November 2017 Newsletter – How to Effectively Manage Your Key Personnel

How to Effectively Manage Your Key Personnel

Last week a client that has about 250 employees was in my office and during the meeting we discussed how the year 2017 had been for him businesswise. As we looked at their Financial Statements they showed their company had a very successful year, in fact their best year ever. But as we chatted I could tell that something was bothering him. Even though he should be very happy, they seemed down.

When I asked what was wrong, he quietly shared they had promoted a top performer, who thinks out of the box to a key position and while the employee was doing well, they were Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiadisrupting a large part of the company by running rough-shot over other personnel, ticking off many of the departments they had to interact with and now causing some customer problems. While the person was producing good results, they were triggering huge problems in morale across the company, thereby creating various operational difficulties.

What made matters much worse, was that when the business owner promoted them, he basically said to the person, “this area is all yours, just run it as you see fit and only come to me if you need my help”. The business owner did not like managing this area, and they were tickled pink to not have to deal with it any more. At first, he was very happy not to have to deal with this area of the company any more.

Then Things Started Going Awry

But then the complaints started coming in. Initially the owner just ignored the grumbling from various parts of the organization. But the griping got worse.

Then the owner overheard a customer calling with an invoicing problem that should not have occurred related to this person’s area. A short while later they ended up chatting with an employee about a problem this person had created. Then thirdly, they got a call from their bank on an issue that was associated with a new policy this person had implemented.

Finally, the owner knew he needed to discuss what was happening with the person who had been promoted. However, when he did talk to them, the employee stated that “just last week you said the department has never ran better”.

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaThe promoted person tersely said, “I have it under control, don’t you trust me?”. The communication from them was clear, “you gave this area to me and as long as I am producing great results – then butt out and let me run it as I see fit”. The truth of the matter was that they were doing a great job, but there were some issues that really needed to be discussed, but no forum had been set up by the company owner to do that.

In our meeting, the owner shared that tension within the company had been growing significantly in the last couple of weeks regarding this situation. But since he had said to them “it is yours, just run it as you see fit”, how could he set up a regular dialog with them without seeming to be trying to micromanage the employee?

Abdication versus Delegation

This is an example of what I call Abdication versus Delegation. Abdication is placing an individual or a team in charge of an operation, system, or area, and saying to them “here it is, take it, it is all yours and only call me if there is some major problem”. When this happens, a person has abdicated their authority over the function.

Whereas Delegation occurs when someone says to them, “you are in charge of this area (or operation) and I would like to sit down with you periodically to review how things are going” (you decide how often). In this situation, you have delegated your authority. There is a subtle, but huge difference between abdication versus delegation.

Many times, business owners, leaders and management personnel end up abdicating various areas of their company because either they don’t want to deal with a particular area or they feel they are just too busy to want to be involved in the area. Unfortunately, abdicating often comes back to haunt you. You don’t want to be cut out of the communications and management loop.

Effective Delegation

How do you avoid this happening? When you put someone in charge of an area, simply say “I would like to meet every ______ to review how things are going”. You fill in the blank in Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiadetermining if you want to meet weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly. Also, you should define what will be covered during the meeting and if any Metrics for the area will also be discussed.

Establishing this meeting should not be a problem for the person being promoted or put in charge of an area, because when they receive the promotion or increased responsibility, a large amount of “goodwill” is produced and therefore setting up the periodic meetings is considered just part of the package that comes with the new responsibilities.

Thereafter, when you meet, you are just keeping your word and virtually anything is fair game to be discussed during the meeting. This is effective delegation.

What If You Accidently Practiced Abdication?

But what if you accidently practiced abdication and the person is resisting you now trying to “intrude” on their space? To solve this dilemma, chose a problem you are observing in the person’s area that you have some expertise or experience with and the next time you see the person, subtly bring up the situation and at the appropriate time, offer your insights.

If that goes well, then suggest that you meet to discuss this ONE issue more fully. At the end of that meeting suggest that going forward you meet periodically so that you could work together on any other situations they may be facing.

If you need assistance with effectively managing your key personnel by practicing effectual delegation versus abdication, please contact us using the below information so we can show you how to effectively manage your key personnel.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220                                             

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

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