Oga please cover your peeps as much as you can!

Chances are in your job as a manager, you will still be reporting to somebody else in the organization. So this means you have someone above you who has expectations of you as you also have expectations of others working with you. As a result, it is quite common to feel like you are “caught in the middle”.

This feeling of being caught in the middle is a reality of the world that you now operate in as a manager. So you must acknowledge it — deal with it.

Don’t…

As a manager, your real job is to set and clarify the strategic vision for your organization that your team can run with — period!

It involves planning, monitoring, analyzing, and assessing all necessities your organization needs to meet its set goals and objectives.

As a manager, you’re also required to keep your team on that growth path. You steady the ship during turbulent times. Unlike once-and-done strategic plans, effective strategic management continuously plans, monitors, and tests the organization’s activities. This ultimately results in operational efficiency, improved market share, and profitability.

It is also important for you to have a defined process for managing these activities as this will help you make logical decisions per time, and proactively respond to changing market dynamics with new goals quickly enough in order to keep pace with your ever-evolving markets/business conditions.

Stay agile

One key reason why hiring managers employ the wrong people for a job is the lack of clear job descriptions or expectations on what the role is meant to achieve in the first place — this almost always leads to wrong hiring decisions. The candidates hired end up being ‘unqualified largely because they are not fit for the role.

Functional line managers/supervisors are equally people/talent managers — at least, must learn to become effective ones.

It is important that functional line managers are thorough, ask behavioral-based questions during interviews, check references where required, and follow through on other important interview…

When workers are unmotivated and disengaged, it’s easy to blame tools, processes, and even the workplace culture as contributing factors. But more often than not disengagement boils down to a lack of effective leadership particularly for reasons of lack of effective communication and engagement with individuals within the team/business.

A good way to curb this will be to convey passion to members of your team. Be consistent in your conversations in order to convince them that their ideas and actions do matter. That their contributions do hold a certain gravity and make a whole lot of difference.

This can help increase performance and employee engagement. It can also promote positive collaboration among your team members encouraging them to step up to the plate and lead during tumultuous times.

As a leader, manager or director, this is a tip you should be applying at your workplace.

Instead of threatening to take something away, why don’t you give something instead.

You can start with something as simple as gratitude or praise then move to a unique reward that you know will excite an employee or the whole team

Using fear or threats can hurt employees’ self-esteem, and potentially lead to bitterness, anger or disengagement.

Reward, on the other hand is most likely to produce a positive response such as gratitude, excitement, improved loyalty and engagement. And in some cases, innovation 💡.

Rewards can also produce a kind of lasting productivity that threats can never accomplish.

So in conclusion it’s always better to give rewards over fear or punishment.

What’s the best reward or worst punishment you’ve ever received in the workplace?

Most people can have one good delivery or one pitch that was just lit!

They can even show traits of excellence every now and again.

But to be seen as consistent, you have to continuously deliver excellence, creativity and hard work every time, you’re required to, till it becomes a natural habit. This takes time because it means you have to deliver day after day even without any obvious, flashy evidence of growth.

Don’t let that keep you away. Keep going at it.

Smashing all your deliverables and before you know it will lead you to your end goal.

But…

We all know the saying “the only constant thing in life is change” and that could not be more apt.

Change is always going to happen in our work and personal lives. The faster we embrace it, the better, particularly in a time like this when everything we knew as normal just 6 months ago has been switched up drastically.

Are you one of those people still refusing to embrace the times we are in and finding it difficult to accept the many demands for adjustments; that’s probably why you are still struggling.

It’s futile to fight it especially when it’s the type of change that came with no script or template on how-to manage the many moving parts. Perhaps the best approach will be to allow the wind of change to create new paths of self discovery, growth and adventure for us.

Minimalism in management generally refers to a line manager doing away with activities and processes that does not add any critical value to his/her team performance.

It tries to emphasize the most essential functions of management and eliminates all the unnecessary practices to enable focus on outcomes. A good time to implement this will be a period like this where there is increased pressure on reduced workforce. There’s a lot more to be done with little or no time — team members are equally not left out thus creating dissatisfaction and friction on both ends.

A great way to fix…

I was talking to a colleague last week and we had a conversation about how he seemed to be putting in a lot of work and effort but wasn’t getting any immediate return at least not yet and I thought about how this is the case for a lot of us because if there’s one thing we can agree on, the first half of 2020 has been an interesting year for businesses and working professionals all over the world.

As the second half of the year unfolds, there might be some temptation to start cutting corners or putting out subpar work. This is a prompt for you to uphold yourself to the highest standards required of your position/aspirations

That’s the only way you can be not just the best but the very best at all times.

As we all begin to adjust to the new realities of work in our different spheres, one thing is clear — there’s going to be increased pressure on reduced workforce.

More so, for entrepreneurs and leaders both in private and public-policy related functions, who will be required to go beyond the norms of *what’s expected*.

However hard it gets, let’s keep pushing. Let today be another opportunity we embrace to give it our very best shot!

Gbenga TOTOYI

Sharing career/business insights with a focus on the changing dynamics of work, the worker & the workplace. Check out www.gbengatotoyi.com for more!

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