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Dear Suzanne: Help! My Employees Hate Me!Dear Suzanne,
I  manage employees for a law firm in San Antonio. I know that star employees who leave an organization are often leaving the manager not the job itself. Recently I have had a few  resign, so I can’t help but ask myself if they are leaving because of my management style. If you had to make a short list for an emergency intervention of management performance, what would it be?

PS I’m scheduled to attend one of your programs this spring, and I’ve heard so many inspirational stories from my colleagues, so I’m really looking forward to it!

Don L.
San Antonio, TX

Dear Don,

There are many key activities that successful managers use in effectively communicating to manage performance of their employees, and when you attend the upcoming Communicating to Manage Performance program, you will learn about all of them. In the meantime, here are a few key skills to get you off to a strong start:

1. Consistent and ongoing communication are key. Get comfortable giving ongoing performance feed back. Learn how to give both positive and negative feed back on any given day, not just at an appointed evaluation time. This practice also gives you the opportunity to communicate clear performance expectations, and clarify expectations.

Why Do My Employees Hate Me?2. It’s critical to distinguish between vague and evaluative communication and results-oriented language. To have productive conversations, you need to describe behavior in an objective way, and then describe desired results. If you take a look at the examples I’ve added here, you will get a clear idea of how to describe behavior and achieve the desired change from your employees.

Unclear Language        Describing Behavior
Lack of commitment > Failed to meet deadlines
Shows initiative > Suggests solutions to problems
Not engaged    > Doesn’t contribute ideas in meetings
Disorganized > Client updates not entered in database

The last skill is to foster a positive climate in your workplace. Cultures develop on their own whether we manage that development or not. Make the choice to be the architect of your workplace culture. There are many ways you can take action on this, but you can start by practicing active listening and encouraging others to improve listening skills, too; giving corrective feedback by placing emphasis on what is expected in the future, not placing blame for past performance; and acknowledging ideas. This last one helps build trust and reinforces employee engagement.

There are so many more ways to effectively Communicate to Manage Performance! Hopefully these will give you a start, and a sneak peek into what the Communicating to Manage Performance program will include. I look forward to meeting you there!
Suzanne Updegraff

PS: In a recent survey, 75% of employees stated that their manager has never communicated the performance expectations they have for the employee. That is the biggest road block to effective performance management! ~Suzanne Updegraff, CEO, Employee Development Systems, Inc.

Do you have a question for Suzanne? She is the CEO of Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) and has been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years, and she is ready to tackle any question you have.

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