Covid uncovered a number of management problems which supervisors were unaware of.
Pre-Covid, many managers judged the performance of people on their team by how busy they looked in the office. It was “management by activity.”
During Covid, many managers freaked out – “How do I know my people are working?” Most of them just got used to not knowing and were happy that things did not fall apart.
As offices reopen, it is time for those managers to learn two fundamentals that so many supervisors get wrong: Set Outcomes and Reward Performance.
Set Outcomes. One of the most important responsibilities of a manager is to specify the results that you want each person on your team to produce. Don’t give them a list of activities that you want them to carry out. List the outcomes that you want from the activities.
A classic example is sales. You don’t want your sales people to conduct “x” number of meetings with potential clients, you want them to make sales. As you work to turn a list of activities into outcomes, ask yourself “to what end” are they doing the activities.
Reward Performance. Once you have set outcomes then you can reward your people for the results they produce – their actual performance. Do not fall into the trap of having your team members set goals at the beginning of the year and then rewarding them according by the extent to which they reach the goals. This will only encourage people to set low goals. Home Run hitters are not rewarded for whether they met their goal for how many home runs they hit in a year. They are rewarded for how many home runs they actually hit. Check out this blog for more.
Once you set outcomes and reward performance, your micro-managing days are over. Your people can work wherever they want as long as they produce the results, and you don’t have to watch over them – even if they actually are in the office.