business management pro tips for beginners

business management pro tips for beginners

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as a manager you’ll play a few different
roles as I go through the five primary roles think about how you play them over
the course of your work week the first is producer you must produce
the desired results and achieve the organization’s goals through projects
and tasks second is administrator you must
administer systems policies and procedures so that the organization runs
efficiently third is innovator in order to enact
change that serves the organization’s future you’ll need to be creative and
innovative solutions fourth is mediator not only what you
need to help your employees work your conflict
you’ll also mediate any tensions between the employees needs and the
organization’s and fifth is culture builder you must build a work
environment and culture that values its members and supports the organization’s
goals each role requires different skill sets and you may be better at some than
others you want to play to your strengths and develop the areas in which
you still need to grow also think about how you can utilize the strengths of
your people to balance you it also happens that these roles can actually be
in conflict with each other for example administering a policy might actually
limit innovation or an acting change might threaten the current culture part
of being a manager is knowing how to balance these roles and also when to
prioritize one over another this can be confusing because there’s actually two
primary perspectives to consider one is the employees perspective which focuses
on the experience of the people under the manager this is the one we’re all
most familiar with because we’ve all been under a manager at some point in
our careers the other is the organization’s perspective which focuses
on the effective completion of work that drives the organization’s success every
manager must find a way to live at the intersection of these two different and
sometimes competing perspectives let’s take a deeper look I’m going to start
with the organization’s perspective because it really does come first
everyone is employed to help the organization accomplish its goals it’s
also true that the organization’s perspective is what is driven management
style since the 1800s the organization’s perspective includes
several key questions like are the assigned projects and tasks completed
does the work get completed on time and within the allotted budget is the level
of work quality sufficient to accomplish the goals is
the organization protected from lawsuits by compliance with state and federal
laws and regulations does any innovation occur that enhances the organization’s
success does the manager hire and develop employees who make positive
contributions to the organization over time from this list it becomes obvious
that from the organization’s perspective key management skills include project
management time management resource management communication decision-making
people skills and performance management now let’s switch to the employees
perspective the people who report to a manager have several key questions like
are my tasks and responsibilities made clear am i given the training guidance
and resources to complete the tasks are my skill sets effectively used and am i
given opportunities to grow am i treated fairly and with respect can I see that
my contributions make a difference and are they measured accurately and is my
worth accurately assess and valued is there a clear career path for me to
advance and grow and from the employees perspective key management skills
include communication people skills performance management training and
coaching and fairness or ethics there is overlap the employee interaction is in
service of the organization’s goals and the organization provides meaningful
work and fair compensation to the employee to be a successful manager
you’ll need to find a way to artfully navigate the inherent tensions and
opportunities that live between the needs of your employees and the goals of
your organization management styles are the patterns of
behavior people use when they hold management positions these patterns of
behavior include how they communicate make decisions supervise and motivate
there’s a range of management styles and all are a blend of three key behaviors
task Direction decision-making and relationship building task Direction is
when the manager tells the employee what to do as well as when where and how this
may involve teaching and training as well as directives and instructions
decision-making is the extent which the manager involves employees in the
decision making process this exists on a continuum
at one end employees have no involvement at all and at the other end the manager
delegates decision-making completely to the employees relationship building is
how the manager forms a relationship with each employee as well as creates
the work environment or culture for the team as a whole it includes coaching
motivating and engaging employees open communication and respect let me walk
through the most common management styles I’ve coined the first style the
director this manager wants to be in charge so controls all aspects of
decision-making they provide a lot of task direction and are often seen as
micro managers directors don’t engage much in relationship building although
they can be cordial a hallmark phrases do what I say this
autocratic style is appropriate when employees have very low levels of skill
or initiative or when the organization is in a crisis and needs immediate
change however the director ultimately does harm to the organization because
employees are not motivated and don’t get opportunities to develop the second
style is the consultant this manager still maintains control of
decision-making but knows that relationship building is important so it
consults with employees to gain their input employees can feel more engaged
with style if the consulting is genuine Consultants still provide task direction
but allow low levels of autonomy the phrase for this style is I value your
input this style works well with employees who are growing in their
skills or confidence but not yet to the level where they can handle complex
tasks on their own third you have the consensus builder who manages
democratically this manager genuinely seeks in
and feedback from all sides they focus on what’s best for the group as a whole
so often make decisions based on majority preference or consensus the
