In my previous post, I described some examples where a manager tries to give “public feedback” in an effort to change the behaviors of a few people through mass communication. The communication may be efficient, but the outcomes are not there, and could actually make things worse. Today, I discuss four more reasons why public feedback is rife with unintended consequences.
“Public Feedback” is when a manager notices or learns something he or she doesn’t like on the part of a few, and instead of addressing it with those individuals, addresses it with the entire team. Three simple examples are:
1) Employees not following a dress code. Manager: “Reminder to everyone: Follow the dress code.”
2) Employees late on their status reports. Manger: “Everyone, I need the status report by end of week, no exceptions.”
3) Employees gossiping. Manager: “I will not tolerate gossiping from anyone.”
A quirk that many managers have is the willingness to provide feedback publically. That is, the manager will identify something that is going wrong on the team, and then tell the entire team to stop doing that. An example is, say, one or two people are violating the dress code. The manager sends an email to the entire organization (let’s say, 100 people) stating, “As a reminder, we have a strict dress code, and all people in the organization are expected to adhere to it.” Another example is that someone on the team is habitually late with status reports. The manager writes an email to the entire team stating, “I would like status reports by end of day Friday, no exceptions.” Here’s a third example: One or two people have been to gossiping about the latest re-orgs being planned. At a team meeting, the manager says, “There’s a lot of gossip going around about a potential re-org. I will not tolerate this, as there is no information about this to discuss.”
This is what I call “Public Feedback.” The manager is attempting to correct behavior by telling everyone on the team to stop doing what a small segment is doing. This doesn’t work, and may make things worse here’s why: Read more
In my previous post, I described what I call the “ineffective-you-doing-OK-swing-by.” It is ineffective in that it indicates that the manager is hoping to take a short cut in solving a problem, and it doesn’t solve the problem. Additionally, it trains your employees to set up dramas to get your attention. It’s a leading indicator that you are managing from a deficit.
In today’s post, I’ll discuss five ways to reduce and avoid having to rely on such swing-bys.
In my previous post, I introduced the concept of “managing from a deficit.” In today’s post, I discuss a common scenario of when a manager “manages from a deficit”, and tries a short cut to get out of it. This I call the “ineffective-you-doing-OK-swing-by.”
If you are a manager, you want to be able to take the temperature of how the members of your team are doing. Knowing who is doing well and who needs support is an important skill. The basic premise that many managers operate under is that they don’t pay attention to the ones who are doing well, and the ones who are struggling need some “moral support.”
To address those times when someone is need of support or it is suspected that something is wrong, it is frequently observed that managers perform what I call the “ineffective-you-doing-OK-swing-by.”
Many managers yell at their employees. Some managers feel the need to shout at the employees to get them to start working work or work harder. Perhaps you’ve heard managers repeat, “Just get it done!” Here are some similar behaviors: Managers getting angry, barking, being impatient, and announcing their worry or panic over a situation.
This means that the manager is losing (or has lost) effectiveness at being a manager. It is a reflection that the team isn’t behind the manager, and that the manager keeps returning to the same, ineffective methods for getting the team to perform (yelling, admonition).
If you are a manager doing this, you are “managing from a deficit.” You are behind the game, and you are losing. What you are doing isn’t working, and you are not getting the results or performance you need from your team. You need to turn this around, but there are no shortcuts. In fact, that’s what got you into this hole in the first place. Read more
Many managers value loyalty in their employees, and even state it up-front as something that they expect. In my previous post, I discussed some of the dangers that asking for loyalty can create. In today’s post, I’d like to focus on what asking for loyalty does to high performers. In this scenario, the new manager declares, “I value loyalty” to their team.
If the manager announces this to the team, here is what the high performers (those who align themselves to the org strategy, create quality work output, and add value to the organization) are likely to interpret this:
Oh brother, this has nothing to do with work quality.
If you are a manager, you may value loyalty in your employees. You may even express this in your presentation to your employees as part of your values. However, if you ask for loyalty, then you are attempting a short cut. Loyalty is a lagging indicator that you can obtain only several years down the road. If you treat it like a leading indicator by asking for it initially, then you probably have lost some loyalty in your employees, defeating the purpose. Here’s how it works: Read more
In this post, I begin to explore the tenets of the new field I advocate called Management Design. Management Design is a response to the bad, or lazy, existing design (cataloged here) that currently describes how managers are developed or found. These existing designs demonstrate how people managers are often created by accident, rather than by design. To improve this, I’m proposing design tenets and here’s the first tenet of management design: Treat people and team management as a functional skill. Read more