Managing People: The Importance of Follow Up
Much like New Years' resolutions, managing people is all about follow up!
If you're new to the expression Fire and forget, it's a type of missile guidance which doesn't need further management after launch. It's also becoming a popular expression to describe someone who manages people by firing off orders but never following up.
Do not be a "fire and forget" type of leader.
Be aware that managing people is a continuous improvement cycle. Closing the loop on the cycle is done with thoughtful follow up. Follow-up is what actually ensures results are met in the end because it:
- Shows you are serious and committed to helping improve performance
- Provide encouragement, reinforcement and recognition as appropriate
- Allows you to adjust focuses and alter strategies as needed
- Quickly identifies when plans are not working and escalation is required
It is critical that you check in with your staff on a regular basis to see how they are going.
Your priorities will become their priorities if you show them you are sincere in their development. Follow up will also allow you to address issues that may be preventing improvement that are out of your team member's control.
Team members who continue to struggle may require more frequent monitoring and more intensive coaching/mentoring to help them achieve their mutually agreed upon goals.
You may even need to return to the improvement process to identify causes of non-progression and determine new and more viable solutions.
Improving performance, under the best of circumstances, takes time. How fast someone progresses will vary based on the individual and the objective.
As someone who is managing people, you must be in it for the long haul and not let short term successes allow your focus to waiver.
Only the same level of attentiveness and observation that helped identify a need in the first place will ensure the development progress and new performance levels will stick.
Excerpt from Diploma of Leadership & Management
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