Leaders to Leader

Lessons from the Great American Leaders & How They Apply Now

Supporting Employees’ Need to Achieve Maximum Results

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At a sporting event, cheerleaders are present for the single purpose of providing support for their team. The same applies to the manager in the workplace. Once plans and programs are in place it becomes the responsibility of the manager to provide the support their employees need to achieve maximum results.

The nature of most positions assumes that employees are self-managing and self-directing in the majority of their activities. The traditional role of the manager was to control and direct the employees they supervised. Effective managers now support and motivate their employees by streamlining policies and procedures and by removing internal barriers to their productivity.

Managers must understand that by removing internal barriers and streamlining procedures they make the employee’s job easier, allowing each one to focus on more productive tasks rather than diverting their energy elsewhere. In this manner, the role of the manager is to keep their employees on track and motivated to reach their peak performance.

The role of the manager is to remove the roadblocks their employees encounter in order to enhance their productivity. Effective managers understand it is their primary responsibility to produce results and not just control and direct. Efficiency and productivity are the means to achieving results, and managers need to make attaining them as easy as possible. This is achieved by providing the following:

Attainable Goals

One of the primary responsibilities of a manager is to ensure that their employees have realistic and attainable goals. This does not necessarily mean that goals are easy; rather, they should always stretch the employee’s ability to grow. However, unrealistic and overwhelming goals and objectives are counterproductive because they frustrate and ultimately demotivate the employee.

Employees are responsible for developing their own work-related goals. In many cases they are accepted with little or no scrutiny. Managers should invest the time and resources to have a frank discussion with all individuals concerning their objectives. For example, IBM built their success by ensuring that their employees had a series of smaller, attainable goals. When those were achieved, employees’ successes were celebrated.

Managers should likewise require that their own employees develop a series of smaller plans for the quarter, month, week and day, all linked to the accomplishment of larger goals. In this manner, managers help their employees stay focused on activities that keep them moving forward toward the accomplishment of their objectives.

Without this critical guidance and direction, all unit or department activities for the year may prove wasteful and meaningless. When realistic and attainable plans are in place, the role of the manager is to support their employees’ activities and keep them on track and focused on the results they need to achieve.

Adequate Support

Employees must be provided the necessary tools and resources to achieve the desired results. A lack of adequate support for an employee sends a mixed message and hurts motivation. During the heat of daily activities, employees need timely information, data and support in order to keep moving forward.

When companies fail employees at these critical junctures, they are communicating their lack of concern for their efforts. This often undermines the investment in time and resources made by the worker. If it costs him or her meeting a particular target or goal, motivation to work hard toward the next objective is eliminated. It is replaced with an “If they don’t care, why should I?” attitude. Once this attitude takes hold it is difficult to reverse.

Realistic Reports and Policies

Employees can be burdened with scheduled reports that are generated more out of tradition than need. Aside from the expense and resource utilization reports required as management tools, managers should only request the information they need to monitor the success of the employee’s plan. Beyond that, many reports can duplicate information and may be throwbacks to outdated pre-computer days.

With the advent of computers and business management software, yesterday’s report can easily be transformed into an action plan. This process provides both the manager and employee with an informational tool that directs and informs.

Managers need quality information to monitor their employees’ activities, which can be obtained through a performance metrics system that reports key numbers to reflect the employee’s activities. Typically, such metrics accurately report the progress of activities within the employee’s pipeline.

Effective Skills Development

Managers must ensure that their employees continually polish their skills, which requires providing quality training while monitoring an individual employee’s performance to observe what skills are in need of refinement. When necessary, additional training and coaching may be required. Training should not be considered merely as a reward, but as a requirement if employees are to grow in their profession.


16 Ways to Motivate Employees and to Celebrate Their Successes

Recognition Must Be Given Liberally, Frequently and Publicly

Motivation Is More Than Money

Excerpt: Motivating Employees: Pinpoint Management Skill Development Training Series (Majorium Business Press, Stevens Point, WI 2011) $ 17.95 USD

Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D. | Author | Publisher | Majorium Business Press
Author of Great! What Makes Leaders Great: What They Did, How They Did It and What You Can Learn From It (Finalist – 2011 Foreword Reviews‘ Book of the Year)
Linkedin | Facebook | Twitter | Web| Blog | Catalog |800.654.4935 | 715.342.1018

Copyright © 2013 Timothy F. Bednarz, All Rights Reserved


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