As a manager you need to split your time and energy between taking care of the day to day details of running your team, and keeping your eye on the big picture. Performance issues can prevent you from reaching your goals. Here are a few tips that will help you head them off before they arise.
Communicate Goals, Priorities, Vision
Help your employees understand the vision for the department and the company. Set goals that help achieve that vision. Prioritize tasks you give to your employees. There is nothing more frustrating than a manager who wants everything ASAP.
If you give someone a rush assignment, work together to determine what gets pushed aside to make room for the new project. Just expecting them to “get it done” without reprioritizing other tasks can lead to frustration and paralysis.
Develop Your People
A bored or uninspired employee is an unproductive one. Offer training to employees who want to upgrade their skills. Provide career path training for people who are interested in management or moving into another department. Consider a tuition reimbursement program for employees who want to advance their education.
Optimize Your Space
If your team needs to collaborate frequently, consider an open office plan to encourage the free flow of ideas and information. If they more often need concentrated, uninterrupted thought, provide more workspace privacy. Or offer a combination of workspaces with both quiet spaces and areas where employees can have ad hoc meetings without distracting other people.
Handle Problems Promptly
A good manager acts like a snowplow, clearing the way of obstacles, so his people can make it down the road unimpeded. Address issues that are brought to your attention right away, whether it’s a squeaky chair or on the job harassment. Anything that distracts people on the job lowers productivity. The quicker you take care of it, the better.
Deal with problem employees promptly. Negativity or underperformance drags down the entire team, so don’t hesitate to take decisive action for the good of the team.
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