Tag Archives: manage employees

Lead by example

In a manager role, you set the tone for the type of organization you want to be. Your employees are watching you and they will emulate what they see from your actions.

Say one thing and do another, , , you lose credibility, and your employees will follow your actions, , , not your words.

Let me give you a few examples:

“I expect you to be at work on time.”
Expecting employees to be at work on time doesn’t have much meaning if you are coming in late two or three days a week. When your employees see your actions, they follow the example you set.

“Have a sense of urgency.”
When something is broken and the clients can’t access systems to do their work, there needs to be a high sense of urgency to resolve the problem. If the manager’s demeanor and attitude is lackadaisical and without urgency, your employees will not have an urgency in resolving the issue.

There is a fine line in this one. You want to display a sense of urgency but not be running around like Chicken Little yelling, “The sky is falling.” Managers need to create a calming effect while placing importance and urgency in resolving issues.

“The client is always right.”
This does not mean there will not be differences, even heated discussions with some of your clients from time to time, , , but you don’t want a feeling of animosity to grow toward a difficult client. We always want to be professional and supportive in helping our clients  use technology effectively to conduct their business.

If you complain about one of your clients and an employee hears you do this, he or she will think it’s ok to complain about clients. That’s not good, especially if it becomes commonplace. Clients and their need for technology in their work is why we have good careers in IT. The client is why our IT organization exists, , , and you don’t want to forget this.

Before we leave this point, I need to emphasize something. Having the thought, “the client is always right”, does not mean the client is always factually correct. They may be completely wrong about something, , , but their perspective has to be managed. When their perspective is incorrect, your IT organization has to do the things that will correct their perpective.

You set the tone
An IT manager’s action sets the tone for what you want the organization to be and how you want to operate as a support team in areas like:

  • responsiveness
  • professionalism
  • ethics
  • attitude
  • competence

Be sure your actions exhibit what you want in your team , , ,

Want your employees to communicate well? You must do this and teach them how and what to communicate.

Want your employees to follow-up well? Then you must follow-up consistently and quickly, , , and explain to them how important follow-up is in your organization.

Want your employees to do what they say they will do? Then certainly you must deliver what you say you will do.

Want your employees to get along and work well with others? They will only if you set a positive example in this area.

Want employees to be on time for meetings? Then start your meetings on time and expect them to be there.

Want employees to go the extra mile when needed? It won’t happem unless their manager does this and you also explain when and why this is needed.

Your team becomes what you cause it to become, , , it all starts by your actions and the example you set for your employees.

Two questions you must be able to answer

Every time you introduce change, , , any type of change to clients, employees, or senior managers, , , there are two questions you must be able to answer.

They may not ask you these questions directly, but in their thinking they want to know:

1.  What’s in it for me?
2. Why is this beneficial?

Implement a new software release, hire a new employee, reorganize the company, cancel a project or recommend a new project, , , any time you want to do something different, you need to be able to determine who will be affected and answer these two questions.

Lat’s take an example I used in my last post, , , you plan to hire a senior programmer to add expertise to the team you do not have. If you recall, I mentioned your employees being high detail and analytical people probably come up with negative implications regarding this new hire. The don’t identify the new hire as something that will be good for them.

So, your communication with your programming team, even managers and leaders of these teams, needs to answer the two key questions.

1.  “What’s in it for me?”  You have to explain the reason we are hiring a senior programmer is because of the experience and expertise this person has in an area that we need experience in. It will help our progrmming staff develop and come up to speed faster in an area where we have no experience.

2. “Why is this beneficial?”  It will benefit each of our programmers by learning an area of technology we need faster and in a more consistent manner and it will help our organization in gaining this expertise. The company benefits because of the work we will now be able to do and the business value we will be able to deliver.

Clients and senior managers ask these questions as well every time you intrduce change, , , so prepare ahead of time to communicate and answer their questions proactively.