Archive for the strategic hr management Tag

Set High Standards for Your Subordinates

In this article, we shall discuss standards of work, and in particular, standards of achievement. First we shall see how standards affect performance in a business organization. The standards set by management have a deep and far-fetching influence on the way people in an organization think and perform.

There is a direct relationship between high standards and high profits. High standards by themselves do not guarantee high profits (for managers must sell the standards and help employees to work for them), but they are one of the essential links between management and profits.

One reason is that high standards satisfy an important need of key people in an organization-the people with drive and a desire to accomplish. Every good organization has a few such men and women; there are never enough. To challenge them personally, and also to help them assume leadership positions, the company somehow must convey that it wants the best its employees can give. If there is a general feeling that it is good enough to do a fair job, the top performers will quickly realize that they are just wasting their time.

It should also be remembered that in a technologically advanced companies today, and in the companies that move fast with new products and promotions to keep up with fast-changing markets, there are countless decisions being made all the time by people under the managerial levels. The manager cannot hope to keep up with everything that is going on; no matter how much he would like to control, he can in fact control only a portion of activities under his supervision.

One of the best ways he can influence these activities is by setting standards that will guide employees in their day-to-day work. If these bench marks are properly set, the bulk of the thousands of small decisions will complement the relatively few major ones made by the top executives. This has much to do with whether or not the company is successful.

High standards are instrumental in preventing what News Front Magazine once called “tired management”. Tired management occurs when executives lose the drive and inspiration of their predecessors in the corporation, or when company people show more interest in sharing the spoils of previous accomplishments than in “minding the store”.

This kind of deterioration is indeed likely to set in if management has not set high work standards and high criteria for accomplishment. Good communication between employees cannot be expected unless employees need to communicate in order to jet a job done.

Cooperation between sections cannot be expected unless the sections need to work together in order to accomplish mutually important goals. Managers cannot be expected to develop top performers among assistants and subordinates unless they need to do this in order to qualify for promotion.

Work with People as Personalities, Not Members of Groups

IF you want to do a good job of managing people, you must be able to help them grow in competence and understanding. You must be able to teach them. Two promising young supervisors start out with equal desire and equal opportunities for advancement. But do well for a time, earning promotion, regular pay raises, and the respect of their superiors. But then one seems to level off-“hit his ceiling”-while the other keeps going up.

The difference, as it often turns out, is that one has learned how to help and teach the people under him, while the other has not.

Focusing on Individuals

The first principle for working effectively with people is recognize the tremendous impact of modern business conditions on the variety of men and women in an organization. There are staff specialists in training, communications, operating research, quality control, production, scheduling, advertising, and any number of other areas.

These special areas mean not only that the people you deal with talk differently, but also those they think differently. A man who works over a long period with carefully picked samples, precise formulas and exact numbers is likely to develop a quite different frame of mind from that of the man who deals with subtleties of public opinion, general trends, and highly subjective judgments.

Help Technical People Develop

In more and more companies today the need is growing to help engineers, research men, and other specialists develop broader viewpoints of their work and qualify for promotion into management. Naturally, not all of these people are interested in supervisory positions. But some of them are, and can be found by helping them develop leadership skills.

Many managements prefer to have engineers and scientists supervised by men who themselves have had training in the field, and there are good reasons for this policy in numerous technical projects and departments. It should not be surprising therefore, that the manager who is good at helping technical people usually earns a very large credit for himself in the eyes of superiors.

Encourage Exposures to New Experience

A common mistake in teaching is to try to do it all by “dropping pearls of wisdom” pr using the blackboard. These have their places, but in this day and age it is important to see that employees get new exposures and “see for themselves”. When a man is given new exposures, you can’t be sure he’ll learn what you want him to learn, but it is a good bet that he’ll learn something and in any event, there are many times when there’re is no other good way to help him learn except this method.

In seeking to understand the people you work with, try to take extra moments for discussion, look at your end of the bargain as well as the other man’s, listen well, and set an example of frankness.