“To Manage” is to Forecast and Plan, to Organize, to Command, to Co-ordinate and to Control.
To Foresee and Provide, means Examining the Future and Drawing up a Plan of Action.
To Organise, means Setting up the Dual Structure, Material and Human, of the Undertaking.
To Command, means Maintaining Activity among the Personnel.
To Co-ordinate, means Binding together, Unifying and Harmonizing all activity and Effort.
To Control, means Seeing that everything Occurs in Conformity with Established rule and Expressed Command
A manager's most important, and most difficult, job is tomanage people. You must lead, motivate, inspire, and encourage them. Sometimes you will have to hire, fire, and discipline or evaluate employees.What do I want to do? Perhaps the first thing you need to do is to figure out what you want your people to accomplish. A mission statement is a short document that tells your people, your customers (internal and external), and your suppliers what you are about. It makes it easier for everyone to pull together if everyone knows what the objective is
There is an old adage that you should "do what you love", but your passion for what you do can pay off in many ways to get more done at work and enjoy it more, even if your job isn't the most important thing in your life..
How should I set it up?
After you figure out where you are going and you write up your mission statement, you need to look at whether your organization supports that objective. If your organization does not support your objective, you need to change it so it does. When you have rearranged your organization so it does support your objective, you need to communicate that organization structure to everyone involved. This is done through an organization chart, an org chart for short.
How does this look?If anyone in your organization deals with the public, you should have a dress code for all employees. A dress code is a simple document that tells people in various functions what is appropriate work attire, and why
How Do I Motivate Employees?One of the most basic skills a manager must master is people management. In the end, all management is people management. Managers must know how to motivate their employees. Managers are in a key position reduce employee cost using the condensed employee life cycle of HIAR (pronounced hire) - Hire, Inspire, Admire, Retire. Here is a four-step, condensed employee life cycle plan that tells you everything you need to know.
Hire, Inspire, Admire, Retire:
An employee life cycle is the steps the employees go through from the time they enter acompany until they leave. Often Human Resources professionals focus their attention on the steps in this process in hopes of making an impact on the company's bottom line. That is a good thing for them to do. Their goal is to reduce the company's cost per employee hired.
Unfortunately, they aren't the ones who really make a difference – managers are. People don't really work for companies; they work for a boss. To the extent that you can be a good boss, you can keep employees, keep them happy, and reduce the costs associated with employee turnover.
In the process, you will make your own job easier and increase your value to the company. Employees are one of a company's largest expenses these days Unlike other major capital costs (buildings, machinery, technology, etc.) human capital is highly volatile. You, as a manager, are in a key position to reduce that volatility sing the condensed employee life cycle of HIAR (pronounced hire) - Hire, Inspire, Admire, Retire
This first step is probably the most important. It is important to hire the best people you can find. This is not a time to be cheap. The cost of replacing a bad hire far exceeds the marginal additional cost ofhiring the best person in the first place
Hire talent, not just trainable skills.
Skills can be taught to a talented employee. A skilled employee can not just be given talent.Improve your interviewing skills. Often this can be as simple as knowing what questions to ask during the hiring process.Make your company a place people want to come to and work for. Company culture can be a powerful recruiting tool. Make sure yours reflects the goals the company wants to achieve
Once you have recruited the best employees to come to work on your team,the hard part begins. You have to inspire them to perform to their capabilities. You have to challenge and motivate them. That is where you will get their best effort and their creativity that will help your organization excel. Make them welcome. Make them feel like part of the team from the first day. Set goals for them that are hard, but can be achieved. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Be a leader, not just a manager.
Once you have hired the best employees and have challenged and motivated them, you can not relax. The biggest mistake a manager can make is to ignore employees. The same attention you paid to their work assignments, to their satisfaction levels, to their sense of being part of a great team needs to continue for as long as they are in your group. As soon as you start to slack off, their satisfaction and motivation decreases.
If you don't do something, they will become disenchanted and will leave. They will become part of the "employee turnover" statistic you were trying to avoid.You want TGIM (thank goodness it's Monday) employees not TGIF (thank goodness it's Friday) ones. Give them positive feedback as much as you can, even if it's just a good word. Provide appropriate rewards and recognition for jobs done well.Create referral programs and reward your employees for referring other employee candidates "who are just as great as you"
This is when you know you have been successful. When employees see your company as the employer of choice, they will join you. When they recognize you as a goodboss and a real leader, they will stay around. As long as you continue to inspire, motivate, and challenge them, they will continue to contribute at the high levels you need in order to beat your competition. They will be long-term employees; even staying with you and your company until they retire. They will refer other quality employees to your company, including their relatives. You will attract and retain second and even third generation employees.
