If your office is anything like ours, it’s sure to be busy all day, every day. It can be a low-level buzz type of busy with people at their desks doing reports, blog posts and spreadsheets. Or it can be 4th of July, on-site right before an event kind of busy.
But have you ever took a step back and asked yourself: is everyone doing work the right way and reaching their goals and objectives? Their days might be filled with activity and busyness but they might be focusing on the wrong type of work, not doing work efficiently or worse, harming the company as they do their work.
Helping Them Set Goals and Objectives
As a leader, it’s your job to make sure that your team does their work in the best way possible. And since each person approaches work differently, we’re going to go over each work personality type and learn ways how to make them do work more effectively.
Who is he? He’s the John Watson to your Sherlock Holmes, the Robin to your Batman, the Pepper Potts to your Iron Man. You trust him because he always has your back and always does what you ask him. You may not know it, but he’s probably the biggest blind spot you have in your team.
The problem. Since he deems you as the most important person in the team, he’ll always do what you ask, even if it might not make any real business sense. This pisses off the other team members who also need his help. To top it off, when he perceives that someone more important than you (like your own boss or a big client) needs stuff done, he’ll do that for them as well and leave you behind.
What you need to do. Take him aside in private and tell him that he needs to work towards clearly defined goals and objectives instead of doing the whims of others, even if that’s you. Help him develop the skill of being objective when deciding what work needs to be done.
Who is she? She’s the gal who has a slight OC tendency, always doing the work as it lands on her lap. It feels like she will catch fire at any second. If you say the work needs to be done ASAP, she drops everything to handle it.
The problem. You’re not entirely sure if she’s doing the work that’s important or just the ones that are urgent. You probably can’t tell her that the work she’s doing is not important since she’s always putting 110% in all her work.
What you need to do. Sit her down for a few minutes. Tie her down with some cables if you have to. Then talk to her about how to determine if the work that lands on her desk is important versus just urgent. Teach her to set her own goals and objectives and work with her backwards to create a plan to achieve that goal so she knows what work to focus on. Calendars will probably be a bit of a help here, also sharing to her that it’s okay to say no to some of the work that comes her way.
Who is he? He’s all about results. In company meetings, he’s probably the one with the best numbers among his peers. There’s no denying that he gets things done but it seems that his winner-takes-all approach is casting a dark shadow on your company somehow.
The problem. When he works, he is laser-focused on the results. Sometimes, too much. He might be getting more clients, but hurting the company brand. Or he might be creating fun, engaging events but spending way too much on them. You’re sure to have to clean up after him after each of his “successes”.
What you need to do. Ask him to always think of the big picture when pursuing a new project. Going back to your company mission and vision will help a lot here. Ask him to first test ideas in smaller scales so that he can learn if it has any unintended consequences that need to be considered.
Who is she? She’s the one who does everything, trying to save everyone. You’ve probably given her the keys already since she’s always the first one in the office as well as the last one to leave. Still, it bothers you sometimes that she does so much work. Is she a superhero of some sort? How can she keep this pace up?
The problem. While she certainly does the time, she’s not doing the work in the most efficient way possible. You’ll find her sending emails one at a time versus using the bcc field, relying on her memory to keep track of todos and driving across town to get supplies versus having them shipped over.
What you need to do. Start by telling her that you value her work but that she can do things better. Tell her that she can get more work done by stopping work, looking for the best way to meet her goals and objectives (either online or by asking you or a team mate), then doing the work. Also, tell her not to put in too much in her schedule and slack off sometimes. The Pomodoro technique will do wonders here.
This is you. You’re often seen valiantly leading the team on the ground to get things done. You’re a great manager, but you’re also the event visionary. You find satisfaction in your on-the-ground work but feel that it’s holding you back.
The problem. You’re a bit too focused on the daily work to be done when in reality, you should be leading others and empowering them to do the work themselves. That doesn’t mean you don’t help. It just means that you’re diving deep into growing the business and creating the future of the company, versus helping to set up the stage for the nth time.
What you need to do. Don’t be afraid to delegate some of your tasks. Sure it’s scary but as soon as you embrace that not getting the job done perfectly is often the best result for the entire team, you’ll be much more effective at your job as a leader. Be sure to equip your team as well with the training and tools needed so they self-organize if needed. And make sure to measure your progress as a team so everyone will know that they are included in the growth of the company.
A team that’s busy but not going the right direction might be headed toward a cliff, so make sure you’re piloting everyone on the right course. With a team that works together well toward a common goal, you’ll be unstoppable!