We have recently had 2 complimentary questions, and although we have answered similar questions in the past, we believe that people can always adapt these questions and answers to their own personal and business situations…
Dear style & substance:
It is obvious to me that I am not a very good people manager, as I have really let my 3 employees “walk all over me”. I find that I get quite resentful when they are not doing their jobs, but then come across as overbearing and demanding when I ask them to work a little harder. I truly don’t even know where to start.
This is a constant battle for many small businesses in which you become too familiar with your staff before setting and continuing to carry out the duties and tone for success. With a quick self/business assessment, it can then be broken down into 2 easy steps, to give you a starting point and a continuing point.
What are your daily frustrations and worries about your business? Some are your problems as the owner and some are your employee’s problems for not accomplishing their work to meet your expectations. Separate these out and look at what your frustrations are that relate to them.
Now it is boiled down to EXPECTATIONS and FOLLOWUP. Some expectations are actually physically accomplished (you can actually SEE whether or not they have done it); such as keeping the workplace neat and clean, completing clerical support, accurate cash handling, etc. The other tasks are invisible; excellent customer service, being focused at work and not distracted by their personal lives.
Your idea of clean, work ethic/attitude, and “hustle” may be quite different from them, so setting the expectations and explaining how you plan on following up in the interview and at the point of hiring are what will work best. Having these duties/expectations printed and agreed upon reinforces your professionalism. Daily, weekly and monthly; set the expectations, get agreement and set a time to follow-up and assess the work. The more you communicate, the easier it will be for them to either step up and excel or show you that they are not the right fit for the position.
Consider compensation – giving employees raises for the first 90 days of improved performance and yearly or having a commission/bonus system in place will let you see what motivates your employees. If financial compensation may not be an option for your small business, you may want to offer other performance based incentives such as extra time off or early “closing” on Fridays, or even flexible work hours – anything that shows your employees they are valued.
Dear style & substance:
I feel stuck in my job. What I am doing now and what I really want to be doing are two different things. My current job is a way to pay the bills while I work on getting to where I want to be, so my question is, how do I get there?
We think there are two distinct issues you have presented: 1) Your performance in your current employment and 2) Where is “there?”/where are you trying to get to?
Feeling stuck or hating your job is a choice. You are the director of your professional development. Make the choice to be motivated rather than stuck. Acting motivated becomes being motivated. By setting your personal code of conduct, you create your career path. For example, set a small and achievable goal each day; it could be something as simple as greeting every customer with a smile, organizing a small space – your desk, a shared space, anything that would benefit others, or talking about your place of employment to friends and family in a positive way – this not only promotes your place of employment, it begins changing your perception of your role within the organization. This small shift in your approach will help you to be a better employee, feel better about your current job, and give you the professionalism to move to the next step in your career.
You were not clear about where you want to be in your career so we are assuming you have passion, talent, and skills; you are just not sure how to turn that energy into a career that pays. Being really good at something is invaluable – use your particular talent and skill in your current position and you will not only become a more valuable employee, you will also build your future by developing your professional network in that particular area.
Do not forget, somebody is paying you to do a job, even if you dislike your job, you take the paycheck; therefore, you have the responsibility to meet and even exceed the expectations of your employer. We are not encouraging you to stay in a job you dislike, but rather, use the opportunity to grow.
A S K Style & Substance:
Michele Armani and Sally Meisenheimer
creative life coaching solutions
Email your questions or request a life coaching appointment to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information: visit our website at yourstyleandsubstance.com