It is very important to have a clear plan and expectations of each member of your team. These expectations needs to be clearly defined. If they are mission critical expectations, you may want to have them sign a memo stating the expectations. Keep in mind, you will also want to sign the memo as a sign of support. You may even want to put a powerful statement like, “I sign below in support of these expectations and I will do all within my power to help this employee meet all required requests.” This shows your willing to sign on the dotted line as well in their support and that you are not leaving them out in the storm alone. If people know what is expected of them, you hold a power position if things go wrong. However, you can not simply give orders and walk away. Setting realistic goals that are measurable is important. Then, regular follow-up is critical to a successful execution.
Yearly reviews are fine. They are very standard, but monthly reviews of progress are much better at eliminating surprises and catching concerns as they arise. Set your calendar to have a ten minute catch-up chat with each member of your immediate team once each month. The meeting goes like this. Two days prior to the meeting you send this brief e-mail… “Bonnie, I hope all is well. I would like to catch up with you on Friday. Time flies around here and I want to get your thoughts on some things.” Then , the meeting goes like this… “Bonnie, tell me how things are going around here? Do you feel like you have the tools and support you need to get things done? Ok, well that is it, and please remember, if you need help just let me now.” Take notes if needed. Let them know that you are paying attention to them. Communicate back to them any issues they brought up. Ask them if there is anything you need to keep confidential. If there problems are personal in nature, ask them what you can do to help or refer them to another member of your team or a corporate professional for help. Always work to better your team. The last thing is to give them a time frame for correcting the problems or issues they brought up. Then, schedule a follow up. Note that if these type of meetings are regular, it will not raise much “suspicion” amongst your team. The door closed mentality, which we will talk about later, can really create problems. If your door being closed equals problems, then you got another issue in and of itself.
- Communicating with your team and with the people on your team is critical to your success. Be sincere. Be real. Create ways for your team to communicate with you. If you have a bad situation then create a suggestion box and ask for feedback. Keep suggestions anonymous. Create an online form they can fill out. Ask for their trust and then give it to them. Very rarely can you get trust back once it is broken. Take an employees trust VERY seriously.
Sure there is often the occasion when to much information will cause a bad reaction too. You know, there can be a bad result for almost any positive reaction. That is just the way the world works. You will need to figure out a balance that works for your team.
Ask yourself this when communication to the group if you are concerned about the subject matter…
1. What reaction do I hope to achieve from this communication to my staff?
2. Is there a reason NOT to tell the staff this?
3. Should this issue be resolved in person?
4. Can this communication be used against me in a court of law?
5. Is this issue confidential?
6. Does the ENTIRE staff need to know this?
7. Does this communication infere that job security is at risk?
8. Am I mad? Should this wait?
Every coach has some secret plays. But, those plays usually only com come out when all else has failed and the game has only 5 seconds left. Plan ahead and don't wait until the game is almost over to communicate your vision for success.
Ryan Dohrn works as a General Manager of HorseCity.com for Morris Communications Company, LLC in Augusta, GA. Ryan Dohrn gives insights on how you, as a manager, can inspire greatness, fix problems, meet goals and increase the overall productivity of your team without being a jerk. The content of this blog is the private work of Ryan R. Dohrn and not that of Morris Communications Company, LLC. All rights reserved, copyright 2005- Ryan R. Dohrn. Please share this blog with others. But, permission to reproduce all or parts of this blog for profit must be granted in writing by the author. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org An Atom formatted XML site feed of Ryan's blog can be found at: http://ryandohrn.blogspot.com/atom.xml