Friday, August 11, 2017

Work Smarter Not Harder by Dr. Catrina Pullum

Interpersonal relationships are a basic element of workplace environments. Navigating those relationships, either as a “boss” or an “employee”, is key to workplace happiness. In this post, I am going to discuss how to manage your boss and how bosses could be sabotaging their subordinates.

Managing your boss sounds counter-intuitive, but it is actually the opposite. A key to building a great working relationship with your boss is understanding how they think, process information, their strengths, weaknesses, goals, basically what is going to drive them in their assignment. Once you understand these things, managing to these expectations is how you truly “Manage your Boss”.  Presenting them the information they need, in a form that they can quickly and effectively process it, shows how much you value their time and energy, and allows them to focus their time and energy where you want it, solving your major issues and accomplishing your goals.   

Why are low performing employees at the bottom of their workforce pools? If it is not energy levels being below normal, sometimes it is their manager. Managers can unintentionally set an employee up to fail. When the employee fails to perform, the manager can start micromanaging to compensate. When the employee experiences micromanagement, they doubt themselves and their abilities and begin to move away from decision-based tasks. Lack of initiative from the employee leads the manager to up the pressure, causing the employee to withdraw more and ending up in a spiraling, cataclysmic finish, usually ending with the employee’s dismissal.

            Typical workers, as they have more to do, stay longer at work. Companies foster this culture as well, asking employees to work longer and harder. Smarter companies are finding a new methodology to get more productivity from their work force. Companies are looking at the employee holistically, and dealing with four different aspects of the “self” of the employee. These employers are developing practices to help employees renew themselves in four different ways: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. This is combatting the energy drain on the employees, the actual cause of lower productivity, which shows in symptoms like: exhaustion, disengagement, stress, and illness. Helping the employee build habits to regenerate these different areas of energy usage, create opportunities to increase overall productivity in the workforce.

            As a Boss or Manager are you working smarter or harder? To work smart is to assess your team along with yourself.  Do not be afraid to delegate and utilize your team strengths. Every week, dedicate time to learning something different by doing team building exercises. Also, educate yourself on your industry. Be prepared to leave your comfort zone.

Research taken from Harvard Business Review’s On Managing Yourself, and Harvard Business Review’s On Managing People

Learn more about Dr. Trina via her website at www.pullcorp.comand follow her on Twitter @DrPullum

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