Managing Work Relationships
If you've been following us this month you've:
Creating Relationships with Upper Management
As discussed, management can be a tricky role to fill because the manager is literally in the middle of the organizational chart. Managers have to influence change from the top down, but they will also need to know how to influence change from the bottom up. In many businesses this is difficult because the managers are never trained on ways to work with or influence from the bottom up. It can be overwhelming for a manager to push back, to take ownership of their role, and to move the business forward, especially if their manager is the owner.
This week we're focusing on creating a cheat sheet to help your managers understand how to work with upper management. Many managers have a tendency to hold upper management, especially owners, to higher expectations. It's almost as if they expect perfection, but no one is perfect. These cheat sheets are intended to increase collaboration and help your managers understand how to work with you or your upper management team, without taking years to figure out the shortcuts.
Creating an effective cheat sheet requires a great deal of self-awareness and honesty. It requires understanding how your upper management works and the willingness to acknowledge flaws. It's important to note that this cheat sheet is about collaboration. This is not a get out of jail card for your upper management team and their flaws (or your own). The expectation should always be that upper management and owners are always working to get better. At the same time, managers are using the cheat sheet to foster a better working relationship. This causes everyone to move in the right direction, and because everyone is improving, you'll meet in the middle at a much quicker pace.
Below is a sample cheat sheet and you can get the PDF here. But remember once again this is a sample. You'll need a dose of self-awareness and honesty to customize it to work for your business.
Sample Cheat Sheet:
This documentation isn't about anyone being "right" or "wrong". We all have flaws. It is about recognizing that how you work with someone often determines the results that you get. Each of you will have to create your own way to get what you need from (name of position manager reports to). Through the course of these interactions the expectation is that change will occur, but if you're focused on changing (name of position manager reports to) you're focused on something that you can't control. These are tips focused on things that you can control. By focusing on your approach, you can shift the entire relationship that you have with someone including (name of position manager reports to).Ways to work with (name of position manager reports to) specifically:
Creating Relationships with Your Team
Your employee handbook should outline policies and procedures that will ease a lot of frustrations managers have when working with their employees. Having written policies and procedures ensures that most of the "grey" area is eliminated by clearing up miscommunication. It gives the manager a solid foundation, but they'll also need training on working with each employee. The policies and procedures allow managers to hold someone accountable to a policy such as being late to work or not performing to a standard, but they won't inspire change. Your managers have to be able to work with employees to get the absolute best out of them. They have to be able to get employees to increase their abilities and improve when needed. They have to be able to delegate and get employees to take on ownership of their roles. Managers also need to be able to handle conflict.You should start to collect resources that you can put in front of your managers to help them increase their skills in influencing people. Some of our favorite resources include: