Persuading managers to be themselves

first_imgSimon Wilsher looks for people motivators, not boardroom mimicsFor successful entrepreneurs, having vision, keeping focused and maintainingcreativity is second nature. Being at the top of the food chain grants them anescape from their desks and the freedom to take a bird’s-eye view of theirorganisations. But for managers, staying true to who they really are and developing theirpeople, is an endless challenge. Many managers mistakenly think that to be a great businessman, they mustadopt traits associated with renowned entrepreneurs. Business mimicry is commonas many confuse being like a great businessman with actually being a greatbusinessman. They should have the confidence to be themselves, not boardroommimics. Imagine the stress of trying to be someone else in the day-to-day cut andthrust of business life. Such pretence can leave individuals and organisationsburnt out. It is common for people at all levels to lose the freshness,enthusiasm and character that first made them successful. Bright sparks areturned into bureaucrats, teams become demotivated, and fast-track companieslose their distinctiveness and direction. Instead of being regarded as aleader, employees see an apparatchik who tows the line, not a motivationalforce to be reckoned with. When managers lose confidence, it stands to reasonthat their employees will follow suit. Company jewels The biggest knock to employee confidence comes from job uncertainty and‘survivor syndrome’ following redundancies. When times are tough, managersreviewing the balance sheets always find that staff are the biggest outlay, sotalent is always the first cut to be made. The biggest challenge for the modernmanager is holding on to their talented people – the ‘company jewels’ – whilechopping off the dead wood. But, it is talent that will drive your company andset it apart from your competitors, so pruning staff should be the last resort.Retaining good people is a two-way thing. Once you have resolved to keephold of them, it is vital to ensure they actually want to stay. If leftunchecked for too long, problems with team spirit can often arise and ballooninto morale-denting issues. Once this occurs, managers will find itincreasingly difficult to tackle the issue. Managers should see that trying to figure out what makes people tick is nota waste of time, as it will directly impact the bottom line. You can’t make anomelette without breaking eggs, and you can’t make a team without breaking downbarriers. Rather than calling in outsiders to manage change, companies need to look totheir own people to help solve problems. Nobody knows an organisation betterthan those who work for it, and the best solutions will be suggested anddelivered by these people. At the heart of the transformation process is confidence. Managers need tosit down with their teams in a non-confrontational environment and begin towork out their motivation for change. Employees need to be pulled out of theircomfort zones and encouraged to drill down to their raison d’àtre, shruggingoff the day-to-day concerns that have engulfed them. Allowing your team to have input into future plans enables them to aligntheir personal goals with those of the team – team successes are also construedas personal triumphs. During an economic downturn, all the benefits of teambuilding efforts can bewiped out in a flash when redundancies are made, damaging morale andundermining management who frequently claim ‘our people are our greatestasset’. Downturns are an area where drastic short-term change is not the bestpractice. Instead of changing the people, change the culture. Managers need tolook at their budgets as though the organisation were their own business, notan open-ended expense account. To do this, they need to make the operationallink between what they do and resource/cost implications. Take heart, though;some of the best business decisions are made during downturns – they forceorganisations to focus on what their customers truly want. Persuading managers to be themselvesOn 1 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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