Good management isn't an innate ability. It has to be learned and cultivated just like any other professional skill. With Good Management Hygiene, you can be an amazing manager. So what is good management hygiene?
Real, meaningful connections
First, management hygiene requires you to create a real, meaningful connections with your direct reports. You don't have to be best friends, but you do have to demonstrate concern for them as human beings. 1-on-1 meetings are a great time to make this connection. The primary purpose of these meetings is to connect with your direct reports on a regular basis. Take a moment to ask about their family, their hobbies or their pets. Find out what drives them and figure out what they hope to do in life. Discover who they want to become.
Continuous, goal-based feedback
Great managers also hold their people to high standards. In order to do this, you have to help them set and attain challenging goals and give them feedback along the way. Continuous goal-based feedback along with periodic performance check-ins are essential to good management hygiene. Make sure everyone on your team knows how they are doing at all times. Holding people to high-standards is a sign of respect. You know they can achieve great things. Letting them know when they have gone above and beyond is the key to creating trust.
Thoughtful career development
Employee development is not only your key to the best possible team you can assemble, it's the foundation for creating loyal champions that will stay with you through thick and thin for your entire career. To be a truly exceptional manager, you must make your direct reports' careers your priority. You have to push them to learn and grow and achieve. This means making sure they are not only getting meaningful workplace feedback, but also creating thoughtful plans of action based on this feedback to develop into the best professional they can.
Conducting 1-on-1 meetings at a regular cadence keeps you on the same page with your people. They also create a meaningful connection. There are three parts to a great 1-on-1 meeting.
The main purpose of the 1-on-1 is to create a connection. Learn about the people you work with, take an active and concerned role in their lives, celebrate their joys and help shoulder the load when times are hard: this IS the role of a great manager. You spend 1/3 of your waking hours with your team. Treat them with the care, respect, and dignity they deserve.
Celebrating wins, unearthing blockers
Sometimes checking in takes up all of the allotted time. If so, you’ve done an amazing job because that is the most important aspect of the 1-on-1 meeting. If you've still got time on your hands, now is a great time to get down to business. Make sure you are celebrating wins. If you've set challenging enough goals, you are going to have defeats along the way, so celebrating victories is important. Make sure you give them the credit they deserve you that you are showing consistent appreciation for their hard work. This is also the time for you to find out what they need. What's blocking them from doing their best work? It's their job to deliver for you, but as their manager it's your job to knock down the barriers barring their way. That's the deal. Make sure you uphold your end of it.
Checking on goals and giving feedback
Finally, take a few minutes to check in on progress against the goals you've set together. If time-lines need to be amended, make sure you communicate that to one another and all the people depending on you to deliver. If a goal was completed, give them direct feedback on how they did. Let them know why they rock and how they can do better. Consistent goal-based feedback is key to being a great manager.
Being a great manager means setting high standards and deploying all of your available resources to help them achieve goals and develop their careers.
Performance feedback shouldn't happen only twice a year in performance review meetings. Performance feedback is one of your most important responsibilities as a manager. It is an essential tool that your direct reports rely on to succeed, so you better make sure you're giving feedback constantly. And when you do have an official review, it should reflect all the work that has been done since the last review, not just the two weeks leading up to the meeting. Providing on-going, effective and actionable performance feedback is hard. With good management hygiene you can cultivate a personalized rhythm that works for you and your team.
Relationships over administrators
Speaking of those twice yearly meetings. Why do all people across the organization get feedback in June and December? It's clear that doesn't make sense for individual relationships. That administrative schedule is built for the administrators. With Scaffold you'll be able to break out of that artificial cadence and move to one that makes sense for you and your direct reports. Maybe that will be twice per year. Or maybe it will be every other month. What is important is that it makes sense for your relationship. Not the folks checking boxes.
The psychological contract has changed
Being a company man (or woman) is largely a thing of the past. It is the very rare exception rather than the rule that someone works for one company for a decade, let alone a career. When you hire someone to be part of your team, you aren't offering them a role for life. Building the kind of trust and loyalty we once had in the workplace isn't impossible, however. You simply have to start with the understanding that you will help your employees be employable for life. Invest in them and they will invest in you.
While most organizations are making tragically bad decisions when it comes to 360 feedback, when it is used for career development, it can be an amazing tool. Help your employees learn about themselves. Help them appreciate their strengths and build out new skills where they were previously weaker. Encourage and guide them to search for the career they want and invest in them and in their journey. Help them build a career you can be proud to have had a hand in.
Explicitly agreeing on goals is the key to alignment and the basis for great managerial communication.
It doesn't matter if you prefer smart goals or OKRs. Waterfall or Agile. Kanban boards or Gantt charts. To successfully achieve your goals you have to outline these five roles (it just so happens that Scaffold will help you do this for all your goals):
Who is ultimately accountable for achieving this goal. Just one person. Don't diffuse responsibility. It is possible, probable even, that more than one person will be helping to achieve the goal. One person, one lonely leader, however, has to step up and say the buck stops here. Who is accountable?
If you have one person who is going to be held accountable for success or failure, you also need one person to hold them accountable. The person in the oversight role will check in and support from above.
Although one person is accountable, there are often multiple people actually doing the work. Nothing gets done without these individual executors. They have their own goals they are accountable for as well, but we all pull together toward one goal and thus many of our goals have more than one executor.
While the 'A', 'O', and 'E' are the most important roles, you will often need to include other people as well. Of particular importance are the folks you rely on for information and unique insight. These are the people who have an input role. Make sure to involve them along the way.
Finally, there are likely many people who depend on you and your ability to achieve your goal. Make sure you keep them updated. Good management hygiene relies on your ability to communicate openly and judiciously. You don't want to spam the entire organization with small updates on goals they have little interest in. However, if you fail to let someone know that you hit a bump in the road and they are counting on you to complete a larger strategic objective... well, you get the point.
The biggest pain point most successful consultants have is only getting paid only for billable hours. If you aren't billing, you aren't getting paid. We know. We've been there.
Recurring revenue streams
We give our certified consultants a tool they can customize, a platform they believe in, and a partnership that yields recurring revenue. If you help organizations train managers, set up performance management systems, or implement amazing career development programs, partner with us. You can give your clients a tool they'll love, while creating a recurring revenue stream for yourself that doesn't rely on hours worked.
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