As a business manager, you are used to your working life being ruled by goals and targets and time constraints – this is the nature of business, life is divided into months, quarters, financial years etc because that what is demanded by those in charge of managing the money.
This structure works well to inspire you to work hard, so putting something similar in place for your staff would work equally well for them.
Depending on their role, they don’t have to think in “quarters” – in front of them is merely a series of weekends punctuated by holidays but dominated with “work” which is the same day in day out.
- BREAK UP THE YEAR BY STRUCTURED GOAL SETTING
Avoiding this is easy – as well as combining the regular sit-downs that I have written about elsewhere, creating a review process where they are working towards something at a fixed date in the near future will go a long way to helping that sense of drudgery that some (especially those in lower level roles) can feel.
To help you achieve a balance, there are several recommendations that I can make to you to implement as a business manager which will fit almost any team environment, as there are some behaviours that all people, no matter what their background, respond well to:
- Being asked for their input
- Being treated with respect
- Being listened to
Your formal review process should involve agreed targets that include both their role and soft skills. A good business leadership will ask for their input and agree on goals they’d come up with themselves, but you should also set targets by asking them what they feel they can achieve within an agreed review cycle to ensure they’re on track to meet their promises.
This is best done, in my opinion, using the SMART system that I have written about elsewhere – goals should be:
Specific (“one sale a week for the next quarter”, not simply “more sales”), Measurable (as above),
Achievable or agreed upon and realistic (so they’re confident that they can deliver based on previous performance)
Time-based (all this will be done by a pre-agreed date, perhaps the next review?)
REWARDING ACHIEVEMENT ALSO BENEFITS THE BUSINESS MANAGER
This all means nothing of course if there’s no incentive to achieve the goals they set. As a business manager you may not have the clout to implement a firm-wide structure of pay reviews and promotion criteria (which would be ideal and make it a lot easier to keep good people from leaving). If that isn’t something you can do, instead agree individual targets into a collective one, with a reward such as a team night out on the company if it’s hit.
Your part to play in this is ensuring you clearly communicate what they need to do and where their boundaries of their responsibility lie – and increasing those responsibilities slowly as their ability increases so they don’t start to feel stagnant in their role.
This retains morale, ensures feedback channels remain open and cuts down on turnover without the team feeling micromanaged – all building blocks towards business manager greatness for you!