People management is broken

The right attitude Everyone in business should have a commercial attitude. It’s all about delivering a customer need and getting paid for it. Do you treat your employees in the same way? Do you think of your salary costs in terms of getting the most work done for the least cost? Would you be surprised if your employees think they should do as little as possible for as much as possible? Is that your experience? Whose fault is that? It isn’t very effective, is it? But you probably don’t know any better! What has gone wrong with people management? You have suffered successive onslaughts of HR flummery: employee engagement solutions, rewards and benefits, workspace design, CSR, culture change programmes or training as a good thing for heaven’s sake! All this, and more, has led to the horrors of matrix management, and the consequent politics. Who carries the can when matrix management goes wrong? Who is responsible? Care to guess? It isn’t all bad That is not to say that all that flummery doesn’t contain a seed of value, but it needs fertile ground, not the desert of commercially-based employee relations. Otherwise, it is just conscience money spent for public relations. […]

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Employee Engagement AND Continuous Improvement

Extra productivity How much extra productivity, what gain in performance and what happens to profits are all good questions that I’ll point the way to answering here. The amount of extra productivity, performance and profit depends on where you are now. My experience is most commercial organizations can expect to double their profit over a few years. The behaviour change that delivers the benefits, drives the speed and scale of the outcome. Continuous improvement If you are too timid in your employee directed continuous improvement then you will achieve very little.

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Change Leader – will you lead the change or be changed?

My definition of leadership is that which delivers better results than is normal or could be expected. This is the definition of the Alpha of investments – the degree with which they outperform the rest. This is a good definition for the Chief Executive’s or Managing Director’s role. Unless you are delivering a better than expected performance, a better return on investment (ROI), you are not doing your job. How many leaders do you know who found a formula for success and stuck to it, even though the circumstances, and the results, stopped flowing? Being the leader is being prepared to change, to drive your organisation to change. The Shareholders are not patient when the Alpha, the ROI, loses its sparkle. If the leader doesn’t drive change, the shareholders change the leader for one that will. Yes, it is tough at the top, why did you think you got the big pay packet? Most leaders ensure that their organisation has all the resources, the training and staffing that is required. Often, after all this investment, the sparkle is still absent. When you ask yourself, or Google, “What on Earth do I do next?” you know you’re in trouble. Over the […]

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Do you thank the vending machine?

People management skills It might be helpful to say that my people management skills came about through picking up a glowing meteorite. That would have been easier for sure. Rather, any ability I may have developed is the result of many attempts to get it right, or better at least, with many failures along the way: a lot of experiments, testing hypotheses and checking ‘facts’.

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Managing Your First Employee

Are you a natural born leader? Perhaps as a child you were the one that organized all the games? Naturally as you grew people just expected you to be in charge? You might even regard yourself as a ‘very stable genius’? Of course, this means you have never needed to think how you relate to people, and more importantly, how they relate to you. But you won’t be reading anything to do with self-development so this is not for you. But this article is for the rest of us. We who worried about, or still worry, how to relate to our first employee, our first direct report.

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