Along the way, you will have had some of the most creative employees, some of the most productive employees, and the lowest employee costs in your market. You will be able to spend the money you save in this way on other key competitive elements, including raises and bonuses for all employees – even yourself
nations with one important group of stakeholders,their employees. Lunch with the CEO is one way to correct that. One of a CEOs main jobs is to maintain good relations with all of the company's various stakeholders. Most CEOs do a good job from the investor side and some do a good job from the supplier side. Few CEOs do enough to maintain good relations on the employee side. Lunch with the CEO is one way to correct that.
A "Lunch with the CEO" program is designed to improve communication between a company CEO and an important group of stakeholders, the company's employees. The program has a side effect of improving employee morale. Once a month, an employee who would not normally have an opportunity to talk to the CEO directly is invited to lunch with the CEO.
The lunch can be at a near-by restaurant, in the company cafeteria, or in the CEO's office.
It can be one-on-one, or it can be a small group. The employee gets to ask the CEO about anything work related. The CEO answers questions and asks his or her own questions. This dialog lets the CEO know what is important to the employees, gives the CEO an opportunity to discuss ideas with someone whose perspective is very different from the CEOs direct reports, and gives the employee an opportunity to ask about company issues beyond the usual "sound-bite" level. The CEO leaves the meeting having done his or her job a little better by including another important group of stakeholders. The employee goes away feeling much better about thecompany and its leadership and in a mood to share that positive feeling with those around him or her.
How to set up Lunch with the CEO
The logistics of a Lunch with the CEO program depend on the size, location, and culture of the company. Sample programs are described below. Elements from these examples can be rearranged to create a "Lunch with the CEO" program that is appropriate for your company.Small company or small program Once a month, the CEO selects an individual to invite to lunch. If the company is very small, and the CEO knows all the employees, the CEO invites the employee directly. If the companyis a little larger, the CEO may ask for recommendations from his or her direct reports. They goto a near-by restaurant, find a quiet table, and talk things over Lunch..
Medium-sized company or program
Each department nominates someone to have lunch with the CEO. The department manager can select a representative or ask for volunteers. Some departments may let the employeeswithin the group pick the person to attend. Some may vote on whom to nominate.The CEO selects someone from the list provided.
A table or booth in the company cafeteria or lunch room is set aside for their lunch and conversation. The location should be privateenough that their lunch is not interrupted, but public enough that others in the lunch room can see what is happening.If the company wants to do a larger program, the lunch can be expanded to include several employees representing different departments. The meeting can be moved to a conference room. Several other senior executives can be included. The important thing for the executives to remember is that they are there to talk with the employees, not among themselves.
Large company or program
Nominations are submitted by the various departments. A small group or 3 or 4 is selected based either to reward superior performance or by rotation. These individual go to the CEO's office for a catered lunch and their opportunity for dialog with the boss. The larger company also can include a larger number of employees and of senior executives. The meeting can be held in a conference room or even in the company board room if there is one.
Why a Lunch with the CEO program works
The employees invited to a discussion with the CEO over lunch are being rewarded in much the same way as an "employee of the month" designation, but in a much more meaningful way. Rather than just getting their name on a plaque, or getting a parking space nearer the door, they are getting a chance to learn more about their company first-hand from the decision makers.
More importantly than that, they are also getting an opportunity to provide input in a meaningful way to the decisions being made about the direction of the company as it affects them. The CEO benefits as well. He or she can be seen taking care of another important group of stakeholders. Beyond that, however, is the real opportunity to get input from a different source. Many executives surround themselves with people who think like they do. While these people are not necessarily "yes men" it is always helpful to get input from a fresh source.
Manage this issue
The "Lunch with the CEO" program should be of interest to managers for two reasons. First, you can push your company to adopt such a program as a way of improving employee morale, including those in your group. Second, you can implement an equally useful version at your level. A "Lunch with the Manager" program will have the same benefits as a Lunch with the CEO program, only it will impact a smaller group of employees.
One of your best management tools may be a coffee cup. The simple act of taking someone to coffee gives you an opportunity to sit with them, listen, and learn. That kind of a conversation can be powerful employee motivation. It can head off conflict and violence. Just sharing a cup of coffee gives you a great chance to learn important information about yourself, your employees, your company, and even your competitors.
Coffee with Your Employees
Do you have regular meetings with each of your key employees, your direct reports? Are these weekly meeting frequently interrupted because both of you are so busy and someone always has a "crisis" that needs one or the other of you to deal with it? Do you ever feel you could get more done if you just had a half hour without interruptions? Get out of your office and take the other person out for a cup of coffee.
