Employer Hiring & Recruitment Questions
I am a manager of a fairly large firm. I am looking for some ways in order to improve my own management style and performance. Can you help?
There are a variety of ways that you can improve management skills but take a look at concepts to AVOID .
NEGLECT TO KEEP YOUR SKILLS UP-TO-DATE
Achieving a management position does not exempt you from keeping both technical and management skills current. If your construction employer offers a solid internal training program, take full advantage of the courses available. If not, negotiate with your boss to attend outside courses. This is good insurance against your skills and expertise becoming "stale." Complacent managers delude themselves by rationalizing that refresher courses are unnecessary. They underestimate the professional value of challenging themselves to learn new skills - along with keeping old skills current.
FORGET THE BASICS
Setting clear job expectations for your staff will prevent untold confusion and frustration. Sure, this sounds basic. However, it is astonishing how often this fundamental management responsibility is neglected. Without this important foundation, it is virtually impossible to hold people accountable. Mediocre performers are comfortable with this environment. Worthwhile employees, on the other hand, will eventually become frustrated and leave. Why? Because they desire a sense of pride that comes from operating under definite parameters by which they are measured and held accountable.
HIRE THE WRONG PEOPLE
Recruiting and selecting the right person for the job is the wisest investment you will ever make. Before you "invest" in a prospective employee, do your homework and allow them to do theirs. Don't settle for a standard one-hour interview with predictable questions. Be creative! Invite final construction executive job seekers to return for a second interview in which they observe those doing the job they are interested in. Give them plenty of straightforward information about what the position entails - identifying both the positives and negatives. You and your potential hire have a vested interest in determining if this is a perfect fit.
IGNORE PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS
A manager's job would be easy if performance problems withered away on their own. Sadly, this is the exception to the rule. Issues in the workplace have an uncanny way of growing and spreading if they remain unchecked. Managers who ignore obvious performance shortcomings within their department ultimately have bigger problems to contend with. Not only do standards become lower, but the entire staff witnesses a poor example of conflict resolution from their leader.
REFUSE TO CHOOSE BATTLES CAREFULLY
Managers who make an issue over every injustice may win a few battles, but they ultimately lose credibility. Using the inherent clout of a management position to intimidate and browbeat others is not respectable. Smart managers isolate their battles to things that truly matter in the long run. Chronic complainers quickly lose the advantage of gaining attention from others in order to rectify situations. It's admirable to demonstrate conviction - as long as you are selective about the battles you choose to fight.
OVERLOOK THE IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING UP
Managers often get so focused on developing rapport with their staff that they forget another vital relationship. You must have a full appreciation of the vision your boss hopes to achieve. Keeping in touch with your manager is essential for your career success. Regardless of what type of boss you have, as a professional you have an obligation to manage the relationship so it's full potential is realized. Not getting along with your boss will delay your career advancement.
DISREGARD THE VALUE OF PEER RELATIONSHIPS
No manager operates in isolation. They must continually cultivate relationships with their employees, manager, and peers. Peers in other departments of the construction employer are needed for support, information, and assistance. Competitive managers who alienate their peers by refusing to exhibit a spirit of teamwork, will inevitably regret their short-sightedness. A manager who is not respected by her peers loses the advantage of having a strong support system.
REFUSE TO ACCEPT ACCOUNTABILITY
When you are the boss, you cannot pass the buck - without highlighting the fact you are not fully competent. A manager skilled at blaming people or circumstances for failures is unlikely to be given additional responsibilities. Conversely, a manager secure enough to admit her shortcomings, along with developing a gameplan for improvement, shows maturity and true leadership abilities.
LOSE BALANCE "Workaholic" managers eventually burn out like a meteor. The casualties they take with them include neglected family and friends, and damaged sense of self-esteem that inevitably occurs when proper balance is not maintained. A manager's job is stressful by nature. It is imperative to guard against work consuming excessive amounts of energy and personal time. A manager must protect themselves against becoming too one-dimensionally focused on work exclusively. Take time for family, friends, hobbies, exercise, travel and rest