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How To Control For Effective Management – Part 3

How To Correct Performance For Effective Management

Correcting Performance is the work a manager performs to rectify and improve the work being done and the results secured. It is taking control action to correct an unfavorable trend or to take advantage of an unusually favorable trend.

There are two types of control action and performance correction. They are the following:

1. Technical Action - the correction of exceptions in technical work, usually short-term, often an emergency measure.

2. Management Action - the development of new or improved plans, organization, or controls, usually long-term in nature.

There are some guidelines in correcting performance. They are the following:

1. Decide on action that will contribute toward achievement of objectives.

2. Decide how you will get support for your action.

3. Take action.

4. Follow up to see that action is taken as planned and to evaluate results.

Many times, to correct performance, a manager must discipline his people. Here are some guidelines in disciplining people:

1. Cool off until calm and collected. Don't forget the misdemeanor or wait too long.

2. Be sure action is deserved. Get the facts. Obtain opinions and feelings. Be sure the individual knows the rules. Weigh and decide. Consider effect on individual, groups, and production.

3. Take constructive action. Talk to the individual in private. Allow him to tell fully his side of the story. Review the case - his side and your side. Encourage him to do better. Win him over on justness of your action. Leave him anxious to improve.

4. Talk straight but in a friendly manner - smile. Don't mince words. Make sure the individual understands.

5. Follow up. Did action have desired effect - on the individual? on other personnel? on production? Is there anything further to be done to overcome resentment, etc.? Compliment on improvement shown.

Sometimes a manager has to reprimand a worker to correct performance. Here are some guidelines in reprimanding workers:

1. Remember a reprimand is a form of disciplinary action which is designed both to correct the fault and to show how to improve.

2. Do the reprimanding when calm, in private.

3. Do the reprimand only after getting complete knowledge of facts.

4. Do the reprimand with firm language. Avoid cussing, idle threats, and apologies.

5. Include encouragement to do better.

6. Leave worker anxious to improve.

7. Never bawl out a worker. It never accomplishes any action that is really constructive.

How To Reward Good Performance For Effective Management

Filipino workers gain much satisfaction from doing a good job and one of the best ways of motivating them is to reward their good performance. This positive element of controlling should always be emphasized.

The essential elements in managing human performance. They are the following:

1. The boss takes a personal interest in each person's achievement.

2. He faithfully posts the feedback on performance.

3. He takes pride in the record of the group.

4. The group takes pride in its own achievement and has the satisfaction of outsiders showing interest in what it does.

5. The group does not feel it is being pressured to change.

6. The group manifests a sense of confidence and candor.

7. Before changes are made, the group is consulted.

8. He helps the group work together to set some of its own conditions of work.

The following are some guidelines for the manager in rewarding good performance:

1. Show sincere appreciation. a.) For efforts and accomplishments. b.) For assistance, consideration, and opinions of others. c.) For the other person's point of view. d.) For knowledge and experience.

2. Approach people in terms of their interests - what they want.

3. Never be too busy to lend a hand or grant a favor.

4. Get the other person to do you a favor.

5. Explain your objectives.

6. Invite suggestions; consider them carefully and give credit.

7. Be courteous and just in all your dealings.

8. Always maintain a friendly attitude.

9. Build up the other fellow's self-importance.

How To Introduce Change For Effective Management

The statement “We live in the midst of constant change” has become a well-known but relevant cliche.

In implementing change, the manager must use a planned approach and careful monitoring of progress. He must have confidence in the creativity of people and unlock their creative potential.

The manager asks

1. What can I do when I see needed changes and others do not recognize the problem?

2. Why is “change” such a frightening word to some people?

3. What can I do about resistance to change?

4. Why won't people help with needed change rather than fight it every inch of the way?

5. How can I work with other people to help bring about changes with less frustration and fighting?

Organization and Leadership

The process of change in large organizations has been studied extensively. Some of the studies focus on the problems of introducing organizational changes designed to increase effectiveness and efficiency of operation. How can management best initiate changes? Are there ways in which changes can be introduced to minimize adverse side effects, such as hostility, resentment, loss of productivity, etc.?

Some Useful Guidelines

Before a manager initiates change effort, he should examine his assumptions about people, the nature of the organization, the value of the goal he is seeking, and the importance of the change itself.

