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What Can Be Changed In Management
To Improve Bottom Line Results?
~~ Terri Levine
When change is introduced into the workplace, there is often a degree of resistance, anxiety and sometimes even ridicule of the new methodologies. People equate change with difficulty and something to be feared. This is where open communication is so important and it starts right at the very top.
If you don't have the full support and understanding of key management positions, any organizational changes being made are going to be thwart with difficulties. It is up to CEOs and Presidents to champion the cause and ensure their managerial teams are also in full support, so that it can filter down through the ranks more smoothly.
It is not enough to merely hand a list of problems and preferred outcomes or objectives to a managerial team and expect them to go ahead and get to work on it. They, too, need guidelines and guidance, reassurance, and training. Many Managers get to where they are through natural progression up the corporate ladder, climbing their way on their years of experience. But this doesn't mean they know how to manage. The Manager of the Sales Department may be an excellent Sales Person himself and know how to train his staff in successful sales techniques and strategies, but as a manager of people and an organizational change expert, he may well be out of his depth. The same can be said for many managers in many different departments.
All the brilliant change plans in the world will fail if those who are responsible for the action have no idea what they are doing and possibly, don't believe in what they are doing. So the first step is ensuring the managerial teams understand what changes are being made and why, and what outcomes are being sought and why. They then need training in the best methodologies for introducing the new systems to their own departments. This requires a whole set of skills many managers lack, simply because it has not been something they have been taught before. This includes people skills, communication skills, and negotiating skills.
But even if changes are not being introduced, Managers who want to improve the bottom line results of their departments need these same skills. By now it is a well known fact that a happy workforce is a productive workforce. Happy workers who enjoy a high morale and feel good about their employer, take more pride in their work and wish to see "their" company succeed. They look after the customers better. They take less sick leave. They're find more efficient ways of doing things. They participate more. They work harder. This is good news for any company's bottom line.
The Manager in charge of this type of workforce is one who knows how to listen to his staff. He respects his staff and their abilities. He asks his staff for their input and promotes a team spirit. He cares about the individuals in his department and realizes that their individual success in a team environment results in success for the company. He knows how to handle trouble-makers and grizzlers and convert them into happy, productive employees. He understands the process of coaching and mentoring those in his care to produce the best results. He is clear with his instructions, and does not play the Dictator role. He does not waste his time looking over shoulders. Instead, he is available for his staff to bring challenges to for discussion and resolution.
Learning to listen, observe, trust, guide and coach employees is not something that miraculously occurs when somebody is promoted to a Managerial position. It is up to the Company to assist their Managers by providing training for them, enabling them to be effective Coach-Mentor-Managers.
Too often, when a department is seen to be in trouble, blame is laid at the departmental Manager or Supervisor's door. Really, there is no excuse for a company putting somebody in a position of authority when they are ill equipped to handle it. This is a problem that will recur until organizations realize that managing people is not a natural ability inherited with a managerial title. Resources are available to train Organizational management teams, and often, all it takes is a phone call to put it into action.
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Terri Levine, The Guru of Coaching SM, Ph.D., MCC, is the best selling author of several books including the international bestseller Work Yourself Happy, Coaching for an Extraordinary Life, Create Your Ideal Body, the international bestseller Stop Managing, Start Coaching! and her newly released book The Successful Coach co-authored with Larina Kase and Joe Vitale was just released by Wiley. She is the founder the international coach training program: The Coaching Institute, www.CoachInstitute.com. She can be contacted through the web at www.CoachInstitute.com/contactus.html or by phone 877-401-6165.