Delegation – Developing or Dumping? Part 3

I have met some incredibly bright and talented leaders.  When the topic of “delegation” comes up, they grimace and comment that they need to get better at that! This is a 3 part blog on Delegation Tips for Success – What to Delegate, How to Effectively Delegate and Delegating the Task and the Authority. Delegating the Task and the Authority Once you have identified What you can Delegate, and have planned Who and How will you delegate, it’s time to also consider how much of the task and authority for completing the task should be delegated.   Delegate the Task Delegate the Authority Level One Get the facts, do the research I’ll decide and retain the authority Level Two Suggest alternatives based on the employee’s research I’ll discuss the alternatives which the employee suggests and retain the authority Level Three Do the research, consider options and decide on a solution Review your solution with me and I retain final approval for the solution Level Four Do the research, consider options and decide on a solution Implement the employee’s solution unless I ask to be included in advance Level Five Do the research, consider options, and implement your solution Implement the solution and report the results to me Level Six Do the research, consider options, and implement your solution Implement the solution and only report the results if the solution is unsuccessful Level Seven Do the research, consider options, and implement your solution Implement the solution and reporting is not needed   Each assignment may be delegated at a different level based on the experience of the employee in completing...

Delegation – Developing or Dumping? Part 2

I have met some incredibly bright and talented leaders.  When the topic of “delegation” comes up, they grimace and comment that they need to get better at that! This is a 3 part blog on Delegation Tips for Success – What to Delegate, How to Effectively Delegate and Delegating the Task and the Authority. How to Effectively Delegate Once you have identified What you can Delegate, it’s time to plan Who and How will you delegate. Evaluate Delegation Needs – grab the list you created last week of assignments you are going to delegate and then walk through these questions. Prepare to delegate the assignment – What is the Task? What is the Responsibility level and intended results? What resources are available if the employee needs help? How does completing the assignment benefit the employee doing the work? Will the skills help advance their career or provide them with more opportunities to complete creative work? What follow up will you do? Select the right person Does the work belong to a particular position? Who has the interest or motivation to do the work? Who has the skills to do the work? Who could be challenged by doing the work? Who has time to do the work? Make the assignment – set a day and time to meet with your employee and give them the project and information you identified in step 2. Follow-up Periodically check your level of involvement – too much or not enough? Provide coaching and resources as needed Intervene when necessary to keep the project on track Share responsibility for success and “limited success” with the...

Delegation – Developing or Dumping? – Part 1

I have met some incredibly bright and talented leaders.  When the topic of “delegation” comes up, they grimace and comment that they need to get better at that! This is a 3 part blog on Delegation Tips for Success – What to Delegate, How to Effectively Delegate and Delegating the Task and the Authority. What to Delegate All of us have items on our desk which we should delegate. Let’s start with that procrastination stack, which is usually on your credenza, on the floor, or hidden in a drawer. If you were motivated to complete it, the project utilized your strengths and you were the best person to complete it – You Would Have Done It by Now!  Let’s accept that you’re not the best person to complete it and delegate the task to someone else who is a better fit.  You may have been the best person at one point in your career – however are you the best person today? Other items you should delegate include repetitive routine tasks or decisions for you which could be a development opportunity for new employees on your team. Delegating projects that cross train your employees to increase flexibility of the workload and your team’s coverage when absences occur. Delegate opportunities to use and reinforce creative talents on your team which could add value to the project. When you are more concerned that something gets done and less concerned with how it gets done, consider delegating it. Then ask yourself – is it wrong or is it different?  If there is more than one “right” way to complete a task, this...

