Manager's Tips and Tools

by Manager Development Services

Standards (pt. 1 of 4) “A Level of Quality”

Standard:  a level of quality or excellence with which to judge effectivity.

Effectivity:  “Are we doing the right things?”

  • Business Standards
  • Emotional Standards
  • Moral Standards

Setting and maintaining standards is a “success factor” (chapter 6) in achieving long-term sustainable growth.  This means that without setting and maintaining standards there will be no success – no long-term sustainable growth.  Whether in my personal or professional life, standards provide a premise with which to evaluate effectiveness in pursuit of my goals.  They compel me to stay on track and remain focused.  In effect, standards force me to either “buy in” or “cash out.”

As mentor, it is also my responsibility to the business, and more importantly, to staff itself to develop standards, and educate each employee so there is no mistake as to what is expected.  If I am vague or unclear in conveying standards or if standards are too general or open to interpretation, my employees will not develop purpose, perception, or direction.  Remember, people want structure, consistency, home, a place where they belong, and they want to excel.  Standards must set direction and facilitation of this want.

In conveying standards, I need to be clear and precise.  I need to “spell them out” and then ask for feedback.  Asking for feedback allows me to recognize if a person has correctly interpreted my meaning.  I must pay close attention to body language, tone of voice, choice of words, etc.  I must be understanding and compassionate, and at the same time I must be firm.

There must be a balance between heart and standards.  Too much “warm and fuzzy” and I appear sloppy – I undermine the importance of standards.  Too much firm and there’s no heart – I show no appreciation for the individual.

I inform the individual that it’s ultimately their choice (chapter 4) to adhere to the standards or not.  I will not make them adhere.  I will remind them of the standards if I notice them wavering. But if they choose not to follow standards then Open Heaven is not a place for them, and I will sincerely wish them well in whatever job they choose to go to next.

This is especially true when it comes to a new employee. This sets the stage for the direction they will want to go.  It will be very evident within a few weeks if a new employee “gets it” or if they need help. Deciding whether or not the employee is worth investing time, energy, and effort in is often a fine line.

This can best be determined through:

.                     (1)  Measuring performance: one needs to “inspect what they expect.”

.                      (2)  Holding counseling sessions

.                      (3)  Setting goals

.                      (4)  Training Sessions

.                      (5)  Role playing

At the end of each meeting, sign the employee off on the above. And then follow it up with an email to the individual.  This validates their participation and documents my intervention. Then, if there is not a quick and continuous movement towards the required standards, a decision must be made to let the employee go.

– excerpt from “Inspiring Passion in Your Staff”


August 24, 2011 - Posted by | Counseling Techniques, Employee Coaching, Leadership Skills, Manager Development Tools, Mentoring, Personal Development | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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