Category Archives: Jan Makela

Seven Methods to Put Management Pillars into Practice

By Jan Makela

Jan MakelaPeople management has drastically changed since earlier decades, where the corporation was king and people were just workers to serve operational efficiency. The operational model for today is mission, purpose and sustainability. Today, teams and team leaders are kings. How can you improve your team or organizational bottom line? Here are seven proven methods that will help.

1. Vision and mission: In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey wrote, “Start with the end in mind.”What is it that you want? What is in it for others to follow you? There has to be something bigger than you that others can grasp and buy in too. Why does your organization exist? It is not to make money that is a result.

Workers today want to work for organizations that can show a purpose or cause. Google’s mission, for example, is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Today Google dominates 75 percent of the U.S. online search market. Workers today want to work for organizations that can show a purpose or cause. Click To Tweet

2. Goals: Everyone sets them in January. Whether it’s to lose weight or exceed your sales forecast, most people begin setting and evaluating their goals at the first of the year. And then what happens? The goals go in a drawer or hidden in an electronic file never to see the light of day until someone asks.

So put your goals on display so that the team and you can see the goals on a daily basis. Why? Out of sight means out of mind. Keep your goals in front of the people in charge of accomplishing them and ask them about their progress on a routine basis—preferably on a weekly basis. Ask them how they are doing and what can you do to make the goals easier to accomplish. Watch what your team does.

3. Expectations: Only 30 percent of employees know what is expected of them at work. Your goal is to get people to work and perform together. People will live up or down to the perception of your expectations of them. If they think you believe in their abilities and expect them to do well, they will. Remember, if people don’t know what you expect, don’t be surprised by what you get.

4. Feedback: Feedback is craved by high performers and by all employees as well. Positive feedback grows and negative feedback stifles. Catch your employees or team members doing the job right and watch when they continue. They will do more of what generates positive feedback.

5. Treat everyone fairly but not equal: The people you work with are all unique individuals, and although you need to treat each one fairly, that does not necessarily mean equally. They have different values, wants, backgrounds, skillsets, experience, and most likely are at different stages of their careers.

One size fits nobody. Great managers play chess; average managers play checkers. In checkers all of the pieces move in the same direction. In chess, all of the pieces move differently and the key to success is knowing the differences between the pieces, how each piece moves and how to create a strategy that maximizes the moves for all of them. Another key piece of the puzzle is showing your team that you genuinely care about them. They need to know you have their interest at heart, people want to know that someone at work cares about them as a person.

6. Provide tools and resources to do quality work: Most people don’t wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “I think I will go to work today and do a bad job.” Most people want to do quality work. Part of that is having the tools and resources to do a quality job. Ask your people what you can do to make their job easier. Reaffirm your commitment and caring to them.

If they say, “I need a new widget maker,” get it. Provide them with the resources they need to succeed. If they say they don’t need anything, your response should be—”I guess I can expect quality work.” You want to take away any and all reasons people can conjure up for failure. You only leave a path to success.

7. Celebrate success: What do organizations do when they accomplish a big thing? Well, they move on to the next “big” thing. It is important to stop and celebrate with your teams. Allow people to share the memory of what has been accomplished. Simple things like handwritten notes are important too. Write notes to your people, yes the old fashioned hand-written notes, saying thank for what they did and how their contribution lead to the overall achievement of the group. They might even post them on the wall of their work space, on their desk or possibly even on the family refrigerator!

The seven pillars can help separate your organization from the competition in your industry. If you are team leader, it can help you and your team standout within any organization. People who are working in organizations with purpose are much more likely to be promoters of their employers and managers. Not only do they come to work to do quality work, they are less likely to leave and go elsewhere for employment.

Jan Makela is an executive coach, highly-sought after speaker, and best-selling author of Cracking the Code to Success and Be the Manager People Won’t Leave. Jan has a long and successful history of working with companies to ensure quality hiring and training practices. His specialty revolves around strength-based leadership development, with a particular focus on working with senior and mid-level executives, business owners, and professionals. For more information on Jan Makela, please visit www.StrengthBasedLeadership.net.