Coffee Isn't Always Coffee
"Grabbing a cup off coffee together" doesn't have to only mean coffee. If you or the person with whom you are meeting doesn't care for coffee, or just wants a break from it, there are plenty of alternatives. Tea and cocoa are a couple of other alternatives that come to mind. In fact, in many countries, tea may be the preferred alternative. However, it doesn't have to stop there. The whole point is to get away from the distractions for a little while, so the beverage really doesn't matter. Bottled water may suit. Sports drinks, fruit juices, and sodas are all acceptable. It only needs to be something relatively inexpensive that is readily available, can be served quickly, and that you can linger over while you talk
Coffee Has No Alcohol
The one thing you want to avoid is anything alcoholic. Regardless of the time of day, going out for a "beer" or "having a glass of wine" makes it more of a social event than a business meeting. Besides, you don't want either of you to be impaired, and alcohol can do that. Certainly, there can be the temptation to get the other person to relax a little so they will be more open with you, but using alcohol to do so is unethical and underhanded. Being open and honest with them will produce the same results without the potential embarrassment. Listen. Really Listen.
Remember the reason you are having this chat in the coffee shop instead of your office is to learn something from the other person. It might be that you want them to get all the way through the trouble report without an interruption. It could be that you want to hear their ideas for the new produc or how to fix the old one. It can be just as important to check their temperature as to check the Coffee's and to find out if they are overstressed and why. The key element in all of these is you need to keep your mouthshut and your ears open.
Listening, of course, is more than just letting the other person speak. You have to focus your undivided attention on what they are saying. Remember you left the office to get away from the distractions there, so don't distract yourself here by letting your mind wander. Actively listening also means occasionally repeating a statement of theirs back to them to show you are listening and to encourage them to keep talking.
Manage This Issue
Keys For Successful People Management
To manage people effectively, broaden your role from that of decision maker to catalyst, coach, and facilitator as well. Ask more questions, do less telling.The biggest mistake managers make, regardless of experience level, is to think they need to have all the answers. Managing people effectively means motivating and engaging them so they feel valued and important. The best way to really engage employees is to ask them for their input to problem solving.
You can pat them on the back for a job well done, give them clear direction but if you never ask them for their advice or suggestions they will never feel fully engaged. The key to effective people management is to realize that managers must be facilitators, catalysts, brokers and coaches, as well as decision makers. Less effective managers make the mistake of seeing their role too narrowly. They focus only on the role of decision maker,mwhich is why they think they need to solve all work problems personally. Ineffective managers base their whole identity and confidence on their ability to provide better answers osolutions than anyone else.
Tips for Effective People Management
To manage people effectively, you need to broaden your role to include coaching, facilitating and being a catalyst while still flexing your style for the needs of different team members
How to Give Orders:Instead of giving orders, a smart manager gives instructions. Learn how to give instruction instead of giving orders to become a better manager. Many people believe that to be a good manager you have to give orders to the people below you. They are wrong. You do not have to give orders. In fact, you should not give orders.
Don't give orders:
When you give orders, you tell someone to do something. "Put that file on my desk", is an order. When you give an order, you do not allow the other person any latitude to think about what to do or how to it. All they can do to satisfy your order is exactly what you ordered. There are two reasons why this is bad. First, you do not allow the person to figure out the best way to do the task. Second, you do not let them learn.
Sometimes it is appropriate to give orders. In the military, there are times when a leader has to give orders. When you tell a squad to "charge that hill" you don't want them to think about it. You just want it done. However, even in the military, leaders don't give orders unless they have to. Instead of giving orders and telling someone what to do, good managers give instructions. Instead of telling them what to do, you tell them what you want done.
Give instructions instead
When you tell an employee what you want done, instead of giving an order, you give them the freedom to come up with their best way of getting that task done. It may not always be the best way, and you may have to do some monitoring and guiding, butthere is also the chance that they will come up with something better than what you planned. When an employee is given an instruction instead of an order, they have to think.
They can't ust do what they were told and say they were following orders. They have to think of ways to get the job done. They have to decide which is the best way. They have to invest a little ofthemselves in the solution. Also, when you give an employee an instruction, instead of an order, and let them decide for themselves the best way to accomplish the task, you are more likely to get their buy-in and support. If they have made the decision about the best way to accomplish the task they are more likely to believe it is correct and valuable. They will defend it against others who question it.
Orders are generally very clear. "Get the report to me by Thursday morning", does not leave much room for interpretation. So when you give instructions, instead of orders, you need to be as clear about what results you expect. Instead of saying, "I'd like you to review the past month's data and get back to me on it", be more precise.
