Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor, email@example.com
In a prior article I listed the ten activities that I feel, if performed properly, have the most significant impact on the quality of a manager’s performance.
The first (and by far the most important) activity is effectively recruiting and screening quality candidates for positions in the manager’s team (even if positions aren’t currently available). I cannot stress enough the importance of this activity. Failure to do this seriously compromises all other management activities.
The second key activity is for a manager to support their subordinates’ efforts to:
a. Identify and reach their goals;
b. Become self-sufficient in all material aspects of their job description.
The primary components of the above are:
1. A comprehensive job description for the subordinate (including the approximate percentage of time that should be devoted to each key area of the job description each week/month etc.).
2. A proper assessment of the subordinate’s degree of self-sufficiency in each key aspect of his/her job description and where they are actually spending their time in relation to the targeted percentage.
3. The steps necessary to achieve self-sufficiency and proper time allocation in priority order and:
a. Which ones the subordinate is responsible for (e.g. taking a personal development course);
b. Which ones the manager (and organization) is responsible for (e.g. providing a training program);
c. Which ones are joint responsibilities.
4. A proper assessment as to the degree of behaviour change needed for each of the items listed in point 3 above (for both the subordinate and manager, where appropriate) and the likelihood of achieving this behaviour change.
5. Based upon points 1 through 4 above, determine the self-sufficiency and time allocation goals for the year, and the actions necessary to achieve them.
6. Determine key performance indicators (quantitative whenever possible) that will measure the progress towards achieving the goals.
7. Determine the other goals/targets relevant to the subordinate that support the team’s and company’s business plan for the year.
8. Scheduled one-to-one meetings between the manager and the subordinate to review progress. The frequency of these meetings is up to the manager and subordinate to determine jointly, but I would suggest at least once per month.
Normally the steps outlined in points 1 through 7 above would be performed as part of the annual business planning and budgeting process. These steps and the regular one-to-one meetings also form most of the basis for proper performance assessments which should be completed at least semi-annually (preferably quarterly). Typically managers focus on item 7 and spend almost no time on items 1 through 6, however next to the proper recruiting and screening of employees; these items are by far the next most important activities that a manager can perform.
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