Performing Preventative Maintenance on Your People

We perform preventative maintenance on machines, so why not on people? I know it sounds strange but there are steps we can take to avoid the people problems that every organization encounters. Here are some thoughts.

  • Have regular informal checkins with employees to take the pulse of the organization.
  • Ask your direct reports if there is anything they would like to work on, but haven’t had the opportunity to.
  • Hold casual get togethers regularly with your team to talk specifically about outcomes and how better results can be achieved.
  • Walk around every day and get a sense of what everyone is working on and what kind of support they need.
  • Work on some initiatives directly with your people and give them leadership opportunities. Only then will you know how well they can perform.

Too many organizations only react to people issues, and by then it’s too late. As a manager, you need to understand who is on your team, what their strengths are, and whether or not they have the skills and tools to achieve results.

Performing preventative maintenance on your people can save you from ugly firings, bad hiring, and poor decisions.

Finding your departmental sweet spot

Every department and every organization has a sweet spot. It is the point at which structure, process and talent intersect. Where you have the right people, in the right roles, supported by the right process.

The talent in your organization is being used effectively to maximize results. They understand what is expected of them, what they are accountable for and are empowered to do what is needed to meet and exceed expectations.

The structure in place facilitates collaboration and applied wisdom, providing the appropriate measures of success and discouraging siloed thinking.

The processes support the fastest and most effective way to achieve results.

Finding the sweet spot can be difficult, but just like a baseball player on a hitting streak or a basketball player in the “zone,” once you find the sweet spot, achieving tremendous results becomes much easier.