For example, you could say, "Please review the past month's data. By Mondaymorning, I expect your recommendation of the best course and a couple of alternatives for ways to close more sales.” Or you could say, "By our meeting on Friday, I want you to have consolidated all the department's projects into a single master schedule. I want you to tell me where we are over committed and where we have excess capacity.” When you give instructions instead of orders there is a tendency to be less clear about the expected outcome. A good manager makes instructions clear.
Give instructions, not orders:
Your job as a manager is to get things done. However, it also means getting things done through others. When you give orders, you limit the group to your level of expertise. When you give instructions, you let the employees contribute whatever they can. It may not be as good as what you would have done, but that is an indication that you need to do further training. However, it also might be better than youridea. When that happens, you have an employee who feels involved and motivated and you look smarter.
Dealing With Difficult Employees:
Dealing With Difficult Employees helps managers prepare a plan, confront the behavior, and find a solution to the inappropriate behavior of difficult employees. All managers will have todeal with difficult employees during their careers. First, there will always be difficult employees. Second, it's your job as the manager to deal with them. If you don't deal theproblem, it will only get worse.
Why Are Difficult Employees Like That?Difficult employees are that way simply because it is a behavior that has worked for them in the past. They may not know any other behavior or they may choose this behavior when they think it will be most effective. You will be successful in dealing with difficult employees only to the extent that you can make these undesirable behaviors no longer effective for them. Inmany ways, it's like dealing with children. If every times a child screams, its parents give it candy, what will the child do when it wants candy? It will scream, of course. The same is true for the employee who "blows up" whenever anyone disagrees with him. When he does that people stop disagreeing with him and he thinks he has won.
How Can A Manager Deal With Difficult Employees
Evaluate :It is important when dealing with difficult employees to act quickly. Often you will need to act almost immediately to neutralize a dangerous situation. However, it is always appropriate to think before you act. Clearly if an employee comes to work with a gun, you will need to act more quickly than when someone complains that another employee is always taking credit for her work. In either case, take the appropriate amount of time to evaluate the situation before you act. You don't want to make it worse. Recognize that most employees can be "difficult" from time to time. This can be caused by stress on the job or away from it. Some employees aredifficult more often than others. It is not always your least-productive employees who are difficult. So take a moment to evaluate each situation for the unique situation it is.
Do your homeworkAlways act on facts. Don't base your actions on gossip or rumor. The person spreading the gossip is a difficult employee in their own way. If you have not seen the inappropriate behavior yourself, look into it. Ask the people reportedly involved. Collect all the facts you can before you act. Don't use the fact that you haven't seen the inappropriate behavior as an excuse to delay doing something. It is important to act promptly. Make sure you aren't part of the problem. It will be much more difficult to remain calm and impartial in confronting the difficult behavior if you are partly responsible. If that's the case, be sure you acknowledge your role in it, at least to yourself.
Develop a plan You're a manager. You know the value of planning. This situation is no different. You need to plan the timing of the confrontation. You need to select a quiet, private place where you won't be interrupted. You need to decide whether you need to have others, like an HR representative, present in the meeting. Plan the confrontation and then make it happen. When you have prepared, it is time to act. You do not need to act impulsively, but you must act quickly. The longer an inappropriate behavior is allowed to continue, the harder it will be to change it or stop it.
Confront the problemDon't put it off. It may not be pleasant, but it's an important part of your job. It will not "fix itself". It can only get worse. You have planned this confrontation. Now you need to execute
Deal with the behavior, not the person
Try to draw out the reasons behind the behavior
As you talk with the difficult employee, actively listen to what they say. Stay calm and stay positive, but remain impartial and non-judgmental. Ask leading questions that can't be answered in one or two words. Don't interrupt. When you do respond to the difficult employee, remain calm. Summarize back to them what they just said, "so what I understand you are saying is", so they know you are actually listening to them.
If you can find out from the difficult employee what the real source of the inappropriate behavior is, you have a much better chance of finding a solution. Sometimes these confrontations will go smoothly, or at least rapidly, to a conclusion. Other times it will require several sessions to resolve the problem
Repeat as necessary
Minor problems, like being late for work, you may be able to resolve with a simple chat inyour office with the employee. An office bully, who has used that behavior successfully since elementary school, may need more than one confrontation before a solution can bereached. Be patient. Don't always expect instant results. Aim for continuous improvement rather than trying to achieve instant success.
Know when you are in over your headSometimes the underlying issue with a difficult employee will be beyond your capabilities. The employee may have psychological problems that require professional help, forexample. Learn when to keep trying and when to refer the employee to others for more specialized help. Your company may have an EAP or you may need to use resources from the community.
