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Top Ten Leadership Tips For First Time Managers

Top Ten Leadership Tips For First Time Managers

If you’ve just been promoted to a leadership position for the first time, whether you worked your way up the ladder, fell into the position or were made a manager due to company need, you’re probably pretty excited… and terrified. The transition from team contributor to team leader can seem like a daunting and difficult challenge, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few helpful tips from Profiles International® for first time managers.

  1. Accept that you still have much to learn. You will have worked hard for your promotion and have ample expertise in your chosen field, but you may find that you lack self-confidence in your ability to lead. Be prepared to learn from others – including your new team.
  2. Communicate clearly. Always keep your team fully informed of project goals, priorities, and those all-important deadlines. Effective communication will be essential in both establishing your credibility and gaining the support of your team, so be sure to provide clear direction and always welcome questions and feedback from others.
  3. Set a good example. Demand from yourself the same level of professionalism and dedication that you expect from others. If you expect the team to be upbeat and friendly, then make sure you are! If you expect written reports to be error free, then double check your own work!
  4. Encourage feedback. Sometimes employees are unwilling to speak up about certain issues unless they are prompted. Canvass for opinions on issues such as support, training, and resources while maintaining an open door policy so that your team knows that you are willing to listen to their concerns and ideas as well as help provide solutions to any problems.
  5. Offer recognition. By publicly recognizing the efforts and achievements of your team, you not only build up their confidence, but also encourage future contributions and effort. Praise does not always have to be formal – praising employees can be part of your day-to-day communication with your team.
  6. Be decisive. A quality leader needs to make decisions and stick to them. People do not feel comfortable with someone who changes his or her mind. You only have to look at public opinion on government U-turns to see how easily confidence in a leader can be weakened or lost altogether. 
  7. Help your team see the “big picture.” Take time out to explain to your team how their assignments and projects fit into the company’s larger goals and overall objectives. This will help demonstrate that every task they complete can have an impact on the company’s reputation, success, and bottom line.
  8. Create an environment of constant learning and development – and include yourself in this process. Encourage your team to explore new methods for reaching their individual goals and those set by the company. Allow them to make – and learn from – mistakes and be sure to reward new and innovative ideas. 
  9. Provide professional guidance. A good manager and leader will also be a mentor. Make yourself available to staff members and show interest in their career development within the company. Don’t overlook the motivational power of positive reinforcement – your staff will appreciate your commitment to their progress.
  10. Be patient with yourself. Developing strong managerial skills takes time – especially as you adjust to your new position. Seek guidance from colleagues, your line manager, or your professional network when you need it. In doing so you will enhance your leadership abilities and make strides toward becoming a great manager.

     

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    Crucial Strategies for Enhancing Organisational Talent – Part I

    Crucial Strategies for Enhancing Organisational Talent – Part I

    The state of the economy is unfortunate, with yet another of the three rating agencies downgrading South Africa to junk status and investors pulling out of the JSE and government bonds. Now more than ever companies have to optimise and enhance their organisational talent. While cost cutting may be unavoidable; it’s important not to fall into some of the common traps that will put you at a disadvantage when the economy turns around.

    The bottom line is that you need to know your human capital inventory well enough to make the best decision, and have the courage to take calculated risks to upgrade when the opportunity presents itself.

    Our researchers have identified four crucial strategies to optimise and enhance your organisational talent. These are:

    1. “Re move” your chronic under-performers
    2. Remove your dead wood
    3. Uncover your diamonds in the rough
    4. Never stop your hunt for high quality outside hires.

     

    This blog post series will elaborates on these four crucial strategies.

    1.” Re move” your chronic under-performers

    How often have you seen organisations keep staff just because they are nice people that don’t cause a lot of waves even though they aren’t very good at their job? They’ve moved around and had a lot of chances, but just don’t have what it takes to be effective. This is especially important for people in the higher pay scales.

    The first step is to identify the organisations least effective employees. Then determine if they are chronic low performers or just a bad fit for a particular job, or have a bad manager, insufficient training or lack of resources.

    However, you need to be honest with yourself. They may be nice people, but if they can’t or won’t add enough worth, then you need to make the tough decision and let them go. If you tolerate them, then your mid to top performers lose the motivation to go above and beyond average job performance; they see poorness is both endured and accepted.

    Do you have the data to support your decisions?

    These decisions are best made when supported by facts as opposed to opinion. There are many assessment tools that give you objective data to determine if an employee is a chronic under-performer or the victim of other circumstances that can be overcome. Without valid measurement tools management becomes very difficult.

     

    The Power of Job Match by Mark Cunningham

    The Power of Job Match by Mark Cunningham

     Studies show that employees who match their jobs are 2.5 times more productive on the job. “Job Fit” improves job satisfaction and engagement, resulting in increased productivity. Harvard Business Review followed 360 000 people over a 20 year period that showed job match was a key ingredient in retaining people.

    Job Match” is influenced in terms of an individuals abilities (thinking Style), occupational interests and personality traits. Commonly accepted factors such as education, job training and experience are, according to the study, secondary to the job matching approach which more accurately predicts job success.

    We are all “DUC’s”

    Professor Alfonso Lopez, while at Texas University would use the acronym DUC‘s to describe people. He would say that we are all Different, Unique and Complex. Because of these differences we have likes and dislikes. We have different intellectual and physical capacities. Our Emotional Intelligence and circumstances are different. “You cannot send a Duck to Eagle School” is a book written by Mac Anderson and a good reminder that those looking to upgrade their talent need to hire smart and train effectively.

    It has been said that you cannot manage anything that you do not measure. For example, if I want to manage my health, there are certain things that I need to measure. My weight, body fat content, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels are but a few things that are very important. The same applies to people. If you want to manage people, you have to measure them. When last did you measure your people from a hiring and development perspective?

    Replicating Top Performers

    It is easy to recognise top performers when you review their numbers and see them performing in the workplace. The challenge is understanding the differences between them and the average and below average performers. Why are they successful and how can we ensure that future candidates share these success factors?

    Steps to identifying and assessing top performers.

    1. Look at the sales performance, customer satisfaction surveys, quality metrics, output volume and other KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to identify your top performers.
    2. Use a reliable and valid assessment such as the ProfilesXT to determine their thinking style, behavioural / personality traits and their occupational preferences.
    3. Create a high performance model as a benchmark.
    4. Evaluate candidates relative to this high performance model for maximum engagement and productivity in the job.
    5. Remember to look at Skills fit and Company fit when making your final decision.

    Hiring and Selection Summary

    It is recommended that when making people decisions in an organisation we look at 3 areas that influence the suitability of a candidate.

    1. Past – SKILLS FIT -Does the individual have the necessary technical skills to do the job?
    2. Present – COMPANY OR ORGANISATIONAL FIT -Does the individual fit into the culture within the organisation and does he have the right values.
    3. Future – JOB FIT – Does the individual have the right cognitive ability, behavioural traits and occupational interests?

    Using employee assessments in your hiring and selection process will give you a competitive edge while increasing success and consistency in hiring talented employees. “Job Matching” people with the work they do, creates a solid workforce that has the right people in the right positions.

     By Mark Cunningham

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