A Laissez-Faire Management Style
there’s anything that will prevent a company from optimizing its
bottom line, it is a laissez-faire management style.
In other words: a propensity among company managers to avoid
too much interference in employee behavior.
employees need leadership, and in addition, employees generally
achieve a higher level of performance if they understand what is
expected of them and their managers inspect what they expect.
a great question to ask an employee: “What sort of annual raise in
pay do you generally expect to receive?”
In recent years, the most common answer is 3% to 4%.
for the second eye-opening question: “What do you believe you would
have to do to earn double or triple that amount?”
All too often an employee’s answer is: “I don’t have a
employees don’t know what is expected of them or when there are no
incentives in place to reward outstanding performance, management is
failing to take advantage of one of the most basic of management
to hold employees accountable for measurable results and reward
bonus schedule is an excellent way to keep workers’ eyes on the
measurable results that they have accepted as a performance goal.
In the following example, assume that this particular
employee’s bonus is tied to his or her ability to achieve a 10% net
9.0% to 9.9%
8.0% to 8.8%
beauty of the bonus schedule is its flexibility.
Both the performance goal and the bonus itself can be modified
in any way the manager chooses. The
goal can be broken down into smaller or larger increments, as can be
the bonus itself. A
manager might decide to schedule the profit margin in, say, increments
of .5% instead of one full percent.
Or the bonus could be broken down into smaller amounts of, say,
$1,000 increments instead of $2,000.
type of bonus schedule sends a pretty clear message: achieve below
8.0% and your bonus is zero. But
by the same token, the sky is the limit.
The higher percentage of profit you are able to put on the
bottom line, the higher the bonus you will receive.
remember, rewards don’t necessarily have to be all cash.
To some employees, especially those who possess relatively low
economic values, a day off with pay can sometimes be more motivating
than an opportunity to earn a $100 bill.
are not doing employees any favors when they fail to establish
measurable standards and hold their people accountable for achieving
yourself this question: What
are the minimum conditions of employment in my company; that is, in
addition to showing up for work, what are the minimum performance
standards that each of my employees must achieve to keep their job?
This is the kind of guidance and direction that will fine-tune
your organization and make it run like a well-oiled machine.
best manager I ever worked for received a higher level of performance
out of me than I would have ever achieved without his demanding
management style. He
motivated me to a higher level of accomplishment than I would have
ever achieved on my own. At
that particular stage of my career, I needed this kind of direction.
While I resented his demands then, I tremendously value them
using the same management style on each employee.
Some employees need a heavy hand and others need a more gentle
approach. It has been
written that the great Vince Lombardy never chewed out a player unless
the player could take it. Lombardy
used a less
caustic management style on his players who possessed a more passive
you a proactive manager? Do
you give your people the kick in the pants they need to achieve peak
performance? If you
aren’t measuring your employees’ performance, odds are that you
are not managing them very effectively, either.
the following action steps to optimize the productivity of the talent
on your business team:
sure that your employees understand specifically how their performance
a monthly basis, sit down with each of the people on your team and
discuss with them how they are performing against their goals and
managers must inspect what they expect.
employees are falling short of their goals, brainstorm with them what
they might do differently to achieve different results.
your employees’ quarterly or annual bonus to how well they perform
against measurable goals.
up the heat on lazy workers or those who are achieving lackluster
results. You’re doing
your people no favors when you allow them to get away with performance
levels below their capability.
no place for a laissez-faire management style in a high performance
proactively involved with your people and their goals and watch both
your people and your company as a whole achieve full potential.
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