phrase here is what do you think the downside of the style is that they may
take too much time seeking input or ignoring the best decision in favor of
the choice that has the most support fourth you have the coach this manager
focuses on creating a highly productive and motivated staff they provide both
training as well as encouragement to grow they often create a fun and
positive work environment with lots of team-building and social activities the
hallmark phrases how can I support you this style is great for mid to high
performers but coaches can stumble if they have poor performers are difficult
employees who don’t respond to their encouragement the fifth style is the
visionary this manager has an exciting vision and they’re good at inspiring or
persuading others to get on board often they’re great at strategic thinking but
not so good with tactical skills this manager is exemplified by the phrase
follow me to thrive under this style employees need to be independent because
they have to figure out the day-to-day work for themselves the delegator is the
sixth style this manager uses a very hands-off or laissez-faire approach to
management they turn over almost complete control to their team stepping
in only when necessary this style only works well with
high-performing employees the phrase here is you’ve got this delegate errs
have to remember that while they may be able to hand over tasks performance and
decision-making they must continue to build relationships the last style is
called the narcissist and it’s actually the most harmful style with very few
redeeming qualities the narcissist maintains control by providing a lot of
tasks direction and no decision-making they engage in relationship building but
only to garner favors or support abruptly dropping people when it no
longer suits their needs this person is very self-centered but they can still be
likeable often even charming but they rule with an iron fist
using punishments from firing – petty retaliations to keep people in line
people under them are in fear so they cannot speak up or seek help often once
this person leaves or is let go a whole series of
shocking information comes to the surface to know if you have this most
toxic kind of boss look for high turnover or a boss that takes all the
credit for their team’s successes and blames their team for any failures as
you review these Styles think about which Styles you’ve experienced as an
employee what impacted the styles have on your productivity motivation and
loyalty to the organization also consider which style is most like you we
all tend to have a favorite or a natural style that we use the most so which style should you choose well it
all depends on your situation with the exception of the narcissist all of the
Styles can be useful in certain contexts while no one individual style is good or
bad a management style can be a good or poor fit for the situation which
determines its effectiveness let’s start with your natural style of management
which of the Styles is most like you if you’re not sure ask friends and
colleagues for their feedback it’s important to know which style you
default to because that’s what you’re likely to do under stress ultimately
your natural style may be the fit for some of your employees and they will
thrive under you but if you want your entire team to thrive you must be
willing to become versed in all of the styles it’s the managers responsibility
to be the chameleon and change your style to suit the situation by picking
the best style for the situation you’ll maximize the productivity and engagement
of your people to determine which style to use first assess the skills and
attitudes of each of your employees consider their job description and
identify the skills or competencies they need to be successful meet their current
competence in those skills also look at their attitudes are they enthusiastic
and motivated cautious or nervous or even disengaged and bored look at how
they get along as a group are they cohesive and friendly or is there a lot
of tension or conflict now you apply combinations of task Direction
relationship building and decision-making to bring out their best
with employees who are newer and skilled use high amounts of tasks direction and
relationship building this will help them learn what they need to do the job
as well as start building a positive connection between you you’d want to use
the director and consultant Styles over time as you see evidence that your
employees are becoming more skilled and confident you’ll throttle back on task
direction is needed and maintain relationship building also now add some
decision-making to push their growth in development now you don’t just hand over
a big decision to them but first start involving them in discussions about
decision making begin by seeking their input and sharing what you’re doing and
why as they get the hang of it then you can let them make some low-risk
decisions this is when you might want to use the consensus builder and coach
styles continue to build relationships as you
push their skill development with more and more opportunities for
decision-making once your employees are highly skilled
you can delegate a lot of things to them at this point you’re providing very
little tasks direction and even then it’s rare you’re also giving them a lot
of autonomy with decision-making increasing the complexity of projects to
keep them challenged and engaged you can also dial down the relationship building
as you should have a strong foundation of trust and respect to stand on however
be careful that you don’t stop relationship building all together even
your top performers still need encouragement and acknowledgement you’ll
find that the visionary and delegator Styles work well for you here especially
because as your team grows you can manage them less and less allowing you
to turn your focus toward leadership and strategy if you want a great book to
guide you through the many challenges of management I highly encourage you to
read the book leading at a higher level by Ken Blanchard it’s one of my all-time
favorite books and a must read for managers let me leave you with one more
tip think of yourself as a habit changer seriously current developments in
neuroscience have revealed new and exciting information about how humans
form habits habits shape everything we do from our professional to our personal
lives every day we engage in habit loops that have been well built over time and
in many cases are quite grooved both behaviorally and neurologically think
about your own day habit is behind your commute to the office how you behave in
