How to manage and delegate, so as not to sew at work and improve company performance
What problems does a young leader often have to deal with? First of all — it’s a feeling that the tasks fall asleep with your head: you constantly help subordinates, explain, control, but at the end still do not get what you wanted. At the same time, the load is such that there is not enough time for training and strategic tasks, not to mention work-life balance. The situation is normal for Ukrainian business, isn’t it? But this should not be the case.
Consider the problems of the head in terms of five functions: management, organization, control, motivation, communication and planning.
Let’s start with the organization. Organization as a management function is the answer to the question “how the company works”. Let’s discuss what problems we will deal with if the work is organized illiterately.
The first and second mistakes are always together, like Siamese twins: it is incorrect problem statement and lack of debriefing. If you have prescribed perfect templates for setting tasks, but the employee still does not bring you what you need, then you missed the moment of debriefing. When receiving the task, the employee must tell you: “I understood the task as follows: I need to take a pink cloth and sew ten pigs from it, did I understand the task correctly?”. At this point, you catch a mistake, because the task is spelled out five hares of yellow cloth.
The third mistake is the inconsistency of the task to the employee. I will say in simple words: if we have a problem with electricity, you do not need to send a plumber to this task. Competent profiling of employees will help to avoid this mistake.
Now let’s talk about control.
The fourth mistake is the lack of intermediate control. If on the first of September you set the task on the thirtieth, but in the meantime do not check the progress of the task on the fifth, tenth and fifteenth of September, you risk getting pink pigs instead of yellow hares in the deadline.
The fifth mistake is to set tasks “through the head” of the immediate project manager.
The sixth mistake is the lack of standards. To avoid this, you must give the team a document that describes the characteristics of the product, as well as a reference example of a product or service.
Let’s move on to motivation and related common mistakes.
The seventh mistake is the lack of resources to solve the problem. Conditionally — when you were told to “dig” and the shovel was not given. As a result, you do not get the product you were hoping for, or you get the right product, but much later than expected. When you assign a task to an employee, make sure you provide him with the necessary resources to complete the task successfully.
The eighth mistake — demotivation of employees. Employees in chronic stress are an eternal problem of Ukrainian business, and any manager who wants to succeed must find out in time that the employee is stressed and demotivated.
How to communicate with a demotivated employee? Raise all his tasks and ask which of them inspire and which — pessimize. Find out what you can do to help. If the task is unbearable — say, you put an introvert on cold calls — it is better to give it to another employee.
Finally, the ninth mistake is the lack of feedback. For Ukrainian managers, especially young ones, this is often a psychological barrier: it is not always convenient to explain that an employee is lying — we were sitting at the same desk two months ago. We do not have the culture to voice unpleasant things correctly. Very often negative feedback and criticism are identified, and these are completely different concepts. The solution in such a situation is to conduct a survey in electronic form, to ask everyone with whom the employee worked, whether they are satisfied with his work on a ten-point scale.
We have considered the main mistakes of the leader through the prism of management functions. This approach will help you understand in which area the error lurked, and quickly find a solution.
Remember: you are not the captain of a galley with slaves, but the conductor of a complex symphony orchestra. Therefore, it is necessary to understand your employees, see their value and strengths, set goals correctly. And yet: there is no point or course after which you will become an ideal leader — you will have to learn this all your life.
The column was written as part of Anastasia Baidachenko’s lecture course for Admixer Academy. You can learn more about mistakes in planning and communication functions, as well as listen to the full course for a young leader at the link .