Inside the Club: The Truth About Managing Employee Output
Every month there is a new article on why certain generations are more difficult than others to manage, but they all end basically the same way — a toss of hands into the air without any hope of how to change.
There is one simple reason why you may be having trouble managing employees, or your managers are struggling: Positions aren’t maintained with clear goals or objectives.
Consider automotive manufacturers. You may hire a single individual, or individuals, to tighten certain bolts on an assembly line. Their focus is 100 percent devoted to those bolts and doing that job right. They were hired specifically for that reason.
Today in the workforce a lot of positions have continually moving goals and objectives, or become vague. One month you may have been the top employee, but for the next two months you are continually missing your goals. This is more typical in a sales function, but in a production function it’s even more an environment of “what have you done for me lately” scenario.
Workers today run ragged trying to be great leaders or manage the projects they were hired to focus on. However, as the years pass, even though they may be great at what they were hired for, employers and managers begin to look for them to evolve their roles, and add to their full-time position.
This is where I believe a lot of employers become disgruntled with the workforce. It begins with not having a strong position objective. When developing a job in your company, it’s vital that the job has clear goals and objectives that must be met. As the person is hired, you should become even more specific with that job. If you need X, Y and Z accomplished with the position, you should lay those out and manage that execution.
A lot of times employers ask employees to perform X, Y and Z, but they also secretly hope they’ll also do L, M, N and O. This creates frustration among both parties. Without clear expectations it’s impossible to manage the execution of the company’s needs.
We need to think back to tightening the bolt. When you hire that bolt tightener you’re not hiring for the potential CEO of your company. You’re simply hiring someone to tighten certain bolts. At which point you can manage a person’s productivity and success in the position. If you want them to take on a new position, such as managing all the bolt tighteners, it’s important that you move them into the new position with new clear-designed goals and objectives. You shouldn’t ask them to maintain their current role and then manage the output of all the other people. In this case you’ll discover areas begin to fall off. Potentially the bolt tightening team loses its strong manager and guidance, or maybe your manager’s own bolts begin to come loose. Either one can be detrimental to your company.
If you have the desire to move people in manager positions, it’s important that you move them into that role and set clear expectations and goals that can be met. Set tiered goals that they will strive for over one, two and three years. Replace their previous position with another bolt tightener and support the growth of both positions.
It’s by placing clear focus on all positions that you will best be able to manage growth and employees. You’ll see work being executed at a high level, you’ll find employees less stressed, and you’ll clearly discover where you can move and reposition certain individuals for growth in your company.
Tyler Montgomery is the Editor-in-Chief of Club Solutions Magazine. For thoughts on his blog, the print issue or the industry, reach out to him at email@example.com.