Why being consistent is so important when it comes to people management21 Mar 2018
From the employee surveys that we conduct for our clients, the text questions always make for an interesting read. So many comments are made about management, in terms of how some managers are either good or bad in different ways. Some recent examples include managers who allegedly don’t delegate properly; make seemingly harsh decisions as opposed to those in other teams; or who never give praise, when other people are being given recognition for their efforts on a regular basis.
Of course, not all comments stem from management problems – its sometimes the case that the individuals themselves perceive things more negatively than others. However, from our experience, having different management styles and inconsistency with how people are managed is often the cause of problems relating to people feeling that they’re being treated unfairly in some way.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a few suggestions for creating consistency across teams in your organisation.
Communication is key
Honesty and openness from managers will help renew common purpose across your organisation. Leaders should communicate with their teams regularly regarding action plans and progress against them; operational activities and milestones. Staff should be invited to ask, comment and suggest on a regular basis. Make sure all managers are arranging regular, documented team meetings or one to ones to ensure that everyone is being given this opportunity.
Create opportunities for new and shared experiences
Giving employees the opportunity to shadow a colleague in a different department, or to participate in a cross-departmental team of some kind, can give them new perspectives whilst helping them to contribute more to the company. Managers can use the exercise to expand their own thinking as well as that of the individuals involved. All in all, it’s a simple cost effective way of sharing experience and creating cross-team understanding. It may also lead to new opportunities for employees, helping to spot and unlock potential.
Show your appreciation
Showing appreciation to your team by simply saying Thank You goes a long way. By saying those two small words, your managers are demonstrating that they understand what is happening in their teams. Thanking staff and giving honest recognition for their work achievements can help them to feel appreciated and enhance their job satisfaction. As Bart Cleveland wrote for Ad Age, “Sure, it is an employee’s job to do their best. But ask yourself, would you give even more if you knew you were appreciated?”
When accountability goes out the window, so does an effective workforce. General people management practices should be implemented company-wide, ensuring each employee will be held to the same standards of conduct. Inconsistency in how your managers deal with everyday situations sends mixed signals to employees. For example, if one employee constantly arrives late and their manager turns a blind eye, but another shows up late and is given a warning, your people will see the injustice and determine that there is no structure of accountability within your organisation. This is a sure-fire way of sparking resentment between teams and individuals and fuelling peoples’ perception of unfair treatment.
The new BSI Standard for Valuing People could help you achieve consistency across your organisation.
Our experience tells us that even those organisations that spend considerable resources developing and engaging their workforce can experience issues with perceptions of fairness or consistency. The new BSI Standard for Valuing People, BS 76000, aims to address this by providing organisations with a people management accreditation comprising a framework that is backed up by a management system, highlighting how people processes fit into organisational strategy. A fundamental requirement of the BS 76000 Standard is that workplace culture recognises the value of people, and emphasises the importance of having leaders that actively encourage the development of that culture. The standard benefits both employees and businesses by helping to develop and maintain excellent working relationships.
Team up with Inspiring
INSPIRING Business Performance provides practical advice, business information tools and training programmes for organisations who want to improve employee engagement, develop their leaders and managers or look at organisational development through accreditation against standards such as BSI’s BS 76000 standard for Valuing People. If you would like to speak to us about how to go about improving your organisation from a people aspect, call us on 0800 612 3098 or get in touch using the enquiry form on the left. We would be happy arrange for one of our consultants to meet up with you for an informal chat.