Communicate Tough Messages with Compassion

Over 85% of Leaders dread communicating tough messages.  They want to help their employee be successful, but don’t want to hurt their feelings or risk demotivating them.  How do you communicate tough messages with compassion? Two Purposes of a Coaching Conversation: Your first goal is to communicate your concern in a kind and compassion manner Seek to understand and be understood – describe the behaviors you are observing today and clearly communicate what success looks like! Create awareness so their behavior is a choice rather than a habit – what other options exist at work to successfully do their job Seek accuracy – clarify successful job performance and answer their questions to ensure they understand the desired performance or behavior Offer to create a shift – how can you support their new behavior Your second goal is to Produce a New Result Outcome of the Conversation – agree on the new behavior or performance with the employee Problem Solved – verify that the new behavior is successful and productive for the employee, customers and coworkers Action Plan Created and Upside/Downside of Action Plan – support and reinforce the new action plan and assess the advantages and disadvantages of the options prior to creating the action plan Movement toward Resolution – celebrate steady and gradual improvements toward the new performance goal Please share other tips that have made your coaching conversations productive for you and your...

Get Results from your Training Investment!

When you invest in training, do you wonder if your employees just had a fun day and will return to their same routine once they come back to work?  Most companies make a significant investment in training their workforce, only to be disappointed by the results. Here are some tips you can use to get results from your training dollars! Discover what your employees are learning. Once you understand the new behaviors they have learned, you can recognize when they are practicing these skills at work and reward their new behavior.  If you haven’t attended the training personally, ask to see the agenda or review the training materials with the employee when they return to the office. Ask the employee what they plan to implement from the training they attended and how you can support them. Listen to their ideas for implementing the new skills or behaviors they learned at training and offer suggestions that have worked well for you. Catch them doing things Right! When you see the new behaviors, praise them!  Even if it isn’t perfect, praise the attempt and offer suggestions to enhance the implementation of their new skills.  What gets rewarded, gets repeated.  What gets ignored, gets forgotten. Practice the new behaviors yourself! If your employee is trying to show more appreciation to dependable, long-term employees; make sure you show appreciation to your employees too.  Be a great role model for the behavior you want to see on your team. Be consistent. Follow up every 2 weeks until the new behavior becomes a habit, which usually takes 90 days.  Then follow up monthly to reinforce...

2 Important Questions for Your Team

Managers frequently tell me that they dread giving performance feedback.    They are concerned that the conversation will result in a decrease in performance, an emotional reaction, employee complaints, and possibly turnover.  They also struggle with giving recognition and praise in a manner that is motivational for their team.  I have lead teams of two employees up to 100 employees and all sizes in between.  After years of trying to read my team and identify their preferred communication style, I developed these questions, which remove the “guess work” in coaching and praise and help ensure a successful conversation. I ask each member of my team the following questions during a private conversation, when I am not giving them feedback.  I take notes on each employee’s preference and refer to my notes when I need to have a coaching or recognition conversation with the employee.  These questions have provided me with successful results and allowed me to take the “guess work” out of managing a team. How can I give feedback in a manner that is productive and meaningful for you? How can I recognize your accomplishments in a motivational and rewarding way? What additional questions have you found beneficial in communicating development feedback and praise to your team?  Please share your success...

3 Tips for Collaboration to Resolve Conflict

Sam recently facilitated a team meeting to discuss implementing a new LEAN initiative.  The team discusses the potential benefits and pitfalls of the change.  There is a lively conversation by 4 of the 6 team members.  The other 2 team members sit quietly with their arms folded and listen to the discussion.  The team agrees on an implementation plan and leaves excited to launch the new process.  The 2 quiet team members are overheard stating “this is a stupid process, it will never work” as they leave. Sam can use a Collaborative approach to resolve the conflict on his team.  A Collaborative approach involves the following 3 steps: Look for a way to satisfy both your concern and the other person’s concern. Collaborate or resolve the problem by valuing both your goals and the relationship View the conflict as a problem to be solved by brainstorming solutions which are agreeable to everyone involved Look for new alternative solutions Offer suggestions to continue the problem solving conversation, “How does this sound…” Sam called a meeting with the 2 quiet employees that afternoon.  He summarized his perspective from the meeting, which was they were quiet and seemed to have unvoiced concerns about the change.  Sam asked them to share their concerns about the new process with him.  Sam listened intently with a desire to understand and asked clarifying questions.  Once he had heard their concerns, they brainstormed solutions that addressed their concerns and strengthened the new process.  They left the meeting receptive to implementing the new process and Sam shared their brainstorming ideas with other departments who were also implementing the...

