. The job of the leader is to help increase their staff’s effectiveness and to recognize and work to improve whatever limitations affect individual’s performance.
- Communication –As a leader, talk to your staff and
- Communicate intelligently. Some managers mistakenly believe that barking orders and instilling fear in your staff are the hallmarks of managerial success. But if this is your strategy, you’re likely to only succeed in creating a unmotivated, antagonized staff.
Instead, take the time to learn how to effectively communicate with each of your employees. Indeed, some may require firm, though respectful, directives, while others will respond best to a soft tone and congenial attitude. Adjust your management style to each employee, and don’t expect them to conform to yours.
Regardless of how you communicate, the one thing that must remain consistent is that you are straightforward and honest. Don’t try to beat around the bush or avoid explaining exactly what the problem is. For example, is the cash flow of your business not being accurately recorded? Then explain the issue to those responsible and let them know you will hold them accountable for the areas that you pinpoint.
- Accept responsibility. Simply put, if you make a mistake, own up to it. Don’t be tempted to pass the blame onto employees if it’s your error, as this can cause you to lose credibility and trust with your staff.
However, if you accept responsibility for your
It doesn’t matter whether you are running a company, a division or a department. If the people who report to you and whose performance you manage are dispirited and employee motivation is low, enployee performance will be poor and you will get the blame. And here is the bad news: Employee disengagement is at an all time high. The number of people who do not like what they do and would rather be elsewhere and preferably on vacation is legion.
The good news is that it does not have to be so. You can make a difference. Here are ten tips to inspire your employees who determine your ultimate success:
1) Understand that leadership is a privilege. Too many bad bosses look on employee problems as an unwelcome intrusion on their time. They unconsciously wonder why the employee can’t “fix” the problem on their own. Instead, treat each such interaction as an opportunity to forge a deeper connection with that employee and revisit the values you want them to hold to and display.
2) Recognize that your reports are human. They are individual human beings who are driven by fundamental human urges.They also want to be happy and free from suffering. While you have to ensure that organizational goals are met, do so in the context of each person’s
Employers want to hire workers who can prioritize and manage their work. In today’s workplace, more is being demanded of workers than ever before. You have to accomplish more in less time, with fewer resources. This puts a lot of pressure on you to be able to manage your time more efficiently so you can get more done, be less stressed and have a feeling of accomplishment. If you aren’t doing a great job of managing your time, then you probably aren’t able to deliver projects on time or you end up missing a few important meetings. You have to always stay on task because in today’s work environment, you can easily be replaced on a moment’s notice. In order to help you better manage your time, I’ve provided six valuable tips below:
1. Start with a list of easy tasks that can be completed quickly.
By organizing a list of easier tasks first, you can get the smaller stuff out of the way and give more of your attention and effort to the bigger projects. Also by doing this, you won’t have to worry about those smaller tasks that could end up getting in the way of the ones that really matter to you and
The job market in China is as of today one of the attractive in the world. Companies located on site must then face a strong “turn-over” and important changes cycles. Solutions exist to prevent talents from fleeing and to retain your Chinese employees.
Employee motivation: the basis of any business
Above all, it is important to know that some requirement to retain employees is done during the recruitment. This crucial step is the first condition for the future success of your business. While it is important to ensure that the candidate’s profile matches the full post, reading the CV alone is not enough and should be checked accurately if that person is really motivated at the idea to come working for you or even just in your industry.
One of the main issues that usually encounter companies, including foreign companies in China, during any search of good profiles is: is it necessary to outsource recruitment? This choice must be done individually, for each manager, keeping in mind that hiring a Chinese candidate is very different from recruiting a Western candidate. Each offer different cultural and social background and such divisions will necessarily play in the recruitment equation.
It is also very important
It has happened again. One of your employees is making life difficult for the rest of the department. The discontent has become a major distraction for your team, causing a dramatic decrease in their productivity.
Managers need to understand that a negative employee is not just a problem between them and that employee. The air of dissent affects everyone who’s around it.
Even though dealing with “problem employees” isn’t a favorite task for most managers, it’s part of the job. You will have to deal with the employee, and better sooner than later.
Easier said than done, right? Here are some guidelines that can help you handle the situation in a more diplomatic and effective way.
1. Don’t ignore the problem
It isn’t going to go away. Few people enjoy confrontation; but allowing a difficult employee to wreak havoc on your workplace is bad for business. Their bad attitude and actions can lower the morale and productivity of your other employees, especially if those employees take on extra work to avoid interacting with that person. And if they’re interacting with your clients, it could even lead to loss of business. You need to speak with the employee about the problem as soon as it is evident,