to Lead Your Employees to Top Performance (Tips)
are your most important asset. What you make of them depends
on how you treat them ...how you manage them ...how you lead
them. Here's a tips list that will give you some helpful ideas
in this matter.
- Catch people doing things
right and then let them know that they are doing things
- Use feedback to stay informed
about what other people are doing in your area of responsibility
- Have regular, focused meetings
regarding the projects that you are responsible for.
if things are
not done correctly.
to do jobs. You cannot do them all, nor can others do them
if they have not been trained.
to succeed. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when you
believe others are loyal, dedicated and doing a good job.
see how they will benefit from doing a job. This is when
they truly become motivated.
Do not avoid
talking to a poor performer. It hurts them, the organization
and yourself if the situation is not dealt with.
Do not over
control others. It is frustrating for them and time consuming
Focus on results,
not on activities or personalities.
for the results that they produce.
Manage by walking
around. See what people are doing and listen to what they
have to say.
an obsession, especially on smaller items.
you notes and memos.
- Provide workers with open,
direct, and immediate feedback on their actual performance
as compared to expected performance and they tend to correct
their own deficiencies.
- Practice naive listening.
Don't talk, just let people explain why they are doing the
types of things that they are doing. You will learn many
- Manage by exception. When
things are going well, leave them alone. When a problem
occurs, then help.
- Never seek to place blame.
Always focus on the problem.
- Never ignore a concern of
one of your people. While it may seem trivial to you, to
the other person it is a problem that will continue to destroy
their train of thought.
- Make it a personal rule and
a challenge to respond to someone within 24 hours of hearing
- Keep memos on bulletin boards
to a minimum. People will spend less time standing there
- Give employees an opportunity
to speak their opinions and suggestions without fear of
ridicule or reprisal.
- When you are going to make
a change that affects others, get them involved before making
the actual change. This increases commitment to make the
change work after it is implemented.
- Put key ideas on small posters
to hang around the office.
- When the environment and
your sincerity permit, give the person a hug or a touch.
- Employees are the only organization
resource that can, with training, appreciate in value. All
other resources depreciate.
- People want to be involved
in something important. Give them a whole project or a significant
piece of the project to work on.
- Have salary tied into performance
appraisal and accomplishing of objectives.
- Consider sharing distasteful
tasks to reduce resentment and hard feelings.
- Ask, "Will you please
do this for me" instead of telling someone just to
- Eliminate private secretaries
in favor of shared secretaries in order to make it easier
to even out the work load.
- If you give employees a basic
employee handbook, you will not be interrupted with their
- Pay attention to small details,
the big ones are obvious and get taken care of.
- Stay open in your thinking.
Be open to all new ideas. Do this and you will not be setting
up barriers that do not exist.
- Avoid asking others to do
trivial personal items for you.
Say thank you
to those with whom you associate.
A warm smile
and strong handshake break barriers.
Smile. It helps
you feel better and is contagious. The whole organization
shudders when the boss is frowning. Likewise it smiles when
the boss does.
"light" and have fun rather than being too serious.
Seriousness blocks productivity.
In order to
fly with the eagles you must "think lightly."
Work with each
person to create standard operating procedures for their
specific job. It will eliminate repetitious questions.
know why they are doing something. It then becomes more
meaningful when they recognize their part in a greater vision.
lively background music not slow and not rock.
- To get a disorganized coffee
drinking crew started off more efficiently, begin each day
with a 5 to 10 minute meeting just at starting time. They
will be focused, set in the right direction and can get
right to work.
- Practice the golden rule
in business: Do unto others the way you would have them
do unto you. Fairness will then be in your business.
- Practice the platinum rule
in interpersonal relationships. It is "Do unto others,
the way they want to be done unto." They will be more
apt to stay comfortable when interacting with us when we
are able to do things their preferred way.
- Get others to commit to deadlines
by asking, "When can you have that for me?"
- Nail down commitment by asking,
"Do I have your word that you will have that for me
- Set the stage for cooperation
from others by:1) Introducing the idea; 2) Continual stimulation
by talking about it; and 3) get others to make an investment
by having them participate in the planning.
- If you are unable to reach
agreement or get a commitment from another person in a meeting,
agree to disagree, but summarize your understanding in a
- Giving people recognition
generates energy within them. They will then direct that
energy toward increased productivity.
- Tap the potential of those
working for you by giving them opportunities to think things
through for themselves instead of just telling them how
to do something.
- Always give people the benefit
of the doubt. They may not be the cause of a problem. The
cause may be beyond their control.
- Admit it when you do not
know the answer to a question posed by a staff member. Then
challenge the staff person to research and decide what the
best answer is. It will help this person grow.
- Be persistent and follow
- When you were away and some
of your people did an exceptional job, call them at home
in the evening when you find out and personally thank them
for what they did instead of waiting until the next time
you see them.
- If you know that a person
will respond angrily to a particular comment, avoid bringing
it up. It is nonproductive and bad for the relationship.
In other words, "never kick a skunk."
- When you appreciate what
someone has done, let them know and put it in writing. This
can then be added to their personnel file.
- Have an opinion survey done
to determine how people view the organization. That way
you can catch any problems while they are still small.
