Why do we fear managing people?

Over the past 18 years, my career has allowed me to work with managers of different levels. From foremen/supervisors to managers and corporate leaders.

I am always shocked, still today, to ascertain with sadness somemanaging people behaviors by these individuals that go against the basis of Human Resources management. These behaviors are amplified by ideas and comments, such as, I feel as though I am managing a daycare, I am not here to instill discipline or… I told them not to do that, they should understand. REALLY!

So, all of this motivates me to write you in order to provide you with a solution path to this dilemma. If you have already used one of the phrases cited earlier, well read this.

Firstly, at the risk of displeasing certain readers, if you don’ t like what you are seeing in the department you are managing, well, you are the culprit. The latter will always be a reflection of its leader.

If you wish to change this situation, meaning the result your currently have, you need to address the behaviors. And yes, I am willing to wager that the skills techniques belonging to the majority of your employees, are not really the problem. If so, provide the training and encouragement and this will settle things down. But still, the human behaviors cannot be neglected.

The truth is, managers do not enjoy managing people. We would be happy if our colleagues arrived in the morning and executed their tasks with minimal supervision.

Well, in my opinion, this idea is possible, however it will require time, and everything should start at the moment of hiring. But this is another topic, within itself.

The reality is otherwise. You inherit a department and you do your best in order to obtain the performance which is expected.

So, where do you start?

Determine the 3 behaviors which are necessary for the department’s or function’s success. Remember, a behavior must be observable and measurable. Once these three behaviors are identified, manage them.

This is a very important element to realize in your approach. This will require you to change the way you manage. Do not forget the golden rule of change: it starts with you.

For example, if you have a challenge concerning punctuality within your organization, mentioning it won’t suffice. Furthermore, you will need to change your style, which means intervening when the behavior is not respected as well as when people respect it. Yes, you read correctly. Encourage and recognize when employees following the rules. Then, if an employee arrives late (with or without a reason, performing or not), need to have a discussion with him or her. No exception. Don’ t forget, you are always on the scene and many people are observing you. An employee who had his or her challenges with punctuality, who arrives on time, needs to be thanked and encouraged, in order to maintain the desired behavior. By the way; don’ t forget from time to time to thank those who are never late.

So, ladies and gentlemen, the management of your employees can be summed up in large part by managing both the desired and undesired behaviors. This requires patience, empathy and firmness.

The investment, I guarantee you, is worth it. Do not be surprised if you observe an increase in productivity when you choose this management style