THE LINE OUTSIDE YOUR OFFICE IS CONSTANT AND FILLED WITH THE SAME "NEEDY" PEOPLE
As the owner or most senior manager, it is your job to have all the answers. People depend on and are loyal to you because of the time and attention you give them. If you weren’t there, the business would suffer.
While your ego may enjoy all the attention, the rest of you is suffering from all the distraction. Rather than be able to effectively run your business or strategize for the future, you are stuck in the weeds, putting out fires day after day. A lack of communication, inconsistent delegation, and ineffective supervision has created a trifecta of trouble.
In the absence of structure or someone to guide them, individuals learn over time to take the path of least resistance. This is demonstrated in their attachment to a single person or process they believe can “get things done” or cause the least amount of hassle for them. This co-dependent relationship is not healthy for either party, and will actually hamper a leader’s primary function; charting a course for future success. You can’t be looking ahead when your head is down and buried.
SIMPLY PUT, YOU'RE STUCK ON DEFENSE
Empowering others means leaving them to figure it out for themselves and waiting for them to come to you with questions when they get stuck. People don’t want to be micro-managed or told what to do. Operating on a need to know basis, keeps everything simple.
When employees are left to make their own assumptions or conclusions about the workplace – they do! By creating an on-demand environment, where information must be requested from others, rather than shared by owners/management, you are perpetuating a cycle of misinformation and reinforcing the necessity for underground communication channels (grape vine, gossip). Also, by always being on the defensive, responding to others instead of delivering to others, your reputation as an effective manager and your ability to influence and lead others, will be damaged. Remember, if you’re not leading them.. you’re not leading them.
EMPLOYEE TURNOVER IS UP AND REPLACEMENTS ARE HARD TO COME BY
Everyone is replaceable; bring them in, train them up and let’s keep moving. The problem is the applicants, not the manager.
Recruitment and retention of key talent can be both time consuming and frustrating. Without knowing the ins and outs of the process or dedicating the necessary time to the selection process, businesses are often faced with having to repeat the cycle multiple times, and experience multiple ‘mis fits’ before landing the ideal candidate. Beyond simple mechanics of a job ad, interview, and hiring process, there are many other factors which, if mishandled, can negatively affect the organization and potentially become a liability for you.
YOUR VOICE MAIL IS FULL OF INFORMATION REQUESTS FROM EXTERNAL AGENCIES
It’s a violation of an employee’s privacy for me to release anything to anyone about them. A business doesn’t have to deal with issues for people who are no longer employed. If it’s that important, they’ll send a letter.
Employers have certain obligations and are required to respond to a wide array of personal information related requests from third parties. These could include insurers, lawyers, government agencies (EI/CPP, CRA/TAX, Immigration), as well as Labour, Privacy, Human Rights, workplace safety, and even the police/RCMP, etc. Knowing what can be released, when, and regarding/to whom, may be viewed as an unreasonable demand on one’s time, and something to be ignored. Be warned! Failure to respond to any of these may be more harmful that not responding at all.
THE LAST TIME YOU TOOK A VACATION, YOU SWORE IT WAS YOUR LAST
Vacation is over rated. As the owner of the business, I take time here and there but I need to be available 24/7 in case of an emergency.
Except for a select few positions (outlined in Provincial and Federal employment (vacation) legislation, employees are required to take time off (paid) from work. Beyond this, there are health & well being, risk, and security arguments for why individuals should be away from the workplace for an extended period of time every year.
The vacation dilemma is also an excellent foreshadowing of the readiness of an organization for the permanent absence of it’s leader/owner. If the thought of coming back to the kind of disaster you experienced the last time you went away without a trusty #2 in place to cover you, makes you shudder, it’s time to address some larger (succession) issues. You should be building both an annual vacation and in-term training/backup program into your business routine. For starters, you’ll need a proper training plan in place to prepare a capable backup/replacement to cover in your absence. Remember, absences aren’t always planned. Addressing both short and long term needs will be to your benefit.
It’s a known fact that businesses/managers who plan and manage to that plan are more successful than those who don’t. Simply put, a proactive approach offers greater returns than a reactive one. If the examples covered above describe elements of your current reality, it’s time to consider a review of your business and people practices.
Take your business to the next level; connect with a business advisor specializing in human resources for more information on how you can address these issues and many others.
YOUR ENGINE LIGHT IS ON
If your management style is to watch the dashboard and wait for a light to come on, you could be missing something. Much like a vehicle, troubles in business won’t always show up with a big, obvious flashing “fix me” light.
Here are 5 signs (observations, really) that your people practices might need some attention. Take a few minutes to review them and save yourself and your organization, massive engine failure by incorporating some preventative maintenance, now.