meetings and even how you answer your phone when we do behaviors over and over
again they become grooved and even develop thicker neurological pathways in
fact research has shown that it takes about 40 repetitions of a behavior
before it becomes grooved as a habit and 66 shows measurable thickening of the
pathways what does this have to do with management well first as a manager you
have your own habits your default management style is one of them it’s
well grooved if you want to help yourself become better at the other
styles you have to practice them so they become habits too in addition managing
people is largely about helping them form new habits or better ones as you
give them tasks direction or opportunities to make decisions you’re
actually helping them develop new habits for working effective managers are
patient and allow people time to learn and grow knowing that after about 40
repetitions of any new behavior habits get formed so play with the six styles
using them based on what’s the best fit for the situation you may even use one
style with one employee and a different style with another ultimately your goal
is to bring out the best in your people and the right choice of management style
is how you accomplish this I believe that managing performance is
at the heart of the manager’s role so I’ve put the section first because it
will frame the rest of the material in this course we’re first going to explore
what performance management is and then I’ll share some strategies you can use
with your employees performance management is the entire series of
practices policies and procedures that guide and support an employee successful
completion of their work ultimately you’re managing people and completing
work that’s necessary to your organization’s success all of this is
done within the structure of the performance management process you use
and I’m not just talking about the software or system you use for
completing annual reviews although that’s certainly part of it this means
that effective performance management includes and aligns many different
aspects such as the organization’s goals and objectives the organizational values
and culture job descriptions competencies assessment of employee
performance process for developing and motivating employees compensation like
salary and bonuses and making employment decisions such as promotion and
termination ideally all these elements should align to create a cohesive system
that’s clear to all involved and it should provide you the manager with
clear strategies and practices to use during your interactions with your
employees from one-on-one discussions to project meetings to formal annual
reviews no matter your organization size or industry today’s work environment is
dramatically different than it was a few years ago more work straddles multiple
departments or customer bases this in turn requires more collaboration which
then necessitates better communication and more employees are now working
remotely or with colleagues and other states or countries because of the
changing nature of today’s business environment many organizations are
realizing the need to revise their performance management systems so you’ll
likely experience a range of models and systems over the course of your career
as a manager you’ll need to utilize the current system in place at your
organization but I think it’s always a good idea for you to stay informed about
best practices in performance management because it can guide how you implement
your system or even how you advocate for
needed change some of my favorite sources of information are the Human
Resources Leadership Council the Society for Human Resource Management Harvard
Business Review and Burson by Deloitte to be an effective manager I recommend
that you use the following strategies first become informed about your
organization’s process for performance management and do so as early as you can
if they offer training attend it right away many managers wait until they must
complete an annual review but that’s actually 12 months too late performance
management is something you should be doing every week with all of your
employees if they don’t offer a training or if you still have questions make an
appointment with the appropriate person in HR ultimately the performance process
offers legal protection to both employees and the organization the
manager is the person responsible for implementing it appropriately and
accurately no pressure or anything second create your own method for
organizing key information consider how you’ll track and measure each employees
progress throughout the year perhaps design your own forum for one-on-one
meetings or agendas for team meetings that helps you align the day-to-day work
with performance management be sure to explore the features that an online
system might offer you or other online tools that can help you third be
transparent with your employees share with them all you can about the process
discuss how and when their performance will be assessed how you’ll support them
in being successful and how it relates to compensation and career opportunities
no employee should ever be surprised during their annual review I recommend
doing this in a group setting so that everyone hears the same thing at the
same time it not only saves you from repeating yourself it also helps the
team know that they’re all held to the same process and standards in the rest
of this chapter we’re going to look at more parts of the performance management
process and how you can use various tools to maximize your success as a
manager you
true or false your role is someone’s manager starts their first day of work
actually it’s false it begins the minute you post a position for hire the part
that says reports – identifies you as their supervisor and the person who is
responsible for the performance management process the Job Description
outlines important aspects of their duties and responsibilities and usually
includes other key elements of the performance process such as expected
quotations and compensation and it’s likely that you’ll ultimately
participate in interviewing the top candidates assessing their skills and
abilities which will lead to hiring decision and a formal offer of
employment hiring and onboarding your employees is the beginning of your
professional relationship and you want to start off strong let’s look at how
first make sure you use best practices in hiring ultimately you want to hire
the right person for the job someone who has the skills to be successful and will
