Still the biggest barrier I find to helping clients to implement best practice approaches to people management is that ‘we do not have the time’.
‘But Mike I have 4 people in my team – are you really saying that I need to find 2 hours a week to invest in their 121s? Don’t you understand how busy I am?’
It is a bit like a motorist saying ‘I haven’t got time to check the oil and the water and to fill up the petrol tank – because my car keeps breaking down’.
Except that the latter is statement is clearly ridiculous – while the former often passes for management wisdom!
When we choose not to invest time in managing staff what are we really saying?
‘I can create more value by spending my time elsewhere’ – this may be true but managers are paid to create a return on investment by managing people;
‘If I invest time in my people I may not get a good enough return on that investment’– this may be true but then you are not a competent manager;
‘if I spend time on managing people I will be operating outside the cultural norms of my organisation’ – this may be true but then I question the long term future of your organisation. Unless we can harness the intelligence, passion, creativity, drive and energy of all our employees then we are, AT BEST, likely to achieve mediocrity.
Often what managers are really saying is that they actually quite like the adrenaline, energy and status that they get as a mole whacker, a problem solver, a crisis crusader.