While we are all fresh and ready to be better leaders this year, I thought I would take the opportunity to get you motivated with five resolutions to create your highest performing team in 2017!
1. “I will not put my head in the sand”
It is so much harder to performance manage an employee, turn around a toxic culture, or manage a complaint when it has been ignored for so long that the straw broke the camels back. We regularly receive SOS calls to help clients with people problems that would never have got to the dire state they are in had they dealt with it when it was not a big deal. Our magic powers are severely reduced at this stage!
2. “I will recognise that I am part of the problem”
We have all heard the saying “employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers”. I have seen this with my own eyes and I hear a lot of complaints about employees. However, often what we see is that the manager is actually the problem but no one wants to address it. Let’s create an environment where we openly discuss our failures and encourage self awareness so even those closer to the top of the tree are continually growing.
3. “I will lead by example”
This is another cliché statement but it’s cliché because it’s true (and is related to the second resolution). Yes, you have high leverage activities to do and that is your job. But that does not mean that you should leave your cups in the sink for others to wash or come to meetings late (because you are so much busier than everyone else). Do what you want to see.
4. “I will meet with my employees more than once a year to give them feedback”
Make that every month! If you have been under a rock and haven’t heard that annual performance reviews were thrown out at least two years ago, then take this as notice! A sports coach would never wait until the end of the season to provide feedback to their team so why would you do that in business? Our people need real-time and relevant feedback so they can make the changes required to meet your expectations—daily, weekly, monthly, but never yearly!
5. “I will no longer see HR as only compliance or recruitment”
You may have your policies in place and employment contracts up to date, and you may not currently be recruiting, but that does not mean you have the HR boxed tick. We know that in nearly every business people are the most important element so undertaking “human resources” activities is a daily job, whether that be clearly setting expectations, providing feedback, conducting training, or facilitating engagement activities. If you manage people the largest percentage of your time will be in HR or leadership.
I wish you all a year of great leadership with high performing and engaged teams!
Sue-Ellen Watts is the founder of national HR consulting firm wattsnext. Sue-Ellen and her team of professionals are enablers of business growth through relevant HR for the modern world.