Save Yourself a Lot of Headaches, by Putting the Correct Foundations in Place!
When you hire your first office Manager, you can avoid a lot of problems by putting the correct foundations in place. First off, the manager MUST be rightly positioned. Making sure their behavioral style matches the needs of the position, and that the skills, knowledge, and training of the person fits their responsibilities. A lot of headaches can be avoided right here! Then, they must have a clearly written, and understood job description which includes:
Their specific responsibilities
Attitudes expected of them
Compensation the company will be providing
Holidays and/or days, and sick leave
When performance reviews will be given to them
Continuing education should be provided so that they are continually upgrading their leadership skills. This should include how much the company is willing to invest in their training and/or materials. You can’t manage poorly communicated expectations. Every time I go into a company to consult, or provide executive coaching, and the manager is frustrated with the owners, it is invariably these items which were loosely agreed upon, and not put in writing. If this is the case, you will eventually experience conflict over what the Office Manager expected and was told, as opposed to what the owner remembers he/she said. They need to be given the company handbook detailing the
along with the job descriptions of the employees they will be managing. They must have a crystal clear understanding of how to support, train, monitor and encourage their employees. Problems can be averted by setting the correct foundations at the beginning. Having a clear understanding of their responsibilities, will avoid any need to micro manage as well!
Done right, you will have more time to do the things you love doing, which is why you became a business owner in the first place!
End of pt. 1
- Don’t take any time to get to know any of your staff, barely know their name, or call them by the wrong name.
- Don’t listen to your employees when they bring up an issue. Ignore their concern and then let your body language show that you’re displeased. That way they’ll never bring up anything again.
- Expect your employees to know their job requirements, even though you have never explained the parameters of the work, their realm of authority, to whom they report to, or who else they need to collaborate with. – Just expect them to be mind readers!
- Only thank them or show appreciation when you want them to sacrifice more or, work overtime. They won’t get that this is manipulation.
- When those who are loyal, and genuinely want to see you to succeed bring you a concern or issue, be sure to take it as criticism. Assume they want your job; or are positioning themselves to take over the organization; want control; or have other ulterior motives.
- Walk by your employees, and when they stop to talk to you explain, “I don’t do small talk” and just keep walking. Better yet, have your office manager send out a memo explaining to your employees how important you are, and therefore they are not to expect you to stop and talk to them, that you are too busy. They’ll then get the message they aren’t important, and realize their “place” in the organization!
- Be sure you’ve already chosen your favorite person for any new position, before you actually post the job. This way when other employees, who have been hoping and praying for a new position to open up, come to the interview, you won’t be swayed by their enthusiasm, emotion, or recent credentials they’ve recently earned to make themselves more valuable to the company.
- Institute rules and standards for the whole staff that are really directed toward one person. By all means save yourself from any confrontation by never dealing with the problem people. Allow them get away with BREAKING office policy, or better yet, let some get away with it, and others not. This way you can have different standards for different people, and play favorites.
- Place blame, then ignore them, talk poorly about them, without ever checking or corroborating the facts of the matter. Certainly never give them an opportunity to explain their side of the story.
- Never respond to their e-mails, or when you do, be sure to do it a week late. This way they’ll learn not to bother you with this form of communication.
Unfortunately, all leaders have done one or more of these at one point or another in their career. Those that learn from these particular mistakes, and work to eliminate this kind of negative behavior, while at the same time are adding excellent people skills to their management/leadership style, are those who won’t just surviving in this difficult day and age, but will thrive. When it all gets down to it, the important thing in business is PEOPLE. Those people that are your customers or clients, as well as those who work for you. Treat them well, and your business will flourish!