BEER Coaching Model

Stephen called to share that every time he gave performance feedback to one of his employees, she started crying.   He had tried to keep a box of tissues in the room, stepped out to let her compose herself, and started the conversation with praise.  Nothing seemed to work. Here are the tips I shared with Stephen for giving constructive feedback: Give feedback in private Open conversation by indicating this is a coaching conversation, to prepare the employee We need to discuss . . . . Recently I’ve noticed you struggle with . . . It’s come to my attention that . . . . Deal with one issue at a time, be specific, truthful and offer credible feedback Give feedback immediately, use I statements – I observed. . . . Make sure the employee is ready to receive the feedback Motivate the employee to want to change their behavior to get different results – how does the change benefit them? Treat them professionally with dignity and respect Explain  your performance expectations Give suggestions to improve performance Don’t communicate in anger Confirm understanding and allow time for the employee to ask questions In honor of the craft breweries in Colorado, I developed the BEER Coaching Model which managers can use to successfully deliver performance feedback: B = Behavior you observed, briefly describe it and be specific Hear their story and allow them to explain their positive intentions E = Explore Options for Improvement Share how the change in behavior or performance benefits them E = Engage employee in solution What can we do so this doesn’t happen again? How can...

5 Things Every Employee Wants to Know

When I survey groups of managers and employees about their perception of the performance evaluation process, most of them either love the process and feel it is one of the most productive conversations they have all year, or they dread the process and feel that it is almost painful and leaves them demotivated. There are very few who shrug their shoulders and think it is “ok”. No matter which end of the Performance Appraisal Spectrum you fall, here are tips to make your performance appraisal more productive and motivational for you and your employees! A Fortune 500 company surveyed 30,000 employees to identify what information was most important to their development and what information would help retain them at the company. While the feedback was diverse, there were 5 themes that became readily apparent. What level of performance is expected of me? What is my current level of performance relative to the company’s expectations? In what areas do I need to improve and what steps do I need to take to upgrade my current level of performance? What are my career opportunities with this company? What is the payoff for my contribution? These 5 questions are applicable to all organizations and universal to most employees. Consider including them in your performance appraisal conversation to ensure a more meaningful discussion with your employees. As you prepare for your performance appraisal conversation, you may feel like you have an abundance of data about your employees’ performance, or you don’t have enough. Here are some tips to assist you in preparing for your performance appraisal conversation. 3 Bonus Tips for effective Performance...

5 Steps to a Strategic HR Reputation

The Chairman of the Board invited me into his office and announced, “I’ve decided I like you, so I’m going to tell you everything I hate about Human Resource people.” This was my first Vice President, Human Resources and Training position. I joined a Fortune 500 company years later as the Vice President of People Services after they had conducted a yearlong search. I learned my predecessor only visited the 22 offices around the state when he had to fire an employee, no wonder they struggled to fill the job. When I announced the new HR Mission Statement – we are going to be “HR Lite: Twice the Efficiency with only half the Irritation” the leadership team applauded. What is your HR Department’s brand in your organization? What do other departments say behind your back? Have you ever walked into a meeting only to discover that there was a pre-meeting to decide the outcome of this meeting? Did the outcome surprise you? If these questions cause you to form a pit in your stomach, I can help. Here are 5 Tips to Enhance Your HR Department’s Reputation: 1. Tell leaders what they can do! There are a lot of employment laws and policies. Most leaders understand what they cannot do, please give them options that are legal and consistent with the company culture. What can they do that will be good for the employee, the business, and the community perspective? 2. Bring Solutions to leaders! They know that there are employee problems and concerns throughout the organization. What are you going to do about it? How can you make...