Evaluate the importance of performance and engagement with followers in an organization

8 August 2016

Evaluate the importance of performance and engagement with followers in an organization To me “Leadership means leading people for positive outcomes”. An effective leader may have many aspects but the relationship that exists between a leader and their followers is one of the most important aspects of leadership which can determine the success quotient in any organization. To evaluate the Performance in any organization would simply mean to understand the goals and objectives of the company and how the goals/ objectives are achieved are the means of measurement. Different organization will have different objectives.

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For some it would mean high revenue, managing resources, customer satisfaction, and strong governance, building trust and reliability or all of these together in most cases. Measuring these performances should result in gaining the revenue, good rate of employee retention and satisfaction, meeting certified quality standards, client satisfaction and of course, profit. Either individually or collectively taken these becomes the means to measure performance. Engagement in the business sense can be defined as the process and mechanics by which a leader/manager establishes a relationship with their direct reports (followers).

How the manager takes the time to engage and understand their staff (followers) team and using their talents to work together to achieve the common goal and objectives will be the winning formula in any organization. The team resulting as being the most effective and efficient becomes the means of evaluating successful engagement. In evaluating my understanding of performance in DPG and engagement of team, let me share with you an experience of my dept’s performance which was managed for 5 short months prior to a major re-structuring in the organization.

Having joined in Sept 2012 to handle leasing of certain territories, in Oct 2012, I was asked to step in and take additional responsibility of handling a unit which managed by a manager for 2 years and who had left a team of 3 staff. The team consisted of an Assistant Manager, Receptionist & Office Assistance. I was given an additional support staff from another team which worked closely with the unit but had no experience in the relevant field however was known to be adaptable. Within 1st week of taking office I meet with each member individually to listen to understand their jobs they performed daily, how they contribute to the company, gauge their commitment to work, understand their areas of strengths and weakness and if they had any concerns. I concluded that no records or information were properly maintained, frequent cancellation of accounts, indifferent attitude with customers and clients, staff morale was very low as promotions and increments were not given in 2 years, differences between each staff, non-punctuality to work, high accumulation of leaves and overlapping of roles and responsibility.

I also concluded that the Assistant Manager was given a free hand to run the day to day operations and made all the decisions. He was in the position for 3 years, had no past experience of the job and managed to do the job to the best of his understanding. At the end of 2nd week with the team meeting, the current state of affairs was outlined to the team and our goal was Sustaining Accounts Operational Excellence & Customer Satisfaction They way we would go about doing this: Regular staff meetings in which milestones discussed.

Any challenges identified to our success, we brainstorm on best alternatives. If there are specific people who need to be influenced to move our things forward, I take on the role of finding the best avenue for influence I make sure to circulate all appropriate communications from senior management by email and I encourage questions and discussion. I have an “open door” policy where staff can discuss any challenge they are having and together we look for solutions Each person was assigned specific task which would not overlap.

If anyone was unclear, they could always discuss. New responsibilities and KPIs provided which were to be reviewed at end of each quarter Receptionist – Due to heavy load of admin works was leading to poor answering and attending to walk-in customers. The priority was shifted to customer call and attendance, take the customer to meet the appointed person and chase all team members to ensure 24 hrs prompt reply for email queries. The receptionist would be the only person to “meet & greet “walk-in or appointment clients and customers.

The admin work was simplified with scopes added to the additional support staff Office Boy – Due to duplicated office admin works and outside errands which left customers unattended. His role was defined to be reliever to Receptionist only if she was on break and would ensure prompt service of serving customers with tea/coffee. His other job activity would also be to ensure proper document control, filing and photocopying any immediate or relevant documents for the team. Outside errands were assigned to company driver so that the office boy would be around the team as and when required.

