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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Emotions and Purpose

In my previous post, "Its Employee Review Time," I wrote about the need to honest and thorough feedback to employees, helping them to further their success.

Like many other occasions in business, employee review time can be very emotional. What is my manager going to say? What am I going to say in response? Am I going to get a raise? Questions such as these shouldn't be asked, IF the manager has been providing feedback throughout the year.

In the July 28 issue of Business Week, Jack and Suzy Welch address how to handle emotions in the workplace. They mention that getting a handle on negative emotions and dysfunctional behavior is critical.

From the article, "All it takes is an active commitment to remove uncertainty from your company and to instill a purpose-oriented approach to inspiration."

Most managers would agree that removing all uncertainty is impossible. Rather, managers can remove certain elements of uncertainty. For example, regular feedback removes the uncertainty of where an employee stands in their managers' mind. Additionally, statements about the business, like Jack Stack's Open-Book Management, give employees all of the relevant facts about the business. In good times, but especially bad, their is relief in knowing.

Managers should also provide purpose. When employees have a clear purpose, whether via a mission or vision statement, they are able create their schedules and fix their minds on a defined goal. The goal helps to reduce uncertainty and provides a rally point.

Does this sound an awful lot like common sense? You bet. Dealing with emotions and uncertainty are things managers do everyday, most of the time using common sense. Open and honest communication is the key to good management, an empowered workforce, and a successful company.

2 comments:

Karl Staib - Your Work Happiness Matters said...

It should be common sense, but so many managers are terrible at being open and honest. More of them need to practice this concept. If they did, you're right, their employees would be more successful. Which makes them more successful.

nick.mccormick@begoodventures.com said...

So true. Open and honest communication is fundamental to building trust,

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