- Encourage periods of uninterrupted
activity such as a daily quiet hour in your department or
- When asking someone to do
something, let them know what is in it for them and the
organization. Do not focus just on what is in it for the
organization and yourself.
- The boss is the strongest
model the employees have. Be a positive model as people
are watching to see how you behave. They will reflect this
in their own behavior. Lead by example.
- Be a member of the 4 F club
with others. Be seen as Fair, Firm, Friendly and having
- Do not help others unless
they need and ask for help.
- Encourage your people to
come up with new ideas and ways to do things. Give them
credit and recognition for the idea.
- If a new idea won't work,
at least praise the effort of the person so they will come
up with future ideas.
- Once a month meet with each
staff member to catch any problems or concerns the person
may have as soon as possible before they become a crisis.
- Be the kind of a person that
others want to help out and work for.
- Be flexible and do whatever
it takes to get the job done. Remember it is results that
count, not activities.
- Generally speaking, getting
something done perfectly is usually not as important as
getting it done. Perfection has a high cost and it may not
be worth it.
- When giving or receiving
information, don't hurry. Take the time needed to truly
understand. It prevents future problems and misunderstandings.
- Whenever you are having an
important discussion with a person, before parting, set
a specific follow-up date and time and write it in your
- Never criticize an employee
in front of others. Have all discussions of a corrective
nature in private.
- Hire people with specific
skills and interests that match what the organization needs
to have accomplished. The better the match, the better the
productivity and the more motivated the person.
- Treat people as people-not
- Flaring in anger will drive
others away. If not physically at least mentally,
- Keep a "warm fuzzy"
file for each person a place to keep track of the things
you have already complimented them for, and want to compliment
- Have regular performance
review and goal setting sessions with each of your employees
at least every three months.
- Have regular "development
discussions" with each of your people in which you
discuss only how the individual may grow personally and
how you and the organization may be able to support them
in doing this.
- Low morale in workers may
be an indication of the boss only talking about negative
things or what's wrong. Be sure to balance negative comments
with more frequent positive comments.
- Let your people know you
are there to help them not to harass them.
- Telling people what you plan
to do, and when, can be a catalyst for getting objections
and input which you might not otherwise receive.
- Form an action team to address
people's problems right away rather than letting things
drag out and perhaps get worse.
- Instead of saying to another,
"What can I do for you?" ask them "What can
you do for me on this project?"
- Do not hold back from discussing
the need to improve performance with one of your people.
- Encourage others to develop
their plan of action and give you a detailed explanation.
- Encourage individuals to
compete against themselves to achieve more. Let it be a
personal challenge to become better as an individual-not
competing with others but self.
- Check the ratio of positive
comments to negative comments that you make to your people.
Purposely make more positive comments.
- Demand accountability.
- Do things for others. They
will be more willing to do things for you.
- Consider using time off as
a reward for getting things done ahead of time.
- Set up an orientation training
program for all new employees. It will help them learn their
way around as well as teach them where things are kept and
- Stay informed of subordinates'
needs and interests. Projects can be more effectively designed
and rotated when you are well informed.
- If individuals needs some
encouragement in taking action, ask them, "What if..."
questions to help them see what choices of action are available.
- Let people know that you
know they can do it.
- Ask questions creatively
so the action to be taken is suggested by the person who
is to take it.
- Set up incentives that reward
- Ask others for their estimate
of how long it will take to do a project. When possible,
agree and hold them accountable for that goal.
- Take on someone else's routine
so they can do what you need done without interruption.
- Just as with family members,
break large chores up into small, fun activities and enjoy
doing them with team members.
- Before an employee leaves
on vacation agree on a "must do" list of activities
to be completed.
- Do not be quick to judge
others. Learn to listen carefully before coming to conclusions.
- Consider sharing ideas and
responsibility with others rather than just getting someone
to do it for you or just doing it yourself.
- Inspire others to new levels
of achievement by using positive encouraging feedback and
- Don't just ask someone who
is busy to get things done for you; look for the busy person
who is getting results. This is a doer, not simply a busy
- Believe in the good of people.
- Do not be a "baby sitter"
of others, constantly taking care of them and telling them
what to do. Challenge them and help them learn to think
and do things for themselves.
- Consider an incentive plan
to reward productivity gains.
- Don't do what you can get
someone else to do by simply asking.
- Clearly communicate who you
want to do what, by when and at what cost. Then identify
who needs to know about it and when they are to be informed.
- For people you relate to
regularly, keep a list of things you need to talk to the
person about. Then when you meet with or call them, you
can review all the items that have accumulated on your list.
- Recognize you are not the
only one who can do a job right. Trust others to do things
- Organize, deputize, supervise.
- Meditate for one minute before
starting a new subject or project.
- Don't worry about who gets
the credit for completing a project. Focus on the task to
be accomplished and do it.
- When credit is given to you
for completion of a project, be sure to give it to all who
were involved. This will nurture the relationships and provide
motivation to support you in the future.
- Be sincerely interested in
the people working for and with you.
- Help others recognize their
- Keep a list of birthdays,
marriage and work anniversaries and other special dates.
Provide recognition to your people on each of these dates.
Mark your calendar prior to the actual date so you have
time to prepare for it.