The success of an organization is largely dependent upon its management team because they are the ones authorized with the power to plan, to execute, to manage, to solve problems, and to cultivate the culture of a workplace. When an organization expands, the founding team has to delegate their responsibilities to the management team thus making them responsible for ensuring optimal performance in the organization. As they say, ‘with great power comes great responsibility,’ so how do you decide whether your management is up for responsibility?
As with other employees, line managers, senior managers, and executives need to follow the drills of evaluations and feedbacks. In fact, they should be the first in line to be evaluated for the decisions they make, the chances they took (or did not take), and their input in the development and enhancement of company products or services. Assuming, you, the reader, is the founder, CEO, and member of the executive team of your organization, how do you evaluate the effectiveness of your management team and ensure a great company culture? Here’s a short guide.
Be Approachable and Let People Know They Can Talk to You
One of the best ways to ensure the management team of a company doesn’t abuse its privileges and duties is by being approachable to the team and to the employees in the organization. Let the people know that they can approach you anonymously too if revealing their identity is a problem. A service such as BoxWire allows for posting anonymous suggestions and posts to responsible heads of the company. A simple gesture like this will prevent any manager from abusing their rights and will ensure that your employees are satisfied at all levels. Prevent the formation of walls between team members and their managers. An employee should be able to walk up to the Senior Manager or to the HR if their current manager is not effective enough. Keep communication channels open, and internal politics will be minimal while the focus on productivity will be maximum.
Your HR Department Should Maintain Effectiveness
While the HR cannot be involved in internal team tasks and meetings, it does play an important role in evaluating employee behavior, monitoring workplace environment, and curbing unpleasant office politics, harassment or non-compliance with company policies. The HR should be your go-to place to get feedback on your management team, and any review should be unbiased and factual. The recent scandal against Uber should be a wake-up call for the HR as well as founders/CEOs of all organizations. The HR cannot be unbiased, cannot play a blind man’s role to the behaviors of the management team, and cannot make decisions that disrupt company culture. Measuring or maintaining effectiveness within the management team will be impossible if the HR fails to do its basic duties right.
Set Your Expectations Clear
A large part of evaluating effectiveness starts from setting your expectations right with the team as a whole. Avoid having separate conversations with management and team members. Call for a united meeting and explain to both your expectations, requirements, and what you need from each member of the team. Set reporting points and be involved in the process. Keep yourself updated and involved and ensure regular reports are delivered. Note though that this isn’t micromanagement but rather about being involved in the process. When you have a fairly clear idea of who is doing what, then it becomes easier to evaluate the performance as well as the outcome.
Make Full Use of Project Management
Project management is a powerful process if you know its power and are able to use it your advantage. Employing project management tools will not only help streamline your projects but will also enable you to track employee performance and contribution. In fact, it is one of the best ways to keep expectations, deadlines, and performance goals aligned. There are multiple project management tools you could use to achieve SMART goals and to effectively manage the people responsible in your team. Freedcamp, Sharepoint, etc., are some of the most popular tools used today to manage team performance.
Provide Regular Trainings and Workshops
Managers are not exempt from trainings and workshops, in fact, it is of utmost importance for them to attend management seminars and leadership training workshops. Managers need to be periodically reminded of their role and the impact it has on the team. They need to aspire to be leaders and should strive to go beyond managing employees if they are to grow and create a change in the environment. It should be noted that trainings without follow-ups and assigned tasks are a waste of time. Therefore, each training conducted should come with a detailed follow-up plan or report to evaluate the benefits derived. Not only will this ensure a return on your training investment but will also help you identify which of your management team members are willing to go the extra mile and polish their skills.
Set Up a Set of Evaluation Parameters
Managers need to be evaluated on a different parameter as compared to other employees. The reason is simply that they have different skill sets, roles, and responsibilities. While you can evaluate a non-managerial employee for being a great team player, you can’t use the same metrics to evaluate a manager. Therefore, to effectively evaluate your management team, you need to bring them closely to project management and people management skills such as conflict resolution, innovation, training, and development, etc. These metrics will differ from company to company and from level to level. For example, line managers can be evaluated on conflict resolution, but senior managers should be evaluated on project execution and management. This scale, however, can only be effective if expectations from the company are set clear to the management team, and they are held accountable for keeping company core values intact.
Be Involved in Your Company Financial Data
Numbers never lie, and one of the best ways to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of your management team is to be closely involved with your company financial data. Use the Return on Assets (ROA), the Return on Equity (ROE), and the Return on investments (ROCE) strategies to know the financial status of your company. The ROA is used to determine how the business uses shareholder investments. The ROE determines the return on shareholder’s capital and the ROCE is the overall company’s return on all its investments, including loans, debts, credit services, etc. Your company’s accountant is the best person to give you this hard financial data; therefore, always schedule a fixed monthly meeting with your accountant to know the status of your company’s financial state.
Observe the Employee Resignation Rate
Are employees working for a certain manager frequently resigning? What about the average retention rate in the overall organization? These are red flags that highlight the performance of your company managers. Despite the company benefits, if employees are still resigning one after another or if there are constant conflict reports, then you need to immediately review your management team. Neglecting this red flag in favor of your management team will constitute an extremely negative working environment, one that will have more politics, less work, more drama, less action, more depression, less motivation - you surely don’t want that happening to your organization!
The management team of an organization is the brain, the think tank of the organization and they are accountable for the success and failure of the organization. And they usually know the power that is leverage to them which if gone unchecked leads to drastic consequences. If you want a company that has an employee-centric culture or one where there is transparency, it is highly important to evaluate the performance of managers as regularly and as carefully as you would evaluate any other employee. As the CEO or owner of a company, it is imperative for you to be involved in your company happenings and create a culture of trust, transparency, and equality. Remember, employees work best when their managers do the job right.