Managing employees these days should not be like it was 50 years ago, 25 years ago or even 10 years ago. To find out if your management skills are stuck in the past, ask yourself one essential question: Do you manage people instead of managing work? If the answer is yes, then chances are very high that you need to revamp your management skills. Here’s how to thoroughly investigate whether you have management skills stuck in the past and what to do about it.
Considerations for Analyzing Your Management Skills
The following bullet points give examples of what it means to manage people instead of to manage work. – You require that employees follow strictly outlined office hours. They must get permission from you to arrive late or leave early, and you give that permission only for really good reasons. – You might allow employees to telecommute, but you do so only one day a week. After all, you need to be able to see employees working. – You believe that meetings are necessary to ensure that everyone stays on the right track. Otherwise, how can anyone truly communicate or collaborate? It is questionable whether managing people was ever successful, but at least folks from decades ago had an excuse to require employees in the office and during certain hours: lack of technology. Today, technology has revamped how businesses work. It has revamped how communication and collaboration happen. You have management skills stuck in the past if you pride yourself on rules as a means of staff discipline, if you believe that obtaining results means all staffers are in on time and do not leave early, and that all employees follow a carefully constructed checklist of tasks during work hours. It’s time for you to throw out this outdated formula: Physical Presence + Time = Results.
Each Person Is Different
A huge reason why managing people instead of managing work is ineffective: each person is different. You cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach, and expect much success. You might barely get by, or even experience a small degree of success, but chances are that it’s nothing like what you could achieve if you managed work instead. When you manage people, you indicate that you don’t trust them to know themselves and to make decisions that best suit them and the company. You’re saying that you have no faith in their innate knowledge of their work styles.
Ease of measurement is one reason why management skills stuck in the past are so common. Joe comes in at 8 a.m., as prescribed, and always leaves at 5 p.m. Never one minute earlier. What a good worker! He’s diligent and deserves a raise. You barely notice that that the reports he turns in leave something to be desired and that he rarely contributes anything of substance. Fact is, managing work can be easy to measure, too. It’s simply a matter of perspective and priorities.
Avoid the Trap of Managing Time
If you’re obsessed with managing your employees’ time, then you possess management skills stuck in the past. One of the first steps in revamping your management skills is to avoid making statements such as, ïLet’s all congratulate Joe! He came in early today to make sure the report got out on time.ï Employees notice these things. They pick up on the fact it’s more important to be present in the office than to turn in meaningful results. The reality is, however, being in the office for long hours often means forcing employees to fill time. Not a good thing for employee engagement, retention and productivity.
How to Shift Focus
Shifting focus likely will not happen overnight; chances are that it’s ingrained in your workplace culture. That said, there’s no time like now to get started. Educate employees at all levels that hallway monitoring is over. No one needs your permission to arrive late or leave early. In fact, you encourage employees to set their own hours as long as goals are being met. When you manage work instead of people, the following are examples of your goals: – Reaching a customer satisfaction score of 4.2 – Delivering the project in full by Friday at 1 p.m. – Asking, ïHow should we approach this report?ï – Asking, ïWhat can I do to help?ï See the difference? When you remove a focus on managing people and instead focus on the work they do, you’ll notice a lot of blossoming as employees come into their own. As you explore how to move on from being a person with management skills stuck in the past to someone who emphasizes results, you’ll need to bring all-star employees on board. Turn to the resources here at Mighty Recruiter for assistance.