Here is a ‘Management Makeover’ recipe to improve organisational culture and performance – fast.
- Significantly increase the quality, quantity and frequency of communication throughout the organisation. Do this through effective 121s, team meetings, project meetings and ‘skip level’ meetings. Train people to make these meetings REALLY work. Make sure that the communication regime works both ways – that managers listen as well as they talk.
- Significantly increase the quality, quantity and frequency of feedback in the organisation. Train everyone how to give, receive and act on feedback. Train managers how to escalate feedback if it is not acted on effectively. Once everyone knows how their performance is perceived, what is working well and what needs further development, they will start to develop – fast. Make feedback a part of every day work – not a quarterly event!
- Train every manager to coach every member of their team, every week, to improve their performance. Use coaching to establish learning firmly in the workplace and focus it on providing a better service. A weekly coaching routine provides a great tempo to learning and performance improvement. Train managers to use coaching for performance improvement – helping good people to become great. However also equip them to coach under-performers – if necessary as part of a formal performance process.
- Train managers to delegate prodigiously. Train them to use delegation as a tool to provide opportunities for those who are hungry to learn and develop their contribution to the organisation. Use delegation, supported by coaching, feedback and great communication to significantly increase the capacity of your organisation.
Communication, Feedback, Coaching and Delegation. Managers who do these four things consistently well stand head and shoulders above their peers. Their teams perform better and keep improving.
All four are relatively easy to learn – requiring more commitment, courage and discipline than skill. For most people a three hour training session on each gives them the basics. They then just need to practice and learn perhaps with some additional advice and support along the way. The challenge in implementing this ‘Management Make’ over is in developing a new set of management habits. And this takes, time, courage and discipline.
But don’t rush it. If this recipe is going to work managers need time to develop and put into practice what they have learned.
Start with better communication through 121s. As soon as 121s have bedded down, after 4-6 weeks introduce training on feedback. Let this have a month to bed in before developing coaching, and a further month before training in delegation.
Within 6 months you will have transformed the culture and performance of your organisation. And this Management Makeover will be much more than skin deep.