grow from the opportunity the hiring process should be designed to help you
assess key aspects of each candidate’s competence as well as how they’ll
contribute to the daily work environment of your team second follow established
procedures and practices if you have an HR department they’ll likely guide and
oversee some aspects of the hiring process so be sure you attend any
training available to you employee laws have gotten very complex over the years
and your colleagues in HR work hard to help you and other managers be
successful but you have to listen to their guidance one inappropriate
question during an interview like are you married not only opens your
organization up to a lawsuit but it can often cost you a good candidate who
might question your competency since you didn’t know better third put in the time
and energy to lead a great hiring process hiring is a two-way street
you’re evaluating the candidate but the candidate is also seeing if they want to
work for your organization and specifically you take this process
seriously I know that you might be busy but don’t make the mistakes that many
managers do which is to treat interviews as an interruption in their day schedule
time to review applications create thoughtful questions and assess the
candidates make sure you come to the meeting with an attitude of respect and
open after all first impressions matter on
both sides of the desk the hiring process takes time and energy but
consider it an investment in building a great team the more care and thought you
put into the hiring process the more it will pay off down the road in productive
employees and collaborative teams you
now let’s turn our focus to onboarding this is the new employees formal
introduction and orientation to your organization and your team it’s the
process of getting new hires adjusted to the performance and social aspects of
their jobs quickly and smoothly the benefits of onboarding include increased
job satisfaction increase performance and decrease turnover onboarding can
occur through a range of tools including online and paper documents such as
websites and handbooks videos and in-person meetings onboarding can range
from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks or even months depending on the
needs of your organization and the complexity of various roles again there
are best practices in onboarding first employees should be on-boarded to three
connected but distinct things the organization the department and their
job you’ll want to make sure you address all three another best practice is to
focus on boarding on what is known as the four C’s compliance which are the
laws and policies that must be adhered to clarification about job duties and
expectations culture which includes the stated and assumed values goals and
norms of the organization and connection which are the interpersonal
relationships and networks vital to their success by using these best
practices and onboarding you’ll not only be setting up your employees for success
but also begin building a positive work relationship between you you
a vital part of any performance management process is setting goals and
tracking progress towards accomplishing them let’s first talk about choices you
have with a performance management system one best practice and performance
management is to have the system organized around cascading goals at the
top they begin with the organization’s goals or objectives and then waterfall
down to the department goals followed by team and employee goals this allows each
person’s individual task performance and each team’s performance to be measured
against how it contributes to the organization’s success another option is
to have two tracks one that focuses on task performance and one that focuses on
career or professional development tasks performance is about the actions
behaviors and competencies needed to complete the task goal set for the year
these are directly tied to the employees current position and job description and
they’re not just to-do lists either they can include key people skills like
communication and collaboration as well as other competencies needed to do their
job effectively these discussions hi directly to the annual review process
career and professional development is about helping the employee move up to
other positions or opportunities in the future this may include preparing the
person for management roles or helping them develop new skills that position
them for parallel careers one of the key ways to motivate and engage your people
is to support their professional development many organizations build
these discussions into the performance process although they’re separated from
the annual review process and compensation decisions no matter how
your performance management process is organized you’ll use goal-setting as a
way to focus and direct actions and behaviors let’s look at some strategies
you can use as a manager to help your employees with goal-setting
first I recommend using the SMART goal technique where each goal has the
following five qualities its specific meaning that you get clear about the
details of who what where and how its measureable meaning that there’s a clear
way to see progress it’s action-oriented meaning that the employee has the
ability to do something as opposed to it being in someone else’s hands
it’s realistic meaning that it can be accomplished with the time and resources
available and finally it’s timely meaning that it has a clearly stated
deadline possibly with smaller milestones leading up to that deadline
using the SMART goal technique will help you and your employee clearly identify
measurable behaviors that will make it so much easier for you to track progress
you can also break the larger goal into smaller steps aplomb the smart technique
to each one this allows you to take a larger goal and see how it should move
along over weeks or even months second Institute quarterly progress
checks one of the mistakes that managers and employees often make is to set goals
at the beginning of the year and only assess them when it’s time to do the
annual review this not only makes the review process difficult as you wade
back through 12 months it also eliminates the opportunity to make
course corrections if you use the SMART goal technique you should be able to map
goals across time shorter milestones should build to the completion of the
goal when you check in every quarter it gives you and the employee the
opportunity to see which goals are on track and which may be falling behind
then you can strategize solutions for getting back on track before it’s too
