While employers invest in various tools and resources to improve employee effectiveness and performance, it is important to recognise that one of the best enablers to cultivating a ‘dream team’ are managers themselves, share experts from Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP).
Every manager wants a team that is passionate about their work and self-motivated to achieve collective goals for the organisation. While employers invest in various tools and resources to improve employee effectiveness and performance, it is important to recognise that one of the best enablers to cultivating a ‘dream team’ are managers themselves. They are the ones who have direct regular access to the senior management and are in touch with those on the ground.
One of the ways that managers can inspire their teams to achieve greater work effectiveness is to be 'role-model managers'.
Such managers exhibit positive traits and are valuable assets particularly when the organisation is undergoing a transition.
However, being a role model is a learnt behaviour that takes time to develop and may not be an entrenched part of the work culture in some organisations.
Here are some practical role modelling steps that managers can use with their teams.
Respect diversity of thought
A practical step that managers can take to role model an inclusive culture is to welcome diverse opinions. This includes inviting employees to regularly participate in discussions and exchange ideas at the start of each project.
As employees recognise that these discussions provide rich insights, they will organically begin to reach out to each other to bounce off ideas and collaborate more.
Proactively request for and follow up on feedback
Receiving feedback is one of the most valuable ways for employees to identify areas of strength and gaps in performance. While we are open to receiving praise, it can be challenging to receive constructive advice. Role-model managers overcome this resistance by requesting and being receptive towards feedback on their own performance, to demonstrate how acting on constructive feedback can sharpen one’s work performance.
Over time, this practice reduces conflict and resistance and creates a culture of open and transparent feedback that flows both ways between managers and team members.
One of the most desired traits in employees is taking ownership of their work deliverables and striving independently to achieve outcomes. Apart from setting and communicating clear measurable goals that employees can work towards, managers should also find ways to demonstrate accountability.
One approach is to hold a team-wide review to identify the wins and the mistakes at the end of each project. This signals to employees that identifying errors is a necessary part of the learning process at work, making them more receptive to the concept of accountability at work.
In a changing business environment where an organisation is undergoing adversity or growth, the ability of managers to be positive role models is an invaluable asset. While policies and practices are carefully crafted and put in place, it is the manager’s ability to model the expected behaviours and inspire others to follow suit that will ultimately make these initiatives successful.
The Fair and Progressive Employment Index (FPEI) is a free, online self-assessment tool that allows employers to evaluate their organisational values and culture and benchmark their practices against industry peers.
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