26 Jul Don’t Tell My Manager, I Overheard Her Secret Successful Management Formula!
Ever find yourself struggling as a manager? From handling tons of emergencies and employee problems to working late at night to prepare reports, proposals and finish your own tasks. Well the truth is, tons of managers are facing the same issues especially when it comes to handling day to day operational problems and emergencies, not to mention tons of managers are also struggling to manage their own work-life balance while trying to ensure employee’s work-life balance!
During times like these, we wish we could have the ability to snap and solve every problem instantly! Although just snapping our fingers to solve problems may not happen, there is in fact a way to break this cycle and make most of our problems disappear! The secret? The art of continuous improvement! Rather than focusing on solving surface problems happening around us, we should be focusing on the elements we can improve to solve the root of the problems! Here are some of the secrets I have overheard!
Don’t Tell My Manager, I Overheard Her Secret Successful Management Formula!
- Maximize available tools
- The true essence of a team
- Aim for the moon
1. MAXIMIZE AVAILABLE TOOLS
“The grass Is always greener on the other side, so let’s make our grass greener!”
In my previous jobs, most of the time we would focus on suggesting new tools or new softwares for us to use to improve our current work practices. I remember suggesting to my manager to purchase and implement using this software that simplifies our work processes to speed things up. My manager at the time would approve it and immediately implement it and brief us on how to use it in hopes of improving our productivity and work quality (since she spent at least thousands for this software)! Did it manage to increase our productivity and the quality of work? Short answer, yes! Long answer, only by 5%.
Spending thousands of ringgit just for a 5% increase in productivity and work quality sounds like a waste right? Well, that’s where this unique quote comes in! What my manager currently would do on a daily basis would be to challenge us and guide us back to the tools and resources we currently have available to us. I remember once suggesting to try out this new tool to which she suggested one of the existing tools we already have. I was a little disappointed at that time but soon realized it was some of the best advice I could have received!
After her suggestion, I was still a little adamant and decided to look more into the tools I suggested. Turns out, not only was it expensive, but it can only be used for one particular activity only! To make matters worse, if I had gotten that tool, the setup would take a long time and eventually cause delays! So if you’re eager to improve and manage your team or business and are very willing to invest in new tools, consider the ones you have now first! One of my manager’s secret in having less headache is by making sure all the tools we have and are familiar with would be considered first! This saves time in getting, implementing and testing out new tools (as well as potential last minute headaches)
2. THE TRUE ESSENCE OF A TEAM
“A group of people together – A Gathering, a group of unified hearts – A Team”
In any organization, business or company, teamwork is the one golden skill that every employer is looking for in their teams. I have been through a few organizations as well as companies and ultimately “Teamwork” is always one of the company’s core elements and core skills. Don’t get me wrong, teamwork is truly necessary in order to succeed and excel in this ever growing world, but how many of us truly understand what truly makes up the core essence of teamwork and practice it when managing our teams?
I would often feel excited working with different supervisors, managers along with colleagues in developing programs and sessions. On one such occasion, we were able to bounce off ideas and craft a 3-day external program that was so well received that the participants were eager to sign up for the next program we were planning to have next year! That sounds like good teamwork right? Well, that was when I met one particular supervisor. He implemented tons of changes and directions for us to think of that were quite new to us. We managed to create a pretty good session and was well received as well. However, after that session, most of us lost our motivation to work on future sessions anymore.
So what happened? We felt the supervisor in question was often hard to reach and was often fixated on his ideas and concepts. Whenever we suggested elements that were different, we were often faced with rejections without consideration. Fast forward to today, everything makes sense to me with regards to why my current manager practices certain methods. After she delegates tasks and explains to us the expectations needed for the tasks, she would welcome any questions, objections or even complaints we had and address every single one of them! Were some of the things she addressed what we were hoping for? Not always, but somehow it always makes us feel lighter afterwards and productive.
Her secret? She is focused on how we can achieve our KPI and target. However, she was more focused on how all of us could get there together without leaving anyone in the dark or leaving anyone behind. By doing so, not only were we able to produce good results, but we would support each other, let out any concerns once and fully focus on completing the task as a team. So working well and producing good results are actually by products of actual teamwork! The actual teamwork would be how we are able to support each other, help each other through struggles and reach the finish line together consistently throughout our work tasks. In case you’re looking for some tips, she never talks about work during breakfast, lunch and dinner, but would instead share with us about her life and learn about ours genuinely. Additionally, she would often set up a safe space discussion with us!
3. AIM FOR THE MOON
“Aim and focus on the bullseye, You will either end up getting 10 points or 9”
I believe we are familiar with Walt Disney’s quote about aiming for the moon, and at least hitting a star when we miss. Well, that isn’t really far away from my manager’s secret! We usually focus on aiming high and aiming to achieve more so we would list out tons of areas we want to hit and tons of goals we want to achieve. At the end of the day when we achieve one of those goals, we would celebrate that one goal achieved compared to zero goals achieved. That was what I used to practice and believed in until now.
I would often list down tons of things I want to develop and tons of areas I want to improve on (because we want to achieve as much as we can in the shortest time). At the end of the month, as long as I achieved one, I would be happy! That stopped when I met my current manager. Rather than all these tasks and areas, she would tell me to focus on one. Sounds cliche right? Well, it doesn’t stop there. One time she asked me which do I think is my main priority, my “bullseye”. I said my ability to curate content that is relevant and relatable, and she discussed together with me on what are some of the ways we could achieve that target. Just a few days after this conversation, I reflected and actually conducted one of my personal proudest training as of now!
It doesn’t just stop there, I was able to actually achieve 3 goals that month instead of just 1! Furthermore, the success wasn’t one off, I was truly able to practice this technique for the following training as well. Her secret? She mentioned that it’s not just about aiming high and aiming for more, it’s about adjusting your aim to that one single target so you can hit it instead of expecting for the worst. By focusing on this element, our team was able to actually speed up the processes of our work tasks as well as the quality of it, significantly reducing our manager’s headache.
So my manager’s secret formula really isn’t about focusing on using the best tools or adopting the best practices of others. Her secret lies in continuous improvement on the things we already have! Our team, our tools as well as our goals are often aspects that are overlooked but can actually be the most powerful way to not only increase our productivity and reduce day to day operational problems, but it also allows our manager to focus on what truly matters, strategizing and looking for gaps to practice continuous improvement!
Management is not an easy role to play as it requires lots of skills as well as strategies to ensure everything runs smoothly. Interested to find out about how you can practice this low cost but effective continuous improvement method? Maybe you’d like to learn other management techniques on top of continuous improvement? Well, wait no more as we have the program just for you to improve your management skills today! Interested to check out any other courses we are offering? Feel free to check out our programs here!
Written by Bryan Law Chu Zheng,
SHRA Corporate Trainer
Bryan is a member of the SHRA trainer team. He is a major in Psychology with a retail background. He has a deep passion for human interaction and personal development.
You can catch him dancing or playing the uke on a lazy Sunday afternoon.