Know when you are at the end
While the goal is always to reach a mutually acceptable solution that resolves the difficult employee’s inappropriate behavior and keeps your team at full strength, sometimes that is not possible. When you reach an impasse and the employee is not willing to change his or her behavior then you need to begin terminations procedures in accordance with your company's policies
Coming to a Solution
The desired result from confronting a difficult employee's inappropriate behavior is an agreed upon solution. You know that this inappropriate behavior will continue unless you and the employee agree on a solution. The employee needs to know what is inappropriate about their behavior and they also need to know what is appropriate behavior.The need for a manager to communicate clearly is always high. It is especially important in thesesituations. Make very sure the employee understands the requirements and the consequences.Team Building - It won't work unless people see the benefit:It is not enough to get your group together off site and have a few
It won't work unless people see the benefit: It is not enough to get your group together off site and have a few icebreaker games. If you want team building to work, you have to show the members of theteam that it benefits them personally. There is very little "team" in teamwork without a lot of motivation.
We live in a society that seems fascinated with individual accomplishment and almost oblivious to teams. Even in team settings like sports, we single out the All-Stars and the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of each game. That is the environment you have to overcome in order to build your group at work into a team.a team.
Get Started Team Building
Do you think of your group as a team? Theywon't think of themselves as a team if you don't. Do you reward team performance, or only individual achievements? You won't have much success in team building if you don't reward team performance. Let your group know that they are a team, that you expect them to performas a team, and that you will reward their successes as ateam. That's the first step toward team building. Remember that team building must be an everyday activity. It is not something you can justdo quarterly at some off-site function.
Motivate Team Building,
If you want team building to work, it's not enough to tell them that they are a team and must perform as one. You also have to show the members of the team that it benefits them personally. Most of us are selfish individualists. We watch out, first and foremost, for ourselves and do what benefits us most. We have to be motivated to include anyone else. Fortunately, it is pretty easy for us to see the benefits of including others, so most of us do that readily.
Love is a strong motivator. Parents, for instance, watch out for their children. Money is another strong motivator. It is one you can use as an employer. However, the strongest motivator available to a manager (since it is unlikely your employees will fall in love with you) is self esteem. The more the individual sees a benefit to his or her self esteem from
supporting the team, the more successful your team building efforts will be.First of all, your people have to acknowledge that they are part of a team. You can reinforce this by holding team meetings, posting team news on the bulletin board or your internet page, and tracking team performance against team goals. Secondly, they have to believe that the team is capable of producing more than the sum of its members. Lance Armstrong is a great bicycle racer, but he could not have won the Tour de France without the support and assistance of his team members. You may have a great customer service rep on your team, but without the cooperation of the other members of the team he or she would not be able to handle as many calls. You have to make this readily apparent to them and clearly delineate the increased rewards they can achieve through teamwork.
Reinforce Team Building Efforts
One company I know had a great customer support team. Their director challenged the team with higher and higher goals. He celebrated their successes in meeting and exceeding those team goals. He also celebrated them as individuals. The team decorated the cubicle of everyone who was having a birthday.They did community service projects together. They had fun at work. And they enjoyed beating the goals Clint set for their team.
They got a significant boost in self-esteem from belonging to a winning team. Making up t-shirts, etc. with a team logo or motto can help reinforce the sense of team identity, but it's not required. You should know your team well enough to know whether or not something like that would be positive reinforcement for them.
Don't make the mistake of one Accounting Manager I knew. The motto he picked for his team and had printed on ball-caps he gave them didn't fly. He hadn't involved the team in selecting either the motto or the object on which it was printed. I recommend you develop your own exercises where possible. No outside consulting company knows your company culture as well as you do. You can do a variety of exercises or play a variety of sports.
Employee Retention Tips
Employee Retention - Tips to increase employee retention. How Can I Keep The Good Ones? Effective employee retention is based on the fact that people stay with something until the pain of staying exceeds the expected pain of leaving. Most people who are really good at something, like your top employees, have a low 'pain of leaving' because they know they can find something else quickly. So the trick to increased employee retention is to minimize the 'pain of staying'.
To Increase Employee Retention, Lower The Pain Of Staying What are the pains of staying that you can change in order to increase employee retention? They are the things that employees go home after work and complain about. They don't complain about being well paid. They don't complain about good working conditions. Address the things they do complain about and you will increase employee retention. Here are my top ten tips to reduce the pain of staying and increase employee retention:
What Keeps Employees Here
Listen, reflect, take action Listen to everyone, filter what you hear and then act accordingly.
Develop culture Increase communication, always listen, and serious consider how to make your key leader to move forward. Important: always check and review your immediate key leader development, and train them to do the same with their immediate subordinate... and pass down.
