PART 2 OF 2
(FROM YESTERDAY’S POST: GOVERNMENT)
3. How to improve poor communication between managers and subordinates? The sad reality is that many managers are not equipped with the necessary skills to manage people because they were promoted to the position based on their technical skills.
It is the responsibility of the head of the agency to ensure that whoever is appointed to lead, manage or supervise people has the necessary skills to do it.
The skills that I am referring to are not job-related or technical skills.
I am referring to people's skills, which includes skills to connect with others, having empathy, compassion, being considerate to understand that not all people are created equal, and that not all humans have the same interest or motivation. They also have personal problems that often times affect their performance. It’s not about sitting behind the desk and spending the day sending or giving orders by email. A manager who does not make an effort to connect with his/her people and see them as humans is bound to fail.
4. How to improve mediocre performance of "permanent" employees.
As a manager I was responsible for getting the job done and meet my organizational goals, but in the process and not listed on my job description, I took it upon myself to also be responsible for providing guidance, mentoring, training, counseling, and I was always available to hear their concerns.
Your responsibility as a manager is to provide your team with the necessary tools to do the job. However, after all your efforts have been exhausted, if there is no improvement, then it would be your responsibility to decide whether termination is necessary.
PART 1 OF 2
At a gathering with some friends, I was asked a question about "Government": What are (in your opinion) the most pressing issues facing the public sector these days?
Since until recently I was a government employee, I gathered my thoughts for a moment, and provided the following answer:
In my opinion the public sector, which includes local and Federal governments, is currently confronted with a myriad of problems. That in turn affect the quality of the services that they are responsible for providing to the general public/citizens and customers.
I believe that the four important basic questions that leadership must address are:
1. How to avoid the exodus of skilled and talented people to other agencies or to the private sector?
My answer is that money is not everything. Often times we do not use our workforce to the maximum of their abilities. I underline abilities and did not mention responsibilities for a reason which I will further elaborate.
Even worse, sometimes managers have the tendency to keep a clear separation between them and some of their subordinates, which often times, makes subordinates feel unappreciated, undervalued, unrecognized, underestimated and stuck in the job.
One simple idea to take advantage of their individual abilities is by assigning them to facilitate crucial meetings or to "represent" management in important meetings in other agencies; or assigning them to develop a workshop about their trade to be used agency wide. Sound simple, but it requires management involvement in getting to know his/her team in order to identify his/her abilities. Furthermore, subordinates feel valued and appreciated.
2. How to manage the impact of losing institutional knowledge, caused by the exodus of Baby Boomers that are currently retiring in large numbers?
My answer is that if you have not started yet, it is time to get started on pairing experienced employees to serve as mentors of current younger employees. This can be done by requiring young employees to shadow their mentors for a determined period of time, which could effectively provide them with a genuine hands-on experience.
Also, request that the mentor provide a plan of the areas to be covered, and a subsequent report of areas that were actually covered. It should be meaningful so that management gets confirmation that actual knowledge and experience is being communicated.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW…
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.