Five Pillars to Success as a Manager

By Jan Makela

Why does your organization exist, and why should anyone care? Organizations exist to perform—period. Be for-profit or non-profit, they all exist to do something, make a product, or supply a service.

Today, many employers say they’re having trouble retaining their younger employees—specifically Millennials. At 82 million strong, Millennials are the workforce of the future. Studies have shown they want to work where they can make a difference and contribute to something bigger than themselves.

It’s imperative to realize that the people in your organization—especially young people—are the fuel to your long-term success, and the one person who affects that outcome more than any other is the frontline manager. Fortunately, there are five defined pillars of success that managers can rely on to help them succeed in their aim to boost employee retention.

1. Engage employees with a compelling vision of what is expected, and provide the mission to achieve that vision. Why? What’s in it for the employee to want to achieve for you? People respond when they are doing or contributing to something bigger than themselves. When national crises such as earthquakes or hurricanes occur, people are driven to volunteer not because they have to, but because they want to. Your vision and the culture you create are the reasons you exist.

Tell your people that without them doing what they do you wouldn’t achieve the results that you desire. The way employees view a job and its role in their life is evolving. Employees don’t just come to work for a paycheck. They seek a purpose, the opportunity to do what they do best every day, and to lead a life they desire for their families and themselves.

2. Make decisions based on productivity. By keeping your eye on the goal and having your people similarly focused, everyone will understand why certain decisions are made and can buy in. If disagreements occur in discussions they are welcomed because they are focused on achieving a better outcome toward the end objective. When disagreements occur, be sure to ask what the ultimate goal is.

3. Motivate every team member to take action. People are more likely to take action if they know what is expected of them. When expectations are clearly defined, employees are less likely to disappoint their manager or their peers. Employees will work together without your direction or approval when they all know what is expected and have bought into achieving the desired results. Most people are going to live up or down to their perception of the expectations of them. If your people don’t know what is expected, don’t be surprised by what you get.Employees are not going to care if the manager doesn’t care. Click To Tweet

4. Have the assertiveness to drive outcomes. Are you more concerned with the process or the outcome? Managers are in place to strive for positive outcomes. Employees may find ways to produce an outcome that the manager never thought of. Provide employees the freedom to experiment and try new ways of doing things. Keep progress results in front of the employees. If they do not see the progress they are making as a team, they will lose interest over time and productivity will wain.

When your staff see that their work is making a difference they will continue to contribute. If you avoid providing appropriate feedback on your employees’ progress, you’ll immediate notice a decline in the contributions of team members. Remember, feedback is the breakfast of champions—be generous with your thoughts and expectations.

5. Create a culture that you want. Culture impacts every aspect of how you get things done, from hiring and developing the talents of the employees to customer service. Define your desired culture and then take it from words to actions. If you don’t like the culture you currently have or the results that you are currently obtaining, you are the only person who can change it. Your actions have to mirror what you desire. Do you allow the negative behavior to go unchallenged? Realize negative behavior brings down all your good employees. Your employees are watching and if they see you doing nothing, your lack of action has sent a powerful message. You don’t care!

Employees are not going to care if the manager doesn’t care. When employees know that the manager truly cares about them as a people, they will walk through fire for the manager. When people believe the manager doesn’t care the employees will let the manager walk off a cliff. This caring gets to the heart of employee engagement.

By creating a workplace where people want to come to work instead because they have to come to work managers will see positive changes. Most people don’t wake up in the morning and say, “I think I will do a bad job today.” Help them achieve the results necessary for the organization, but in a way that each and every employee’s contribution is recognized and appreciated.

Jan Makela is an executive coach, highly-sought after speaker, and best-selling author of Cracking the Code to Success and Be the Manager People Won’t Leave. Jan has a long and successful history of working with companies to ensure quality hiring and training practices. His specialty revolves around strength-based leadership development, with a particular focus on working with senior and mid-level executives, business owners, and professionals. For more information on Jan Makela, please visit https://strengthbasedleadership.net/