late to fix it third when progress stalls identify and
remove the obstacles it’s very likely that progress will stall for each of
your employees in some way when that happens it’s important to take a closer
look at what’s happening because if won’t do much good if you set a new
deadline without addressing the source of the roadblock for example if your
employee has too much on their plate or competing priorities just putting this
gold back on their plate will likely lead to another missed milestone down
the road or perhaps the employee needs something to accomplish the goal such as
information or authority or training you need to provide it if you want to see
progress or it could even be emotional in nature when people procrastinate it’s
often because there’s something about the task that’s not compelling or
motivating you may need to help your employee explore what’s underneath their
resistance so you can address it as a manager you’ll often find that
supporting your employees in achieving their goals also acquires some coaching
skills on your part I certainly have we’re going to cover that in the next
video in the meantime consider how you can
utilize these strategy to help your employee set and achieve
both their performance and professional development goals as a manager I have found that coaching
is one of my primary tools for helping employees be at their best however
there’s a lot of confusion about what employee coaching is and how it works
that’s because there’s actually different styles of coaching and
different types of coaching conversations that you can use in a
professional setting so let’s clear that up coaching has evolved from two
important but very different fields and this essentially creates two primary
styles of coaching the first is skill coaching where the coaches expertise is
in the skill and they teach that skill to another person this mode evolved from
athletic coaching where the coach is someone who has extensive experience
with a skill say baseball or swimming and then coaches another on how to
improve that skill it’s a model based on teaching observation and offering advice
tips and strategies it’s intentionally directive and it’s what we naturally
default to as managers the benefits of skill coaching is that it’s often faster
and easier to direct people and it offers the manager a lot of control
about how work is completed the second style is clarity coaching the coach’s
expertise is in the clarity process and they facilitate the other person and
accessing their own answers this mode evolved from the field of life coaching
where the coach is trained in formal coaching skills the coach facilitates
the other person and becoming clear about an issue and uses powerful
questions to help them tap into their own knowledge and expertise the coach
then supports the person’s progress with action plans and accountability this
style is intentionally non-directive and the coach must be well-versed in the
techniques of clarity coaching there are three primary benefits of clarity
coaching one it’s a process that’s proven to motivate and engage employees
to behavior change is more likely to stick when they arrive at it on their
own because they become more invested and accountable and three over time you
build employee confidence because they’re more likely to initiate solving
their own problems in the future obviously these two styles can be at
odds with each other yet both are very powerful tools for employ coaching it
becomes a question of which to use when generally you want to use skill coaching
with employees who need a lot of guidance or
employees who are new to a complex task but as your employees grow and develop
you’ll want to shift more and more often to clarity coaching now let’s look at
the four types of coaching conversations people can have in a professional
setting the first is problem-solving this is
when the employees have hit a roadblock with a project or situation and they
need help thinking through the issue and possible solutions second is performance
this is used when employees need to improve or develop a professional skill
to do their current job well third is development this is used with a
high-performing employee and is about preparing them for the next level of
skill or responsibility finally there’s Career Planning this is used to help an
employee identify their long term career goals and plan for achieving them as a
manager you should be having all four types of conversations with your
employees in all of these conversations skill coaching might take less time but
if you want to build the competence and motivation of your employees you need to
be using clarity coaching more and more of the time like any skill clarity
coaching will get easier if you keep practicing it I’m a big fan of creating
a coaching culture in an organization many studies have been done on the
benefits with the return on investment paying off an increased productivity
employee engagement and the effectiveness of leaders you’ll find
that employees are most happy with and loyal to managers who use clarity
coaching because they feel valued heard and empowered so develop your skills
today and start reaping the many benefits that coaching your employees
will bring in today’s collaborative work
environments more and more work is being done in teams as a result an important
aspect of performance management includes team performance ultimately you
need to find a way to assess and measure how collaborative work reflects on each
individual employees performance as well as the group as a whole a team is
different from a group of individuals who may form a department or a
cross-functional group specifically to be a team the group must have the
following four qualities number one a common purpose this would be the clear
goal there to achieve number two their efforts must be interdependent otherwise
it’s just coordinated efforts of individual contributors and that’s not a
team number three they must share accountability everyone is held
responsible for the group success or failure and number four the members must
believe that the outcome will be better working together than alone managing a
high-performing team takes effort so plan to spend some time energy on
implementing these strategies this will also help you address the most common
reasons teams fail which are unclear purpose or goals lack of clear plan or
commitment to the plan inability to deal with conflict lack of shared
accountability for results insufficient resources and lack of trust you

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