As part of the partnership review process with my client Don, I just reviewed his 360 degree feedback with him. To put it mildly, Don needs to delegate more and delegate better. Don is a senior leader and here are some of the ways that improved delegation would be beneficial to his law firm and to him:
- Don is a champion at getting new business. If he delegated more, he would be able to concentrate on business development. This would likely double or even triple the business coming into the firm.
- If Don leaves or gets sick, the firm will actually be in peril. The organization is truly too dependent on him. While his ego may like this dependency, the security of the entire firm depends on others knowing how to do the work and do it well.
- Don’s micromanaging is limiting for the people who work there. They feel that they need to leave in order to progress in their field. When employees feel like they can no longer grow, they eventually find other jobs.
- Don is squelching new ideas that would otherwise enhance the business.
- Don complains often that he is overworked and he sighs a lot, which impacts the morale of those around him.
If you have been told that you are a micromanager or that you need to delegate more, here’s what you can do:
- Create a development plan for the people on your team. Include completion of a specific project, from beginning to end, on the plan.
- Take vacations and unplug completely. Allow other employees to complete the work without your input. Force yourself to trust others.
- Work with a coach to understand your own motivations related to work.
- Read What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith.
Do you have other ideas that have worked well in your organization?
Concordia Consulting has created an ongoing blog series on the topic of when and how businesses might reopen, and we want to hear from you! What do you want your leaders to know? What are your greatest concerns about reopening your workplace and most importantly, what solutions do you have to offer?
This week we will talk about your employees’ Physical and Emotional Health. How will you monitor individuals coming into your place of business, handle illnesses that arise, support your employees’ mental health needs, and build a positive workplace culture simultaneously?
When your organization begins the transition towards reopening, it will be important that expectations are clearly communicated and correlated to your desired workplace culture. Every decision should reflect your company’s values and the environment you want to create for your employees. At a recent virtual CEO roundtable, I asked CEOs how they wanted to be remembered during this time. My goodness, the answers varied! Here are a few:
- “As a kind and empathetic leader. I want everyone to feel that they are part of our family and we are all in this together.”
- “I want to support families first, our mission second.”
- “Stay open and stay profitable. If we close, no one will have a job. I want to keep our doors open, no matter what!”
- “One lifeboat. We are all in this together.”
- And an authentic answer, even though it wasn’t exactly the type of response that I was expecting. “I am too busy to think about that. We are in a crisis, why would we discuss a question like that?”
Circumstances have changed while many have been working from home, and it may be helpful to blend the realities of reopening with the aspects of teleworking that were successful.
Utilize the engagement tools discussed in Part 1 of the series (employee task forces, surveys, ongoing communication, and open feedback.) It is also important to stay informed of and follow current guidelines from the leading health and government authorities.
Some organizations are scanning the temperatures of all individuals, both employees and visitors, when they enter and when they leave the premises. Many organizations have banned all visitors. In these cases, someone is required to explain the process, oversee the activity, and monitor the results. How will that person handle a noncompliant employee who may be be at a much higher pay grade in the organization?
Other businesses are relying on self-monitoring, which would necessitate clear guidelines and may open the organization up to legal risk if an individual does not self-disclose. It is likely that at some point an employee or family member will become sick with COVID-19 or another illness. You will need to determine protocols in advance, including whether any temporary adjustments need to be made to sick leave. Will you offer testing to differentiate between COVID-19 and allergies or other symptoms? With an illness, will business continue as usual? Will you close the division or floor where that employee worked? Will you close your entire business? What will be the impacts of opening and closing more than once? And, how will you maintain the privacy of an employee “who shut down the office”?
Your approach to supporting the mental health of your employees will likely need to be modified, given the emotional distress that many are facing due to COVVID-19. If you were considering a Stress Management program, now is the time. Likewise, corporate coaching would be helpful to all employees. Don’t forget that you likely already have an Employee Assistance Program, and you may want to actively encourage employees to use it.
Certainly the additional pressures associated with childcare needs are impacting the emotional health of many during this time. It is important to determine how you will handle employees who have caregiving responsibilities. In our multi-state metropolitan area, it is very unlikely that all schools and daycare centers will reopen simultaneously with your business organization. Keep in mind that the Family First Act mandates employers make allowances for employees with caregiving responsibilities.
One of the things employees want right now is certainty. Unfortunately, you may not be able to give them certainty as the situation is ever changing. What you can give them is increased communication, ongoing appreciation and transparency. If you haven’t talked to your organization this week, send out a message of hope and remind them to have a happy weekend.
I am so energized by the virtual program I just facilitated, helping 12 managers share best practices for “Leading High Performers.”
Three key takeaways:
High-Profile Assignments Lead to High-Profile Recognition
Seek opportunities for high performers to learn different sectors of the business, to work in various departments within the organization, and most importantly, to participate in high-profile assignments. High performers need the challenge and recognition. In addition, it is important for them to interact with colleagues in different parts of the organization.
Give High Performers Encouragement and Help Blaze the Trail for Them
High performers complain about being micromanaged. To be fair, all employees complain about being micromanaged, but for high performers, your involvement may be limiting their excitement and energy toward the project. Check in with high performers and ask them, “How’s it going?” “What can I do to help?” “What people or systems are creating barriers for you?”
Conduct “Stay” Interviews with High Performers Regularly (About Twice a Year)
High performers are driven, and they have a vast network. Depending on their skill set and industry, they may be approached by recruiters as often as once a week. Assume that your high performers are being contacted regularly and make sure that you give them every reason to “stay.”
You can conduct your “stay” interview more casually, but here are some great questions: 11 Great Stay Interview Questions
Let us know the name and a brief summary of a high performer on your team and we will highlight them in our next newsletter!