Change takes place in the day-to-day relationships of people. Whenever we talk about planned change, we are talking about people. To introduce changes as if people were not involved is to threaten the change effort with defeat.

The attitude of a manager toward other persons is probably more critical than the nature of the change itself. People fear change because it undermines their security. In introducing change of any kind, and of whatever magnitude, the manager needs to introduce support and help for the people affected.

The impact of change is lessened when the persons who will be affected can participate in the decision-making process and in planning for the change. The greater the participation, the more opportunity to identify personal resistance. The greater the participation, the more assurance people have of being able to influence the direction and the impact of the change.

Types of Change

Change in Structure. If the formal and established arrangement of persons and positions is found to be inadequate, a new structure can be advised. The old “organizational chart” is thrown away, and a new one is hung on the wall. This may result in a shuffling of old positions and present personnel as well as the creation of new jobs and work groups. Such a reorganization of a company is intended to change the relationship of persons so that work is done more effectively and efficiently.

Change in Technology. Technical changes are introduced as processes designed to improve the efficiency and productivity of an organization. For example, the purchase of electric typewriters to replace standard equipment in an office is a technical change. The introduction of electronic processes as a replacement of manual methods in accounting is a change in office technology.

Change in Behavior. Changes in organizational structure and technology involve people. Furthermore, such changes usually require that the persons involved must develop new ways of behaving and establish new relationship with other people. Any manager can probably think of persons whose behavior he wishes were different. Bringing about such behavior change is often a most important task of management. The foreman attempting to cut down absenteeism among production workers is seeking a change in the behavior of people.

Change in Assumption and Values. If people are to develop new ways of behaving and responding to persons, they must sometimes change the assumptions and values which guide their behavior. Assumptions are what we “feel we know” in advance about people and situations. Assumptions should be relevant and rational. Often, however, assumptions based on past experiences are used without giving them any rational analysis. We are then committed to behavior which can be impulsive and irrational.

Values, in turn, are our estimates of what is important both to ourselves and to others - and these judgments have a crucial influence on decisions and relationships. The foreman, who believes in “If you give them an inch they'll take a mile,” is making an assumption about the motivations of others which will influence his attitude and relationships with subordinates. The manager who feels that the task confronting the group is the most important issue has made a value judgment which may make him impatient with the member who has some personal concerns that interfere with getting the job done. In helping with change in any situation, a manager must be sensitive to the assumptions and values which are guiding the behavior of persons involved. In his own leadership, the manager needs real insight into the assumptions and values guiding his behavior and why he has made his judgments about the importance of the change he is seeking.

Some Ineffective Responses to Resistance.

Defense. The manager views opposition as a personal threat or attack even when the resisters may have legitimate questions which need answering. The result may be long speeches of self-justification or the “I'm deeply hurt that you should feel this way” attitude.

Advice-Giving. This is attempting to tell other people affected by the change what “I would do if … ” rather than aiding in the expression of feelings and in the development of a rational analysis of the problems which persons are experiencing in the change effort. A manager is subtly transferring to the other person his own personal feeling.

Premature Persuasion. Usually expressed as “I'm sure that when you have all of the facts you'll see it my way,” this attempt is to argue persons out of their resistance, meeting their feelings with ideas (or information) from the manager. The result can be the repression of feelings and the avoidance by the manager of problems which others are genuinely facing.

Censoring. This is a response in which opposition is set by the expression of attitudes of disapproval on the part of a manager. People are left feeling that their values are all wrong even if the problems are real. This is illustrated by the comment “Even though he seems to agree with what I said, I felt he disapproved of me and my motives.”

Controlling. This occurs when a manager seeks to gain enough power (influence) of authority to force the change by controlling the opposition. The manager's attitude is, “Here are the plans that have been made, and this is what we're going to do.” This usually receives “You can't fight City Hall” responses or “That's what you think” responses (evidenced by active or passive resistance).

Punishing. When persons who are resisting the change are rejected by the manager and subjected to attacks on their motives, they are being punished. This approach tries to bring the opposition “into line” by withholding rewards of various kinds, sometimes even going to the extreme of forcing the “opposition” to get out of opposition. Punishment aims to eliminate opposition.