Senior Lease Coordinator – this new support staff worked earlier for a section which supported the Asst Manager and shared conflicts with the Asst Manager. Her new role would be to ensure in creating accurate customer database to ensure prompt renewals notices, follow-ups for approvals with clients and ensure all key renewal process are properly complied with. Any tenant clarification should be responded with an acknowledgement within 24hrs. All responses should be copied to Asst Manager and Manager of Unit

Assistant Manager: Was loaded with work responsibility of the Manager of the Unit besides his daily tasks and was snowed under leading to very low morale and frustration with other members. He was relieved of his additional task and his role was redefined to do external inspections, finalize all pending invoices, refunds and only deal with customers and clients as an escalated measure if Senior Lease coordinator is unable to handle. As some financial approvals provided by Asst Manager could raise audit concerns, we had to deactivate his approval authority without breaking his confidence.

We agreed, without the prior approval of his dept manager the approval document would be considered incomplete. Manager – the team were informed of what I would contribute in my role as the unit head. Besides generating new business, ensuring compliance of operations and planning sustainable revenue for the unit I would stand by them, for them in any issues that arise with management, customers and clients so long as they have done their part to the best of their efforts. I would guide them to make them do their jobs better.

In their new job activities, though each staff was dependent on each other, their job activities were not overlapped which earlier made conflicts in completion of tasks & assignment of responsibilities. Each staff was also briefed in the significance of their duties and from the smallest task of photocopying to closure of new accounts, each staff was advised of the role each played was important for the other to do their jobs. It was gearing up the team to an emotional intelligence level whereby they could learn to differentiate between personal and professional approach.

By end of the Jan 2013, a significant change was observed in the unit – up to date history and document of all clients and customers, reduced the cancellations of account and some new accounts to manage. We managed to ensure proper response turnaround time with most customers which reflected in positive replies and reducing the conflicting interaction. Staff leaves were planned so all could enjoy time-off. Clear understanding of roles and responsibility lowered internal conflict in team and staff become more prompt to reporting to work and notifying delays.

Overall staff work performances improved with uplifting their morale. Each staff contributed to turning around the performance of the unit but 2 major contributors were firstly the senior Lease coordinator who having no knowledge of the job adapted to the handling customer issues smoothly and winning their confidence. The second contributor was the Asst Manager who once relieved of the additional task, managed to turn around the day to day operations compliantly and handling customer issues promptly with confidence.

The major success came in effect when both the leasing coordinator and Asst manager put their priorities in place both became a winning combination Subsequent to the re-structure and final team meeting at the end of 5 months, I was told by the team that I was their toughest manager they had ever worked with and yet the best manager. They had never worked with someone who was so focused and knew how to tackle each issue promptly, with wisdom and confidence. The team had restored connectivity with each other and now looked forward to new challenges which lay ahead in their new roles and responsibilities following the restructure. Taking the case above in view, I summarize some keys areas of effective leadership and measurement of engagement with followers the manager has shown: Aspirations: Manager had the vision, thoughtful direction, goal or target to align needs and task Atmosphere: the manager could create a culture of “can do” approach and won’t see obstacles as something that they can’t overcome but they will find ways over, around and through them as well. Achievement: Manager set the goals that could be reached and ensured success.

Acknowledgement: Leaders will have an ability of recognizing excellence and being recognized for excellence. The manager had the ability to know the Asst Manager could do the job better than what he was performing as long as he was not over burdened. Assertiveness: Earn respect and not demand respect. The ability to charm and influence other people is an element that is necessary for leadership – Manager was able to win the trust and confidence of the team for them to implement the directions given

Approach to work: By aligning proper roles and responsibilities, the manager could bring back the passion to work and fostering the faith and motivation towards work Accountability: Settings KPIs and clear delineating of responsibilities made staff take ownership of task from end to end and owning it as “our” task rather than “your” task. Behavior: Manager walked the talk and had the ability to engage, enthuse and live by certain standards that followers can look up to. The appearance of honesty, integrity, being trustworthy, confidence is all necessary in becoming an effective leader Belief: Manager had the faith in oneself to carry out the task successfully Effective Communication: Leaders should be interactive. People won’t know what you need from them if you don’t tell them. You should inform your followers about what you expect. Manager had an open door policy and open communication with the team to achieve the task In conclusion, the followers reflected high performance which could not be possible without strong engagement with the leader.

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