Video: Why Mid-Managers Are The Lifeblood June 14, 2011Posted by Kevin Burns in build a better workplace, building a better workplace, business, business strategy, coaching, communication, corporate values, kevin burns, keynote speaker, leadership, management, management speaker, manager, middle manager.
Kevin Burns, Workplace Expert, says most middle managers get very little training and are thrust into a role that most are ill-prepared for. It is the most thankless job and the one with the highest “hassle” factor. Add to that, when the economy tanks, middle managers are usually the first to go. The truth is, I am on the side of middle managers. I want them to get better.
Video: How Managers MUST Engage Staff May 18, 2011Posted by Kevin Burns in build a better workplace, building a better workplace, business strategy, communication, corporate culture, Employee Engagement, engagement, kevin burns, keynote speaker, leadership, management, middle manager, workplace.
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Workplace Expert, Kevin Burns, thinks that the real purpose of a good manager has been lost with too many meetings and too much paperwork and that perhaps it’s time managers changed their minds and philosophies of what they are there to do. The truth is that managers work for the staff and NOT the other way around.
Video: Managers Need Better Time Management April 27, 2011Posted by Kevin Burns in build a better workplace, building a better workplace, business strategy, communication, kevin burns, keynote speaker, leadership, management, manager, middle manager, time management, workplace.
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So managers, let me ask you this question, if only twenty percent of your time is spent actually managing, who is it that really needs a Time Management course? The truth is that Time Management is never about time. It’s about having clearly defined priorities. And it is the manager’s job to ensure that the clear priorities have been communicated to the staff. So how can the manager make that happen?
Video: Employees Are NOT Created Equal February 15, 2011Posted by Kevin Burns in acknowledgement, attitude speaker, boss, business model, career, corporate culture, engagement, hiring, kevin burns, keynote speaker, management, management speaker, manager, middle manager, performance, results, speaker, survey, time management, workplace.
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Too much effort is spent in managing people into conformity. The truth is that too many managers want one employee to be just like another employee – one who models the traits and gets the results management likes. It’s counterproductive when managers start trying to manage their employees the exact same way. It’s worse when they expect each employee’s results to be the same.
Managers: How To Handle 100+ Emails/Day February 9, 2011Posted by Kevin Burns in advice, boss, business, business model, career, email, Employee Engagement, engagement, how to, kevin burns, keynote speaker, management, manager, middle manager.
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Are you a manager who handles upwards of 100 emails per day? Well, the bad news is handling 100 emails a day is not management. That’s treading water. If you’re treading water as a manager, you’re doing it wrong.
When Managers Make People Wait December 9, 2010Posted by Kevin Burns in boring, boss, communication, corporate attitude expert, corporate culture turnaround specialist, Employee Engagement, engagement, initiative, kevin burns, keynote speaker, management, management speaker, manager, middle manager, Tweak, waiting.
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Don’t you just hate standing in line? Banks have that long cattle pen (moo). Airports have the same line, even though you’ve already checked in AND put your own luggage tag on your luggage you still have to line up to give someone the bag. Huh. And now even stores like Best Buy make you line up like cattle (moo) if you want to return something to their store. It seems that buying is efficient – returning will eat up a good chunk of your life.
Organizations have become quite competent at making customers wait and you’re likely quite aware of how long your customers are forced to wait. But have you considered how much your employees wait?
Employees who are forced to wait, especially waiting for fellow workers, cause your people to think. When they think, they reflect on how bored they are waiting, When they discover how bored they are, they blame the job. When they discover how boring the job is, they disengage.
But you, as a manager, can Tweak™ the disengagement out of your people and get them to actively engage. Tweak™ing can identify problems and boredom before they become problems. Tweak™ Management creates dialogue between employees and managers.
Remove wait times for your employees and they actively engage. But only managers who communicate with their people regularly will be able to eliminate boredom. Otherwise, your people sit around waiting to speak with their managers about how long they are forced to wait.
How Managers Get Labeled Racist and Bigot November 30, 2010Posted by Kevin Burns in accountability, assertiveness, boss, communication, confidence, conflict, corporate attitude expert, corporate culture turnaround specialist, culture of accountability, culture of high-performance, honesty, integrity, kevin burns, keynote speaker, management, manager, middle manager.
It would so easy to blame your life circumstances on your mediocre teachers of your childhood. Hey, if they had no real understanding of success and how to achieve it, how could they possibly prepare you to be successful right?
So why is it that people are so quick to blame their bosses for not getting ahead at work? Nothing irks me more than hearing that incessant whining of “not being recognized” or “my boss plays favorites and I’m not it” or “it’s because I’m (gender, sexual orientation, race, age, weight, etc.).”
Those comments are the result of owning an “entitlement” mentality: you think you are entitled to be further than you are and now you are blaming others for not just giving it to you. Truth is, you are also entitled to be unemployed.
Managers who give credence to the people playing this game for fear of being labeled as a bigot, racist, etc., are just as guilty of keeping this entitlement mentality going.
