The start of the year is traditionally the time to make resolutions to change your behavior, as a professional and an operator. Below you can find six (6) New Year’s resolutions to aim for in the beginning of the new decade.
- Always remember that your own behavior sets the tone. If a manager is always irritated and loud, that will be seen as acceptable behavior for the rest of the team. If a manager rarely communicates, it is highly unlikely they will receive any useful feedback. If a manager fails to keep up to his/her promises, team members will be less likely to co-operate with each other and so on and so forth. However, a more relaxed, open manager is likely to lead to a relaxed, open workplace.
- Set clear priorities for the next year, and communicate them well. Is the company trying to launch a new product? Or is the company trying to boost the sales revenue from existing products? Or aiming to control costs? If a manager is not sure which these priorities are, his/her team has no idea, what is right or what is wrong. That leads to a lot of wasted effort, resources and time. So cut out the industry jargon, be clear and simple in delivering these messages for the year ahead.
- Listen to your team. They are the team members who are dealing with customers and suppliers, and dealing with the bureaucracy of your organization. Their inputs is essential, beyond annual engagement surveys. You hired them for their skill and expertise therefore as a manager you must learn to rely on them. If you don’t trust their judgment, you have hired the wrong people. If you don’t like listening to your team members, go work alone.
- Give out some praise, where praise is worth to be given. Your team members don’t come to work every day just for the money, at least not all of them. People find it equally important to feel like they are making a valuable contribution to an organization. Praise cannot be generic and doesn’t have to happen every day. So do pick out something specific that a team member has done which shows the extra effort and single them out, in a way that others can hear the compliment. This is particularly important for your most junior team members, who do feel anxious about their status.
- The blame also stops with you. If a team member makes a mistake, it needs to be fixed, and it’s your responsibility as a manager to do so. It may well be that the mistake comes from inadequate instructions or giving the task to the wrong person in the first place. So both the manager, as well as the team member, needs to learn a lesson from failure.
- Keep meetings short and sweet, assuming they have a purpose in the first place. Murphy’s Law states that 80% of the time of 80% of the people at meetings is wasted. If you doubt the numbers, think about the last big meeting you attended. Did everyone participant contribute or was the discussion hijacked by a small subset of the topics in the agenda? How many people were staring at their phones during the last meeting? A lot of people attend meetings out of a sense of FOMO or obligation. If the purpose of a meeting is just to update people on the progress that can be done in an email or in a one-to-one conversations, which have the added benefit of allowing you to talk to your team.
These are the things I have learned and observed from working with a new breed of emerging professionals. Want to learn more on how-to-do, drop us an email and we will be happy to share our knowledge and insights with you!
Christos Lytras – Managing Partner