Archive for September 2012

Update Job Accountabilities Regularly

September 30, 2012

Hopefully you have a job accountability matrix for each of your direct reports capturing the job’s activities, priorities, and success factors.  Maybe you have a “job description” instead listing the job’s requirements and expectations.  Maybe you have a tattered sheet of paper detailing what you’d like out of the job.

Whatever you are using to scope your direct report’s job, be sure to review and update it regularly.  We recommend reviewing job accountabilities during each quarterly performance review session.  By reviewing the accountabilities regularly with your direct report, you both are reminded of what is important.

Do not assume the job’s description is static and cannot be changed.  The document is a dynamic, evolving view of the job and should be updated as the job evolves or changes.  Your direct report should be responsible for “owning” this responsibility and keeping you apprised of changes.

Empower your direct reports to manage their job accountabilities and watch both your careers succeed.

A Little Attention Increases Productivity

September 23, 2012

In their book “Contented Cows Still Give Better Milk, The Plain Truth About Employee Engagement In Your Bottom Line,” Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden describe how animal science studies have shown that dairy cattle who are given a first name and are regularly called by that first name will produce an additional 60 gallons of milk annually. That’s amazing, simply paying attention to the producer increases their productivity.

How does that translate to your direct reports? Our experience has shown that leaders who conduct regular one-on-one meetings with their direct reports get much more productivity out of those direct reports.  Sometimes its hard to remember these one-on-one meetings need to be about what the employee needs, not focused on their boss.  Everyone needs the undivided attention of their boss and it is proven that those who get that attention are more productive.

Empower yourself to conduct regular one-on-ones with your direct reports, and you’ll all experience more success.

It’s What Bad Bosses Don’t Do That Makes Them Bad

September 12, 2012

When we think of bad bosses, images from the comic strip Dilbert and the television shows The Office and Mad Men come to mind.  We imagine bad bosses as those screaming, paper throwing, sexist leaders Hollywood likes to portray.  Since most leaders don’t demonstrate these behaviors, they don’t consider themselves bad bosses.

However, research suggests that the offensive actions associated with being a bad boss make up less than 20% of the behavior that actually defines the worst bosses.

When HBR authors Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman analyzed the behavior of 30,000 managers, as seen through the eyes of their 300,000 peers, direct reports, and bosses on 360-degree evaluations, they found that the bad bosses were guilty more of what they didn’t do than what they did do.

Bad bosses didn’t:

  • give timely and productive feedback
  • spend consistent, quality one-on-one time with their direct reports
  • give quarterly performance reviews
  • clearly define job expectations
  • set goals aligned with the organization’s goals
  • develop their direct reports
  • create succession plans

Ask yourself what you can do to be a better boss and you’ll be more successful.