Learn how not to ruin your life and the lives of your employees if you are an executive without management experience, and how to become a good leader when all your management experience is only based on movie bosses from Hollywood films and bosses from past jobs.
Here is a checklist for those who suddenly found themselves in a responsible job position:
1. Recruit like-minded people
You should feel comfortable and at ease with the candidate from the get-go. Some people may be shy, some may worry, but the first impression is the most accurate: you must speak the same language. The main task of the leader is to find the right person and make him/her an outstanding specialist that can contribute both to the team and the company.
2. Help the newcomer understand the rules of the game
What values does the company live and breathe? What is its culture? How to act in certain situations? Before getting to work, a new employee needs to understand how everything works.
Therefore, it is better to write down the core values of the company and especially the team on the first page of the onboarding file. Make sure a section with a list of employees and their responsibilities comes next. This way, the newcomer will immediately know who is responsible for what, as well as how they can help him/her.
The next step to successful onboarding is reading Michael D. Watkins' book The First 90 Days about leadership and career growth. Ask a new employee to read it, and then come back to you with their development plan for three months in advance. Develop an example – an employee doesn't have to reinvent the wheel. The better you prepare, the faster the person will begin to produce results.
3. Let your employees grow
Implement the 70-20-10 rule. This is a model of learning in the workplace: an employee learns by solving real problems 70% of the time, 20% is spent on communicating with experienced colleagues, and 10% is devoted to books, trainings, courses, etc. For each block, team members write down what they want to understand, who to talk to, and what to learn. And then they note what results they want to achieve.
This approach helps to separate goals from tools. For example, "learn to build a great sales funnel" is a goal, whereas "read 100 books on marketing" is a tool to achieve it.
Another way to guide and develop a team is through one-on-one PPPI (plans, progress, problems, ideas) meetings. We hold such meetings every two weeks. They help to monitor key results: what plans the colleagues set for themselves for this period, how they made progress, what difficulties occurred, and which of their ideas need support.
4. Do not criticize employees in public
Constructive feedback helps employees perform better. If it is not there, the person is stressed: sometimes it is difficult to understand whether we are doing well with the tasks without feedback. A person should not fight for the attention of a leader: the boss is not a king, so there is no need to dance in front of him/her for simple feedback like "You are great" and "Thank you."
5. Learn to trust
No one is obliged to earn the trust of a manager. If you hired a person, you must trust them right away. Why else would you hire them? The task of a leader is to create conditions in which a person is not afraid to make mistakes and grow. Better be a friend to your employees, not their overseer.
How to get the most:
- Hire those you can speak the same language with. Similar values or ideas will help you build a productive workflow.
- Create an onboarding file with all the information a newbie needs: about the company, key employees, colleagues in the department, etc.
- Help draw up a personal career plan for each employee and keep track of short-term plans. Employees need to see growth prospects.
- You are one team. Forget about public criticism. All mistakes can be discussed tete-a-tete in a friendly way.
- There are no bad bosses. You can learn something from everyone. Even the bad ones.