Look, people who say this stuff do so because no one has told them any different. If they are not being promoted because they aren’t competent, then they deserve to be told they are not competent. Saying nothing for fear of offending allows employees to pull stuff out of the air, to make stuff up in the absence of information – and then you have twice the work to do in straightening it out.
If you speak with your people every single day (and that really IS your job – not paperwork and management meetings, contrary to what you might think) and let them know how they are doing in simple ten-second conversations, you end up eliminating a lot of the backlash that could come later. People want to know how they are doing and in the absence of information, they will make stuff up based on what they THINK is the truth. My Tweak™ – The Future of Management program addresses exactly this.
If this is happening to you as a manager then you’re not managing, you’re defending. And you can’t help your people get any better if you’re constantly defending yourself. When this happens, you are in the way of your people getting any better. Now you need a new manager to start over. Maybe you should have just told them the truth: that their work is mediocre and not worthy of promotion.
Who Gets Your Ear? November 30, 2010Posted by Kevin Burns in communication, corporate culture turnaround specialist, culture of accountability, kevin burns, keynote speaker, manager, middle manager.
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You’ve heard the term “getting one’s ear” haven’t you? It’s a term to describe how one person may get the attention of someone else and be able to influence that person. Presidents and other high-powered officials must choose wisely their counsel and be very selective about who gets their ear.
Wrong decisions can be made by listening to the wrong people. In fact, I recall a friend of mine who asked me to join into an investment group a few years ago. I researched the person in charge and found that he had a criminal record was banned him from securities investing. Just a few months ago, he was arrested for heading up a ponzi scheme. I hope my friend made out OK and got out after I sent an email with a link to the criminal’s past.
Not just anyone should be able to get to you. You must be selective of the voices you allow to speak to you. And as a manager, you had better be listening to the voices who have something to teach you – no matter what it costs. You, the manager, will be responsible to influencing the ears of others. I hope you’ve got your facts straight and only people in the know get your ear.
When Managers Interview Over Their Heads November 17, 2010Posted by Kevin Burns in boss, career, corporate culture, corporate culture turnaround specialist, culture, culture fit, culture of high-performance, customer, engagement, high-performance, hiring, kevin burns, keynote speaker, management, manager, middle manager.
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It really isn’t a tough concept to wrap your head around – the chance that a manager is at some point going to interview a job candidate who is clearly superior to the manager in every way: charisma, performance, communication skills, relationship-building skills, leadership qualities, knowledge, experience, etc. So what does a manager do when interviewing someone like this?
The truth is, most managers would be afraid that hiring someone who clearly outperforms them would be simply hiring their own replacement. And so, sadly, many really great people get passed over as “overqualified” because of a manager’s own insecurities.
The truth is, a high-achiever might be just exactly what your organization needs – but here is the caveat – only if the Culture fit is right.
Hiring shouldn’t always be the best person – but should be the best person for the company Culture. Having a highly-focused, customer-focused, high-achiever on staff might be just the ticket to get the rest of your people to build a new customer-focused Culture of high-performance.
But most times this doesn’t happen because if a manager hasn’t been able to build that Culture already, then he or she obviously doesn’t know how to do it. That makes it unlikely that they could recognize good talent and Culture potential if it came along.
But nowhere is it written in the management handbook that a manager can not learn from an employee. Real good managers, employee-focused managers will do what is best for their employees and won’t act out of fear of looking poorly or inept. But the moment you pass over a great potential employee because of insecurity is the moment you look incredibly inept.
How Managers Poison New Hires November 17, 2010Posted by Kevin Burns in accountability, attitude, boss, career, communication, corporate culture, corporate culture turnaround specialist, culture, Employee Engagement, engagement, kevin burns, keynote speaker, management, manager, mentor, middle manager, onboarding, performance.
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Managers who welcome new employees on their first day then promptly hand them off to any employee because they have a meeting to run to, run the risk of doing two things:
- giving a very poor first impression that staff and their contributions don’t matter – meetings do, and
- potentially poisoning your new hire by foolishly choosing some random employee and having them learn the real “attitude” of the place from someone disgruntled or actively disengaged.
You say you want to increase employee engagement and reduce employee turnover, yet you hand off a newbie to other staffers without a plan. What are you thinking?
Who is the employee with the best attitude, the best performance, the best engagement and the best intentions? That person is your new on-boarding mentor. Have a conversation with the potential mentor and tell them that because of their performance, you are placing new hires in their care to learn the correct way of doing things around here. Give your people positive responsibility and you will find that they rise to the occasion.
The first relationship that a new employee strikes up is usually the longest lasting relationship. Make sure your new hire gets mentored by the right attitude, the right work ethic, the right performance and the right engagement levels.
If you want to ensure the future Culture of your workplace is headed in the right direction, don’t just willy-nilly leave new hires with your staffers. The first few days are important learning times for new employees – especially for improving Culture. Make this a strategic move. You will have made your own job much easier down the road.