Are your customer service scores lower than low? Are your client complaints higher and more aggressive? Is your employee turnover rate high? Are your absentee rates astronomical? Do your employees come in late and leave early? Worse, do they park their cars with the front ends pointing towards the exit for a quicker 5 PM get-away?
If you answered “yes” to some or all of these questions, it’s a pretty good indication that you and your management team sucks. That’s right, you suck! It’s not your employees; it’s you!
Why? My experience demonstrates that many managers are simply sucky leaders. Managers can manage projects and situations, but in many situations, they without the necessary people skills required to keep their team engaged and motivated. I’ve also noticed another unfortunate epidemic. In many situations, the moment someone is promoted into a managerial position, they simply stop training and educating themselves. Statistically, less than 5% of training classes have any middle or upper management attendees; they’re too busy. I’ve also noticed that many bottom line employees or team members are more educated and demonstrate greater leadership capabilities than their manager or boss. In other words, the employees who continually educate themselves have a higher specialized growth rate than their managers who do not. The employees prosper, then resign; the managers wither, then suck. Anytime a business is stuck in a rut or a chokehold, 80% of the time it can be traced back to the manager’s skill or attitude.
The trickle-down effect is forever flowing. If you’re not treating your team right, they will abuse your customer, then your client will go to your competition, and your business will ultimately fail. Remember, a dead fish rots from the head down; it all starts at the top.
In today’s rapid information age, you must continually sharpen the saw by making it a priority to educate yourself continually. People skills and education are basic tools for transforming a manager into a leader. Here are some basic tips:
1. Attend as many training seminars, conferences, and workshops as possible, especially about people skills.
2. Attend training as a group to enhance your learning experience.
3. Begin reading more magazines, periodicals, and books about your skill.
4. Listen to training materials in your car or commute time. You can transform your means into a university on wheels.
5. Listen carefully to your team members and notice how much you can learn from each other.
6. keep up team meetings where members proportion something interesting they’ve learned during the week.
7. Most of all, never be too busy to learn. Perhaps if you attended some time management training, you would discover that you were not as busy as you initially thought. Maybe you are only standing in your way.
8. Creatively find the time to learn, and it will pay you in dividends with a more loyal team/staff. This new, fresh energy will trickle down to your customers and the excellent service they receive.