Job Fit makes the biggest difference I find that an employee who is naturally suited for their job is generally happy and motivatedboth high contributors to employee retention and productivity
DONT AVOID THE IMPORTANCE OF OLD EMPLOYE The role of old employee is most important for any organization but they feel that the underestimate by the organization, they don’t feel heart. Give importance with care
What Good People Really Cost:
The why and how of Employee Retention can save you more money than you think.
Why are the costs so high? Why does it cost so much to replace a departing employee? The total cost is so high because there are so many costs included. Some, like paying off accrued vacation time or the cost of a newspaper ad, are obvious. Some others, often overlooked, include lost productivity as the new employee gets up to speed.Consider also:
What can be done about it? The key is to focus on retention of your key employees. In some cases, all your employees will be key employees. To determine how to keep them, you have to know why they left, or are considering leaving. Always do an exit interview and ask those questions. Dig past the initial pat answers departing employees will give. They don't want to "burn any bridges' so they may be less than candid to start, but keep digging. For the employees who haven't yet left, concentrate on casual conversation to solicit the issues that might be of concern to them. Listen to the comments they make in meetings on other subjects to see what keys you can find.
Keeping The Good OnesEffective employee retention is based on the fact that people stay with something until the pain of staying exceeds the expected pain of leaving. To increase employee retention you have to lower the pain of staying. These pains are the things that employees go home after work and complain about. Address these things and you will increase employee retention.
Manage This Issue Replacing employees is expensive, far more expensive than making them feel like they have a stake in the company and it's success. Spend the time, and the money, to take care of your employees. Not only is it the right thing to do, it will actually save you money
How To Give Positive Feedback:
Don't ever underestimate the power of positive feedback. We are quick to point out to someone when they make a mistake. Sometimes we forget to acknowledge them when they do something right. Giving positive feedback can be a powerful tool for employee motivation.
How To give negative feedback properly
When you need to give negative feedback, here are the things to remember.
Employee Grade Levels:
Many companies find it useful to create employee grade levels. Creating employee grade levels assures equal compensation for the same work across different departments and divisions. If your company employs designers, sales people, programmers and accountants, for instance, how do you make sure they receive equal compensation and treatment when such different people have similar responsibility levels? One good solution is employee grade levels.
Sample Employee Grade Level Descriptions
Here are examples of employee grade level descriptions from individual employees up to the Vice President level.
Level A - Individual Contributor
Level B - Professionals
Level C - Managers and Senior Technical Professionals
Level D - Directors
Level E - Vice President
Meetings can be very productive. They can also be a waste of time. Here are some ways to improve your meeting management skill.
Meeting Management Key - Stand PATI use a "PAT" approach to meetings. A meeting has to have: a Purpose, an Agenda, and a Timeframe or I don't do it.
You should be able to define the Purpose of the meeting in 1 or 2 sentences at most. "This meeting is to plan the new marketing campaign" or "this meeting is to review shipping's new policy for handling returns." That way everyone knows why they are there, what needs to be done, and how to know if they are successful.
Set an agenda. List the items you are going to review/discuss/inspect. I like to assign a time limit to each agenda item (see below) and identify the person responsible to speak or moderate the discussion.
Set a timeframe at the very least set a start and end time. I also recommend setting duration for each item in the agenda. These should total to the overall meeting timeframe.
Don't Wait Meetings need to start on time. Don't wait for stragglers to show up. When someone arrives late, don't go back and review what has already been covered. That just wastes the time of the people who showed up on time for the meeting. If the meeting organizer/sponsor doesn't show up on time, consider the meeting cancelled and go back to work. How long to wait for the organizer to show up varies among companies, but I wouldn't wait any longer than 5 minutes.
Keep and send minutes
Someone, other than the meeting organizer, should keep minutes of the meeting. How detailed these are depends on the nature of what is being discussed and the skill of the available note taker. If you set an agenda in the first place, as you should have, the note taker can use that as an outline. The minutes should record who attended, what was discussed, any agreements that were reached, and any action items that were assigned. Soon after the meeting, usually within 24 hours, the minutes of the meeting should be distributed to all who attended, any invitees who did not attend, and anyone else effected by the discussion. Email is a great vehicle for distributing them. Distributing the minutes informs those not at the meeting of the progress that was made and reminds everyone of their action items.
Every meeting should have a "topic keeper". I like to ask for a volunteer at the beginning of the meeting. The topic keeper's job is to interrupt whenever the discussion strays from the topic under discussion. These new topics can either be tabled until later or scheduled for their own meeting. There is a fine line between what are amplifying remarks about the topic under discussion and what is a tangential topic. The meeting organizer can decide. It never hurts to say "let's take that up off-line".Be more productive.
Beat Work Overload. Increase Your Effectiveness. Achieve Much More. This section of Mind Tools teaches you personal time management skills. These are the simple, practical techniques that have helped the leading people in business, sport and public service reach the pinnacles of their careers. The skills we explain help you become highly effective, by showing you how to identify and focus on the activities that give you the greatest returns. Investing in these time management activities will actually save you time, helping you work smarter, not harder. What's more, these same techniques help you beat work overload – a key source of stress. You'll finish by learning about goal setting, a vitally important skill for deciding what you want to achieve with your life.
How to Manage Time and Set Priorities
Good time management means defining priorities and scheduling activities. What Are the 3 Rules for Effective Time Management?
Don't Create Impossible Situations.
Don't get trapped into doing too much. Don't try to work full time and take a full load. Don't take too many lab classes. Use time to create success, not failure. Be realistic about school. For most classes, plan to study 2 hours for every 1 hour of class. Make time your friend not your enemy. Identify your first priority classes and do whatever it takes to succeed. Drop second priority classes or reduce work hours if necessary.
Define Your Priorities Using the 3-List Method.
All time management begins with planning. Use lists to set priorities, plan activities and measure progress. One approach is the 3-list method.
3 - Goals and other things.
This can be one or two lists, a monthly list and or a long-term list. Put down your goals and things you have to do. What do you want to accomplish over the next month or year? What do you need to buy? Use this list to keep track of all your commitments. If you're worried about something, put it on this list. The purpose of this list is to develop long-term goals and to free your mind to concentrate on today. Avoid Distractions and Lack of Focus. Time is precious. Yet many people waste time by getting stuck in one or more of the following habits.
The Annual Performance Review - How to maximize the benefits
Three key things to remember if you want to get the maximum benefit out of this annual exercise in wasting a manager's time. There are three key things to remember about annualperformance reviews:
They are a waste of time.
2. They are required at many companies.
3. They should contain no surprises. .
A Waste of Time
Annual performance reviews usually are a waste of time. They are too infrequent and too formal to be of any value for the person being reviewed. They are something managers feel they have to do, not something they see as a tool to improve the performance of their group.
Most companies require an annual performance review be completed for every employee. The Human Resources department provides a standard form and a required grading scale. Every manager dutifully fills out the inane form, or has the employee do it, then spends as little time as possible discussing it.
Whatever discussion does take place is usually combative, because the employee knows this one document will determine the amount of their raise for the nextyear. Since you can't get out of doing an annual performance review, do what you can to make them as useful as possible.
The best way to get value out of a performance review is to make sure it contains no surprises. You shouldn't put anything in an annual performance review that you haven't already told the employee. This includes your overall evaluation of their performance and how that compares to others in the group.The main reason companies require annual performance reviews is to have a method for distributing annual raises.
If each employee is given a grade, raises can be distributed based on that grade. As a result, when you do an annual performance review, the only thing the employee listens to is their grade. They want to know what their raise will be. Using employee grades to apportion raises is fundamentally flawed.
It doesn't effectively tie raises to what an employee did during the year to help the company achieve its goals. It is just a mathematical distribution. However, you have to use it if it is the company system. Just make sure you use it in the way that is most helpful in getting your group to produce at peak levels.
Assuming you have been doing continual performance reviews as things happen, and more formal reviews every quarter, each of your employees will know how they are doing. Therefore, assembling their annual performance review is simply a matter of pulling material from their previous three quarterly reviews and adding the fourth quarter items. Make sure the employee understands that this is just a quarterly review so they can concentrate on what you
When complete their fourth quarter review, you have completed the performance review part of the annual review. You and the employee should have a clear and identical perspective on their performance and, more importantly, their goals for the coming review period. You should both be able to select the same appropriate grade from whatever list the company has compiled (A, B, C 1, 2, 3, etc.). If there is a difference of opinion, it's usually from the employee not understanding how their performance compares to others in the group. So if the employee selects a grade higher than you select, make sure you clarify why
At the end of this process, you have:
Given the employee feedback on how their performance is helping the group achieve its goals,
Now comes the hard part of ensuring that the realistic performance grades you gave your employees are commensurate with their peers; making sure that what you label as average is not called superior by another manager. For that, you will need to work closely with your boss
S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Lifestyle Change:
A goal should provide guidance and direction. Goals like ‘lose weight’, ‘eat better’, or ‘have less stress’ are far too vague and unspecific to help very much in making change. Use the S.M.A.R.T. criteria to help put more detail into your goal. Spending some time creating effective goals will be a huge help later on.
