The Boss’s Guide to a Better, Simpler, and More Productive Year
By Monica Wofford
that time of year. Everything is new and fresh and we all tend to
make an attempt at starting over, beginning anew, and revamping the
old with the advent of a new year. When the resolutions wear off and
reality sets in, you are still left with the same employees, the
same job and usually the same issues. This year, don’t just wish
things were different and give it a shot for the first couple of
weeks, make it happen…and keep it simple… even better and more
guide to a better, simpler and more productive year is an index to
possible actions you could take in a variety of situations. They are
not multiple choice questions, yet are multiple choice actions.
Unless you take action, you will never know if your results were
achievable. Use this guide to achieve your very own desired results.
Employees: If employees are not performing:
action you take will depend on what you have done about his behavior
up to this point. Have you coached already? Have you shared
expectations? Have you given rewards/consequences?
Expectations: If employees are not clear on what your
action you take will depend on what you have shared up to this
point. Have you decided what your expectation are? Have you shared
them with some but not all of the employees you lead?
Gossip: If the rumor mill seems to be the only thing functioning
with ease and consistency in your office:
realize that people will talk no matter what
minimize damage of the rumor mill by
over-informing as much as you can
adopt a zero tolerance gossip policy
encourage those who hear gossip to stop it by
asking the person if she minds that you share what you have
heard with the person who is the subject of the gossip
is actually the sign of a healthy organization and it will happen
almost no matter what you do, but you can minimize the damage. Take
gossip with a grain of salt and try to minimize it by not forcing it
to not exist and by not taking it personally.
Attrition: If there seems to be a revolving door out of your
company and into the vacant slots, then:
determine why people are really leaving
ask for referrals from existing employees
hire people who are well developed in more than
just one personality
surround yourself with multiple types of people,
thereby keeping the team and the talents in balance.
Avoid the temptation to hire too many direct,
commanding, take charge folks, as they will often but heads with
the many others on the team
remember to hire those who have a little fun as
it will keep the team happy
companies make the mistake of hiring only those who are “commanders’
or “organizers”, terms used in the CORE profile. These individuals
are easily promotable, but not very good at people skills when
stress is high. If you can hire folks who are gifted in more than
one dominant are, along with those who are more people focused but
may not always get things done right away, you will be better off.
Morale: If there is always doom and gloom and unhappiness, even
the best employees will flee to a happier place. If you have low
talk about it openly
try to find the source
try to eliminate the source
recognize that it may be temporary
check to see if you are creating it by mistake
morale can be achieved by one bad apple or one bad event, as well as
a series of changes. Has anything bad happened that you can control?
Are there other factors bumming out employees? What can you do to
make work fun? Do you have fun doing your own job?
Recognition: Has it been a while since you said “good job” or
excellent work? If so, keep in mind, many people will be as pleased
with a pat on the back, a high five, or a thank you card, as much as
they will a raise…. Provided you recognize early and often and don’t
wait until it’s too late.
Ask them how they like to be recognized
Give different recognition to different people
(i.e. public, private, tangible, intangible)
Recognize who values which kind of recognition
through observation of what they do for others
Be fair and exercise equality, yet be different
and show value.
a difference between being equal and being the same. There is also a
fine line between frequent insincere thanks and less frequent, more
Teamwork: If you are struggling with teamwork in such a way that
it is creating a lack of productivity, that is something you wish to
remedy and fast! If teamwork fails to exist or be effective:
make sure you have a well balanced team
make sure you have one person that is gifted in
each of the four behavior traits (i.e. Commander, Organizer,
Entertainer and Relater)
share expectations of team performance in
addition to individual performance
give team incentives
help them all get along.
are the highlights of what many organizations struggle with and
though the answers aren’t always easy or quite this black and white,
taking action is. You either do or you don’t and the longer you wait
to do something, the larger the problem gets. This year, set out to
keep it simple, more productive and even better. Try one or two new
things and see where they take you. Getting results require taking
action and both will help you get better.
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