As a supervisor or manager, we know all the different ways in which we can get our employees to do the things we need them to do. Sometimes it is difficult and frustrating, but we have tools like Progressive Disciplinary Processes to help us along the way. If this is all we are doing, we are not being proactive in our approaches, only reactive. We are shutting the barn door after the horse gets out! There are ways in which you can get results before you have to resort to discipline. One thing is for sure we don’t want to use the old school version of supervision – carrying the “Club”; using coercion and threats to get results. Now, don’t get me wrong, Progressive Discipline works fine and it is all about providing people with the training, tools and opportunity to improve the areas they are deficient in. On the other hand, shouldn’t those things have already been provided?
The proactive ways I’m talking about has to do with engaging your associates from the very beginning. What I mean by engaging is getting your employees to be involved and owning what they are doing. When someone truly owns something, they want it to succeed. They want the results to be the best because their name is written all over it. Involving employees is about empowering them to give input; make some decisions, make some changes (Kovic, www.selfgrowth.com) – Share some of your Power with them! When your employees succeed you need to recognize and even reward them. When you do this you motivate them to continue doing those successful things. You will be amazed at the results you can get, and the load it ends up taking from you; so you can do more strategic management for even more successful results.
What has worked for me in the past was to first find someone who shows a willingness to participate. Talk with them about taking on some added responsibility for their own development, as well as giving you some ideas for improvement. Take their suggestions and incorporate them for success. Recognize that individual in front of the team. This will show them that there is willingness on management’s part to listen and incorporate their suggestions for improvement or change. This will break the ice with more and more people being willing to do this, with more and more suggestions and involvement.
Some other things you can do as a supervisor or manager that has absolutely worked for me is to engage WITH your associates. Communicate to them with either some company information, individual information about their work results; or better yet, just talk to them in personal ways. Genuinely care about them. This is something that comes from the heart and can’t be faked or forced. Be that authentic leader that provides for those left in your charge and creates the conditions and atmosphere for their success. Be that example to them, so they can then they can pay it forward to others. Emphasize teamwork, in that everyone backs and supports each other in the daily effort to achieve the same goal. You will create something that is more that meeting a metric or a business objective. You will have created and developed individuals that are full of life and positive energy for ongoing success at work and at home.