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21 March 2016

20 WAYS TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE – Define the Role and Recruit to purpose

Productivity means higher output using your current resources, or achieving the same level of sales with less resource.

The Definition of A Manager* – someone who gets things done through other people.

It’s sad but true that many managers are promoted into their position of power because they’ve been good at doing the job. Whilst it’s commendable to recruit from within and show the organization that there is scope to move up the ladder, doing a good job does not necessarily make a good leader.  Even a first level supervisor needs to gain respect and credibility from their teams through the application of fundamental management skills and techniques.

These competencies can all be trained and developed in a relatively short period of time if the right candidate is selected in the first place.  They may not have the technical know how, but you’re looking for characteristics and personality that will lend itself to creating a good leader.  It’s all part of the succession planning.  The first step is to define exactly what the manager’s role objective will be, and what performance measures they’ll be monitored against to determine the success (or failure) of their role.

The DIY Manager – Case Study

One scenario I witnessed was a middle Manager responsible for a team of 6 people.  He would work late into the evenings, weekends, and be in an hour or two before his staff in the mornings.  And yet despite all this busy-ness and seemingly non-stop activity there were so many problems – things would get lost, backlogs in the paperwork, and even his wife was coming in on weekends to help out with some of the data entry work.

As I spent more time in the area and gradually got to know him and the work, I realized he was basically doing everything himself.  He didn’t trust anyone, or think they could do the job as well as he could.  He was of the opinion that his team were useless, capable of only the simplest tasks (making tea included). On the other side of the coin, whilst he was working, his team would invariably be in the tearoom moaning about how boring the job was and how nothing ever seemed to go right.

Make sure when writing the job description, you include the management qualities required in the person such as delegation, negotiation and communication skills, initiative, ability to motivate teams to achieve results.  Maybe use role-play techniques or scenario setting during the interviews to determine whether the interviewee understands the difference between doing the work and supervising their team to do the work.

A good candidate with potential to be trained to be a strong manager, will achieve better productivity and performance from their teams in the medium term, than the wrong candidate who will never have managerial qualities.

*for manager – read any position that has direct reports, whether a team leader, to Director.


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