S - Specific:
M - Measurable:,
A - Attainable:
R - Realistic:
T – Time Based :
Write your goal:
Now really think about your goal. Finish the following sentence, write it down and put it somewhere you can see it.I will [your goal here] by [how you will do the goal]. I will know I am making progress because [how you will measure the goal] [time goes here]. For example: I will lose 20 pounds by increasing my exercise to 4 times a week and cutting back on sugar and portion size. I will know I am making progress because I will lose 2 pounds a week for ten weeks. One of the most important things writers (or anyone) can do is set clear, explicit goals about what they want to accomplish. Most of us have a bunch of vague goals, like the “one day novel” (as in, “one day, I’m going to write a novel). We want to “someday” do x, y, and z – get a big magazine
assignment, find an agent, finish our book – but without clear goals, we don’t seem to make any progress. We chug along, picking at our huge projects, rarely coming any closer to finishing, and we feel horrible about ourselves.
If you don’t set goals, you won’t achieve them. There are a lot of reasons people don’t set clear goals. Most of them boil down to a fear of commitment – and of letting ourselves down when we fail to live up to that commitment. Saying “I’m going to finish my novel” sets us up for failure. What if I don’t have any ideas? What if some life crisis happens and I can’t finish? What if, I have too many ideas, and it just keeps growing and growing and growing…? What if something better comes along? And on and on. We have a million ways of talking ourselves out of committing to achievement. So we avoid the commitment. We keep our options open. We dally. As anyone who’s ever been in a romantic relationship without commitment knows, this is a recipe for disaster
In fact, it’s a pretty good analogy, because an author’s relationship with a work in progress is a lot like your relationship with your significant other. You have to work at it every day, and nurture it, and accept its quirks and even failures. And if you lack real commitment, sooner or later, one or the other of you will flake out.
SMART goals are easier to achieve than dumb ones
One reason goal-setting is so daunting is because we don’t know how to set good goals. We set vague, unspecified, open-ended goals – goals with precisely the same faults we mercilessly strike from our writing. “Someday”, “eventually”, “when inspiration strikes”, “as the Muses allow” – these words and phrases need to be banished from your goal-setting vocabulary. What you need are crisp, clear, specific goals. the idea of the SMART goal was conceived by a business psychologist named George Doran. SMART is an acronym, standing for goals that are:
A bad goal – but the kind we are most comfortable committing to – is something like “Write more.”That’s a dumb goal – more than what? How will you know if you’re writing more? How much more? When should you write more – tomorrow? Next week? Someday?
A SMART goal would be “Write 1,000 words a day every weekday between now and September 15th.” You know when to start - “now” – and you can easily track your progress – just write down daily word counts. If they’re less than a thousand, don’t stop writing that day! Here’s another dumb goal: get novel published. It’s too big, too unspecific – it doesn’t suggest any action. Every day, you’ll say to yourself, “Oh, right. I really ought to get that novel published!” and then go back to surfing the Internet, watching TV, or playing Wii.Instead, set a series of SMART goals:
Even that might not be granular enough – maybe you’re not prepared to write the proposal (it’s not achievable). Maybe you need to:
Research how to write a book proposal by July 20th.
Brainstorm 20 promotional ideas for book by July 22nd.
Identify 20 magazines that would be likely to review my novel by July 25th.
Of course, I’ve taken for granted that publishing your novel is relevant to you, and if you’re a writer, it probably is.But you have to think about whether a goal is relevant, and how, every time, or you won’t have the necessary motivation to complete the goal. It’s boring researching competitor’s books for a book proposal – but if you want to publish that novel, then doing the legwork becomes incredibly relevant.Make sure you have some way of keeping track of your goals. For daily writing goals and the like, I like the idea of keeping a white board by your desk and writing daily word counts after every writing session. But a notebook, diary, computer file, or anything else will work fine.
Maybe you can start a “goal diary” – a nice-looking notebook that you can write goals in, one per page, and track progress in as needed. Whatever you decide to use, make sure you keep on top of it. Accountability, even just to yourself, is key – both so you can feel good about your project (especially in the middle of a big project that seems like it will never end) and so you can identify hang-ups and other problems that are keeping you from accomplishing your goals
Whatever you decide to use, make sure you keep on top of it. Accountability, even just to yourself, is key – both so you can feel good about your project (especially in the middle of a big project that seems like it will never end) and so you can identify hang-ups and other problems that are keeping you from accomplishing your goals. I cannot stress the importance of setting goals enough. Goals give us something to work toward, and help us feel like we are moving along a specific path. Establishing goals invites us to look at the big picture, break it down into smaller pieces, and get started toward accomplishing our important hopes and dreams.