My team is not en­gaged and I end up do­ing most of the work - how can I put this right?

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - Bob Lee

work in a com­pany that has lo­ca­tions across four of the largest cities in Ire­land. I have held a man­age­rial role for the last five years and I am re­spon­si­ble for seven mem­bers of staff. My prob­lem is that my team is so un­en­gaged - I of­ten find mem­bers of my team wast­ing time on so­cial me­dia, tak­ing ex­tended cof­fee breaks and chat­ter­ing, all the while KPI’S are not reached and dead­lines are missed. I am at my wit’s end with the team, but they will not take any re­spon­si­bil­ity for the role they need to play and I feel I have to do all the work my­self. How do I get through to them the im­por­tance of stick­ing to dead­lines?

sense your frus­tra­tion and iso­la­tion – how could I miss it? Work is no fun for you at the mo­ment, and prob­a­bly hasn’t been for years. That’s not go­ing to change un­til you change.

Man­agers man­age but you’re not man­ag­ing any­thing right now. You are not man­ag­ing your team’s en­gage­ment, or its work-flows, or its pro­duc­tiv­ity, or its re­sults. So, re­gard­less of your job ti­tle, you’re not ac­tu­ally a man­ager. But you are only part of the prob­lem. The real ques­tion is: where is your man­ager in all of this?

Your team’s key per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors (KPIS) are, I as­sume, in­cluded in the KPIS for which you are for­mally re­spon­si­ble. Your team is con­sis­tently miss­ing its KPIS – mean­ing you are also miss­ing yours. It seems your man­ager is about as ef­fec­tive at man­ag­ing you as you are at man­ag­ing your own team.

Here’s how it should work. Your man­ager should be giv­ing you reg­u­lar feed­back on your per­for­mance. The missed dead­lines and ig­nored KPIS should be dis­cussed. On hear­ing of the dif­fi­cul­ties that you are hav­ing, your man­ager should be work­ing with you to iden­tify so­lu­tions to help you be­come a more ef­fec­tive man­ager and to en­sure that you and your team are hit­ting the tar­gets. Your team’s poor work ethic is most likely a symp­tom of your poor man­age­ment. It’s taken five years for this prob­lem to de­velop and it can’t be solved overnight. You should fo­cus on three ar­eas: You have been badly let down by your com­pany and by your man­ager since you were put into this role. I’m guess­ing that you re­ceived lit­tle train­ing, and even less su­per­vi­sion in the role.

Ask for a meet­ing with your man­ager and tell them ex­actly what is go­ing on. Tell them you need their help. At the very least they must tell you clearly what they ex­pect of you, how they ex­pect you to do it, along with reg­u­lar con­struc­tive feed­back on how you’re do­ing, with prac­ti­cal sug­ges­tions on how you could do bet­ter. Ex­plore what other help the com­pany can of­fer, such as a men­tor, coach­ing, or for­mal man­age­ment train­ing.

Your team has had as lit­tle man­age­ment sup­port as you have, and its re­sponse has been to dis­en­gage. Each of your em­ploy­ees is en­ti­tled to ex­pect the same from you as you (now) ex­pect from your man­ager. Re­view job de­scrip­tions and write down what suc­cess ‘looks like’ for each role, us­ing the rel­e­vant KPIS as a start­ing point. Have a one-on-one meet­ing with each team-mem­ber. Ex­plain that the old sys­tem hasn’t been work­ing very well, ac­knowl­edge that you haven’t man­aged them or del­e­gated work as ef­fec­tively as you would have wished, and ex­plain how things will work from now on. Prom­ise - and de­liver - reg­u­lar meet­ings at which you will re­view per­for­mance and achieve­ment, and they can dis­cuss con­cerns, train­ing needs etc. Keep it short and to the point, avoid re­crim­i­na­tion, and ex­press the hope you can each start to im­prove the level of trust be­tween you while at the same time im­prov­ing team per­for­mance and morale.

You need help so find some­body in your or­gan­i­sa­tion who can help you iden­tify your skills and knowl­edge deficit, and help you find and im­ple­ment ap­pro­pri­ate so­lu­tions. If your or­gan­i­sa­tion doesn’t have such a per­son, find an ex­ter­nal men­tor who will help. You’ve spent five frus­trat­ing years car­ry­ing your team and get­ting lit­tle en­joy­ment from your work. It shouldn’t be that way. It’s time for a fresh start to­wards a re­ward­ing and ful­fill­ing work life. Good luck. Bob Lee is the au­thor of

the in­ter­na­tional best-seller on how to build a work­place cul­ture that achieves re­mark­able busi­ness re­sults

If a team won’t take re­spon­si­bil­ity the man­ager of­ten feels left to do all of the work

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.