While a number of managers have the technical expertise required to perform their tasks many of them neglect the human element of their function. This is one of the greatest barriers to improving workplace performance. HR expert Lizanne de Jong sheds light on this and other management blunders as well as good practices for managing teams during the Improving Workplace Performance training course.
"Don?t assume that people know what to do' says de Jong. Managers are prone to avoid performance problems and quick to divert uncomfortable employee issues.
Other management blunders include poor time management, particularly in the area of prioritising. According to de Jong managers struggle to identify the difference between important and urgent tasks.
De Jong highlights a few practices that managers can implement to improve workplace performance:
Get to know your people
Foster open communication
Deal with performance issues immediately
Remain hands-on / visible (do not avoid confrontation through emails)
When should you address bad behaviour? As soon as it happens says de Jong. For example punctuality is an area of performance that is often overlooked or ignored as managers prefer to steer clear of any potential conflict situation. However, Lizanne encourages managers to address this issue the first time it arises. This does not have to be done in a formal setting. According to de Jong it is a good idea to address employees in a friendly or informal manner if the situations allows. The key is to maintain a steady dialogue.
"Being a manager is about having conversations' .This is perhaps the primary principle to remember when managing people.
Secondly, successful management stems from knowing your people. "Employees come with packages; this is not a reason to compensate for poor performance but it is essential to know their situations and competencies'.
Knowing your personnel helps you identify high performers and give them the support and attention they need. Don't assume that every employee is ambitious, says de Jong. Some people don?t want the added responsibility that follows a promotion. Smart managers understand that employees who fall into this category are the "backbone? of the team and recognize the importance of balancing different personalities to get the most out of the team.
Speak to your employees and get to know their capabilities and limitations with the purpose of empowering them, advises de Jong.
All of these issues and more will be discussed during the 2-day Improving Workplace Performance course by Alusani Skills and Training Network. Equip yourself with the best practices in managing your workforce successfully on a day-to-day basis.
By Cindy Payle