Five Secrets to Gaining Credibility with Your Team for Outstanding ResultsWritten by Ed Sykes
Towers Perrin, corporate benefits consulting firm, surveyed over 1000 American workers and found following:
* Only 51 percent of all workers trust their organizations to tell truth in employee communications * Only 48 percent of all workers with more than five years of tenure believe their companies are honest in their employee communications * Only 44 percent of all workers over age 50 trust their organizations to tell them truth in employee communications
Organizations then wonder why worker productivity decreases, employee loyalty is at an all time low, and human resource situations increase. Your employees see everyday, at least in their eyes, following:
* Record profits, yet massive layoffs * Hearing how important they are, yet having their jobs outsourced * Experiencing changes to their jobs, yet not being asked for their ideas * Being told how they are doing a great job, yet being yelled at for mistakes in front of colleagues
No wonder there is tension in workplace. When I work with organizations, following three concerns are ones usually express:
“My supervisor, manager, etc., doesn’t know how to communicate with me.” “I am last to hear about bad news.” “He/she never asks me for my ideas.”
Because of these concerns, there is a divide, professionally, emotionally, mentally, and physically between employees and their supervisor/manager, etc., which leads to lost productivity.
The following are five secrets that will increase your credibility with employees and produce outstanding results for your organization:
1. Be Honest You owe it to your employees and to colleagues to be honest. Tell your employees exactly where they stand within organization. Be positive, yet don’t sugar coat it. Once your employees know where they stand, use this as a stepping stone for improvements and solutions you can work on together.
2. Be Consistent Be consistent with your communication among employees. You will lose credibility with employees if they see you communicate differently with different employees concerning same situations. For example, if you berate an employee (which I’m sure you would never do) for a mistake, yet say nothing to another employee for same mistake, you will lose credibility. Also, be consistent with way you communicate your moods. Remember, if you project a professional manner, no matter situation, your employees will emulate your behavior. 3. Communicate Bad News ASAP There is nothing worse for employees than hearing bad news from human resources, shareholders, news, friends, family, and even their religious leader, but not from you, their manager. The biggest reasons I hear for not telling employees are following: “Management asked me to keep it secret.” “I don’t have all facts yet.” “I don’t think employees can handle bad news.” Well, guess what: * Employees always find out about bad news (sometimes before their supervisors/managers, etc.). * Employees always appreciate when you share whatever information you have with them as long as you are honest with them. * Employees can take more than you think if you are sensitive to their concerns and express these concerns with them. Will some of them be unhappy in short run? Some employees may not be happy; however, they will respect you as a manager that respects them and keeps them informed of all news, good or bad. 4. Give and Receive Constant Feedback Employees want feedback on, “How am I doing?” By giving constant feedback, you are developing a bond of trust that improves performance of your employees.
Do You Inspire or Incinerate?Written by Robert E. Cannon
Throughout my career, I have asked managers what they look for in hiring new employees. The single most sought after characteristic is a positive attitude. Knowledge can be learned but a positive attitude cannot be taught and is recognized as being critical for success. Yet, if attitude is so important, why do we do so much to destroy it? (I use we, because as a manager, I was guilty of having done some of very things I have outlined below.) The following are some things I have learned that will enhance or destroy a positive attitude.
Demeanor. Early on in my career in Sales Management, it became apparent to me that I could single-handedly affect attitude of entire office just by my demeanor when I was visible to staff. If I smiled, they would smile and have a positive attitude. My smile indicated to them that things were going well with customers, with sales and in turn with revenues and safety of their jobs. If, on other hand, I scowled at them, they would hang their heads and generally be down at mouth. My negative attitude indicated to them that things weren’t going well and they began to worry. The attitude of entire office could be turned on or off depending upon whether I came to work with a smile or not. I have also learned that demeanor is more than just smiling, it is an outward expression of your own attitude. Whether we realize it or not, we lead by example. If you are excited about a project, people around you will be excited too. It’s contagious. If you have a strong work ethic, they will try to emulate you. If you are conscientious, they will be too. Once upon a time in an open and friendly office, I watched a new supervisor who was very cynical. Sadly, it wasn’t long until entire open and friendly office turned cynical as well and cooperation dropped to a very low level. It was all result of attitude of supervisor.
Language. I think too many of us have confused our roles as managers with function of problem solving. Much of what managers do is viewed as problem solving. The word “problem” by itself is a downer let alone what it represents. Seeking out causes of problems implies blame and raises defenses. No one was ever uplifted by words, “We have a problem.” The negative language is compounded by a process that uses phrases like “cause analysis,” “estimate consequences,” “evaluate tradeoffs,” “recognize uncertainty” and “estimate risk tolerance.” Most managers I have met spend more time and effort finding fault and criticizing employees than they do finding things they are doing right and praising them. Problem based language does not make any of us feel like celebrating. Just think about how they affect people around you. How much better would it be if we could develop a positive language that changed organization from one with problems to one with solutions. Using language that included words like: opportunity, options, praise, ideal and others would go a long way to maintaining or enhancing positive attitudes.
Involvement. In this era of downsized, everybody do more, how many of you have managed by declaration or edict? When everyone is wearing multiple hats and performing multiple functions, it just seems easier to make a decision and delegate implementation wherever possible. When we manage by declaration or edict, we are generally reducing speed of implementation, reducing likelihood of success and sapping positive attitude of people involved. People’s attitudes soar when they are involved in decision-making process and understand fully why of doing something. The success and speed of success of any implementation are directly related to involvement of implementers in decision process. Not only does involving people in decision enhance attitudes, but also they are enhanced again when decision is successfully implemented and they were a part of it.