The Values of Resistance

The basic difficulty with these methods is the assumption that all resistance is negative. Actually managers know that resistance can perform some useful functions given time and effort. This has been long recognized in politics when we speak of “the loyal opposition.” For example:

1. Opposition can disclose, within an organization or group, inadequate communication processes and an insufficient flow of information - both of which are essential to any change being attempted.

2. Resistance can force a manager to clarify more sharply the purpose of the change and the results to be achieved.

3. The fear of disorganization which many persons experience in the midst of change may force a leader to a more careful examination of possible consequences, both immediate and long-range. This may lead to a revision in plans which increases the effectiveness of the change effort. Any change can have unexpected consequences which, if not detected early, can be quite disastrous. Resistance often provides clues for the prevention of this possibility.

What can a manager do?

If opposition is to serve these creative functions, the manager must be capable of doing at least two things: First. he must be able to function in his relationships to create a climate where doubts and feelings can be openly expressed and mutually analyzed. This requires a non-judgmental approach, without resorting to censoring, controlling, or punishing the opposition. The reasons for resistance offered by others may be invalid, but their feelings are real. Unless these can be expressed and analyzed for their validity in an atmosphere of mutual helpfulness, a manager will be handicapped by resistance. Second, the management must be diagnostic throughout the change effort. This calls for sensitivity - a constant analyzing of the situation to determine “the why” of the forces that are actually at work. Some of these forces will help in accomplishing the change.

A Way of Analyzing Change

A useful tool for assisting the manager in this continuous diagnosis was first proposed by Kurt Lewin. Lewin viewed any situation in which change is to be attempted as a dynamic balance of forces working in opposite directions. One set of forces moves the situation in the direction of the anticipated change. These forces Lewin calls driving forces. The opposite set of forces tending to restrain or repress the situation from moving in the direction of the anticipated change is called restraining forces.

Three Methods for Change

1. First, the strength of the driving forces might be increased. The risk involved in bringing about change through increasing the driving forces is that when the vigilance and pressures are removed, the old situation may gradually return and the change undone.

2. The change might be accomplished by decreasing the strength and number of the restraining forces. Within organizational and group situations in which change is necessary, this reduction of restraining forces can frequently be accomplished through increased participation in problem-solving processes by those who are affected by the change effort.

3. Combine the first two methods. We can usually examine any case and find ways in which driving forces can be increased and restraining forces reduced so that the change can be effected. “The Force Field Analysis” of a manager has a way of visualizing and constantly analyzing the driving restraining forces at work. This can be diagrammed so that through the analysis of the forces the manager can direct and make predictions about the possible consequences of changing any of the driving or restraining forces involved in the situation.

A group of forces may be called a “force field.” The length of the arrows in the force field describes the relative strength of the forces; the longer the arrow the stronger the force. For descriptive purposes, the forces are shown equal in strengths, but a force field can be made up of forces of varying strengths. Indeed, the strength of any single force may itself vary as we get closer to either end of the continuum of openness. An organization stabilizes its behavior where the forces pushing for change are equal to the forces resisting change.

Overcoming Resistance to Change

Step 1. Give background information and describe why a change is necessary.

The supervisor should provide the employee with “the big picture” and then describe the change which will take place. At the same time, the supervisor should indicate the reasons for the change. These should be valid reasons (meaningful to the employee) rather than “management has decided … “

Step 2. Explain how the change will affect the employee.

The supervisor should give a precise explanation of the things that the employee will be doing differently because of this change. The supervisor should outline the favorable and the unfavorable effects of this change (upon the employee).

Step 3. Ask the employee for questions about the change.

The supervisor should encourage questions about the change. If the supervisor has, over a period of time, developed good rapport with employees, they will openly ask questions about the change.

Step 4. Listen and respond openly to employees' questions or comments.

The supervisor should be prepared for different reactions from employees. Some reactions will be very favorable and some comments will be very supportive. The supervisor should acknowledge these favorable and supportive comments.

Some employees will be very defensive and will make very negative comments. The supervisor should respond by showing that he/she understands the employees' feelings. In addition, the supervisor should make sure that he/she understands the real nature of the questions or comments. The supervisor should respond openly and should be frank in the discussion with the employees.

Step 5. Ask the employee for his/her help in making the change work.

The supervisor should specifically ask the employee to help make the change. If the change is not aversive and if the supervisor has, over a period of time, developed a favorable work climate, the employee will most likely indicate that he/she will help to make the change work.

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