Key Learning from My Latest Management Fail- Consistency
Key Learning from Latest Management Fail- (The Importance of Consistency):
One of the most valuable things I’ve embraced is that failure without learning is doomed to repeat itself and that the only way to get better and breakthrough is to reflect on the situation and work to discover all the potential learning’s.
Jim Rohn calls it devastating when there is no lesson learned in a failure. I’m in a constant state of learning and quite recently have had to learn another lesson the hard way…from a failure. I had an employee that didn’t quite work out and decided to resign after only a couple months in his position. This employee had skills and talent and could have potentially had a strong future with the company. However due to the expectations of the role and the way I as a manager communicated these expectations he could no longer see himself as part of the team and vision going forward and in less than 3 months resigned. So I asked myself, How did this happen?
There could have been many different factors for this situation to end the way that it did, but after reflection my biggest learning was in how I had managed this employee during the past couple months. When this employee began, I spent a considerable amount of time and training ensuring they had all the information and tools to be successful in the role. All along this employee had expectations he was to achieve each day.
From the start I allowed him to fall a little short from hitting the daily targets without any serious consequences. There were stretches where he would be in a great mindset and consistently for multiple days in a row hit the set targets. There then would be a couple days where the targets were missed by very narrow margins, but as his manager I said, “good effort, you gave it a go today”. Assuming he needed encouragement not any consequence.
After a few weeks there would be more and more days where targets weren’t hit, but the fact that he was coming close I continued to just be an encourager rather than firm with his requirements. During the second month I was unable to spend as much time with him coaching and tweaking things during the day and thus usually ended up just having a morning call to set tasks for the day and usually once more at some point during the day.
After a few more weeks he was hitting daily targets less and less frequently. At this point I was beginning to get quite frustrated, as he was so close, but almost gave up as if he didn’t even care to complete the day. Then it finally got to the point where enough was enough, out of frustration I sent a very clear email outlining a new policy where he was now required to stay in the office until the tasks were completed and that there were no more excuses.
Not surprisingly this hit him pretty tough, which ultimately led to push back from him and his eventual resignation, stating that I wasn’t being flexible or fair.
The biggest learning in this situation for me as a manager was consistency. This sudden firm stance appeared to come from nowhere and thus I believe is why the employee took it so personally. Also allowing something to fester as a frustration without communicating it is also very unhealthy.
Going forward I know that being consistent with my communication and expectations is a must. Not only will it build trust, but also will clearly define what is acceptable and what is not. As I have always done in the past, I will coach, support and encourage, but I will also not allow the next employee to not follow through and achieve what is required. (Ensuring that my expectations are reasonable) If requirements aren’t met consequences and feedback must be clear and consistent right from the start.
It is clear that my next step to better management is 100% consistency. I owe it to not only the my next employee but to the company as a whole.