Management tips: Release the reins and start reaping the rewards
Personal and team performance is central to productivity; this series of articles is designed to help business owners and people managers understand how to get the best out of their team, support and facilitate their development and start benefiting from a motivated, committed and skilled workforce.
Starting a business alone can result in you performing like a one man band, initially it feels great, it draws the crowds and you start making some money. However, the novelty of working alone can quickly wear off; either from an increasing demand and lack of time to keep all the plates spinning or because you like the camaraderie of teamwork. Either way what often results is the major investment of bringing staff on board.
This is great news! The business is doing well enough to cover the costs of employees and with employees comes the potential to double your profits. Don't forget that growing a team comes with a responsibility to lead and manage and if done well, can boost profits even further. Sadly, one-man bands are often so used to directing and playing from their own score that they battle to hand over responsibility to their new team.
What results is micro-management, lack of trust from above and lack of motivation and commitment from below. Poor management is a significant contributor to low productivity. Harnessing the team's skills, ideas and creativity and allowing them to make decisions and take ownership of their workload, boosts the energy levels in an instant.
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Adopting a coaching culture from the outset can turn you from a one-man band to a brand with substance. Coaching is used by businesses globally to develop and retain skilled staff and give them room to work to their potential.
Coaching is goal-centred. It works by helping employees to identify personal and work-based goals, encouraging and challenging them to identify options and opportunities to move them closer to their goals. Through the coaching process people become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses and are able identify skills gaps which need to be filled if they're to achieve their goals. Skills could be anything from interpersonal skills such as communication and influencing skills to technical skills needed to win contracts from a particular company. A significant component of coaching is that of taking ownership of your own actions; responsibility to fulfil the actions remains solely with the coachee.
Generally people are motivated by the ability to have control of their own actions and to identify themselves how they want to achieve certain goals. Placing the coachee in control of their performance and career boosts confidence, motivation and company loyalty.
By enabling your staff to get on to do what you employed them to do, will give you more time to lead and grow your business. Developing your coaching skills will make you money and secure a great team – give it a go!
How do you score yourself out of 1-5 (1 being low and 5 being great!)
1. I take on board my team's views regarding key strategic development and organisational changes
2. Once company objectives are set I encourage my team to come up with action plans and personal strategies to achieve them
3. I listen to new ideas and help staff trouble shoot
4. I understand the team's skills and am aware of their desired career path
5. I encourage team members to take on new opportunities to help grow their skills and confidence
6. I give credit and reward staff for goals achieved
If you're unhappy with your score, maybe it's time to receive some coaching on how to coach your team. It may be the best investment you will ever make!