Earlier it was easy to spot an exceptional employee. The characteristics were quite easy to identify — hard working, punctual and abiding by the rules. However, now the scenario is entirely different, with changed work culture and heightened competition. These days employees are expected to be flexible with their approaches, multitask, and satisfy a diverse group of people. Loyal and dutiful no more remains the criteria for being an exceptional employee. Such employees might be liked by a handful of managers, but in this highly competitive world, an employee needs to have much more to become truly exceptional. An international study which surveyed around 500 business leaders to know what makes an employee exceptional revealed surprising conclusions. 78% of leaders said that personality is the main factor which makes an employee exceptional, 53% opined that cultural fit is important whereas only 39% of them voted for skills.
However, personality is a set of traits through which we approach the world and this differs for different people. Delving deeper into the study the researchers found that while saying personality, the leaders are actually referring to emotional intelligence (EQ). Exceptional employees do not have exceptional traits right from the beginning. They adapt to the work culture and develop their EQ in a way that makes them exceptional.
Let’s have a look at the important qualities which differentiate exceptional employees from others:
One of the major challenges that managers face is holding people accountable. Even after hiring great and highly skilled employees, there are times when managers feel that the employees could do more or better work. And, in a bid to avoid conflicts and unpleasant reactions, they often tend to avoid the task of holding employees accountable. Being a manager you need to ensure that all the employees are putting their best efforts and are doing the tasks they have been assigned, with high efficiency. However, in addition to assigning tasks and guiding them how to achieve the goals, it’s also important to set expectations for the employees and hold them accountable for results. This, sometimes, is a difficult thing to do, especially when you are dealing with difficult people, but you also need to keep in mind that it is crucial to get things done.
Accountability is not about taking the blame in case things go wrong. It’s about fulfilling the commitment of delivering results and not just doing tasks. And, as a manager you need to foster accountability in the people working for you. Let’s take a look at how you can hold people accountable as a manager.
Management is essentially an art of dealing with people and things in a way that they bring you desired outcomes. Simple it may sound but management is a concept which includes a number of skills and responsibilities and often seems too complex to be grasped and applied. Every manager has a unique style of management and you cannot really define a particular style as the right one. Management is a lot more than driving your employees to hard-work and efficiency. It’s also about keeping them motivated, providing them opportunities to grow professionally and aligning their work with the vision of the organization. As a manager, how you manage your team depends on your perspective and, of course, on the project and the employees but there are a few rules that you should keep in mind to ensure effective management.
If, in spite of having all the right strategies and policies in place, your company is suffering losses and, even worse, the skilled employees are leaving your organization, you need to shift your focus towards the managers of your organization. The success of an organization is highly dependent on its managers but, unfortunately, not all managers are manager material. Employee management is an art and not every professional promoted to the position of manager can master this art. Ineffective managers can severely damage your organization’s productivity and performance, and create unnecessary stress in ways that never directly point towards the manager. A recent survey suggested that 70% of employees leave the organization voluntarily due to a bad manager.
In this era there is no dearth of distractions at work. You can blame it on social media addiction which bombards the employees with constant Facebook notifications, text messages, Snapchat notifications and emails, or on loud, noisy and talkative employees vying for attention; but the truth remains the same-the productivity of your organization suffers big time. A study revealed that, on an average, a typical worker in the office is interrupted every 11 minutes and it takes around 25 minutes to regain focus on work. To some extent, distractions are unavoidable and can be tolerated but constant interruptions can severely mess up your team’s ability to reach goals. On top of that, distracted employees never have enough time to recharge themselves and perform tasks with their full potential. As an employer, if you see distractions gradually taking a strong hold of your team, leaving it utterly unproductive or inefficient, take immediate measures to eliminate them before they cripple your team completely. Here are a few strategies that you can take up.
Hiring a manager for your company isn’t enough. You need a great manager that can bring out the best in your employees, and motivate and empower them to achieve the company as well as professional goals. However, hiring a great manager isn’t always an easy task. On the other hand, an inefficient manager could lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications among employees which could be disastrous for your organization. No matter what industry you belong to and regardless of the size of your company, a great manager is an absolute necessity. There are a few traits that distinguish a great manager from others and while appointing a manager, you need to carefully analyze if your prospective candidate possesses those traits or not.
Workplaces are becoming increasingly diverse these days, where people belonging to different generations, cultures, and ethnicities are together trying to achieve common goals. A Inclusive workplace is beneficial for innovation and inclusion initiatives play a very important role in helping the organizations reap the benefits of workplace diversity. With Millennials and Gen Z increasingly taking up leadership roles, other generations of workers often run the risk of left behind. Also, difference of opinions among people hailing from different cultures needs to be addressed carefully. Inclusion is all about knowing and understanding the perspectives of different employees and creating meaningful solutions directed towards company objectives. Inclusive leaders make all of their employees feel that their perspectives are being valued, so that the organization can be benefitted from their insights. In the absence of inclusion initiatives, employees would eventually leave the organization or would start contributing less.
Many a time candidates that appear to be perfect during interview turn out to be a misfit or incapable of performing up to the expected standards. To avoid such hiring mistakes, a new technique has evolved, known as behavioral interviewing. With time, behavioral interview is gaining much popularity as it helps the Human Resources identify the actual characteristics of the candidates and decide if their skill set matches the requirements. In effective behavioral interviews, candidates are often unaware about which exact behavioral trait the interviewer is verifying.
Every business undergoes a number of changes over time. Be it change in technology, office policies, team leadership, production procedures or anything else, change is inevitable. However, as much it is important to embrace changes to remain competitive, the process is often hard on the employees. Helping employees adapt to changes is one of the most crucial task that the management must accomplish with utmost care or it may bring downfall of the business. Employees are mostly too accustomed working a particular way or with a particular technology and even a minor change can fill them anxiety. That’s why many employees are resistant to changes and many are unable to handle them well. As a leader, you need to find out the right ways to help your employees adapt to change. Because, only a fully functional team that understands the policies and procedures well is capable of bringing positive results and growth to the business. Here are a few techniques to help your employees adapt to changes:
Flexible work arrangements are getting popular day by day. Employers have realized that providing flexibility in work arrangement helps in attracting better quality resources, reducing absenteeism, increasing engagement and reducing turnover. Organizations, these days are opting for different types of flexible work arrangements like variable schedules, part time work, and telecommuting. However, along with the plethora of benefits, flexible work arrangements also come with a few issues. There still lies a stigma around flexibility and many believe that people working with flexible work arrangements are neither productive nor helpful. This implies that when organizational leaders implement flexible working arrangements, there often is a gap between what has been instructed and how the everyday work is being carried out. On the other hand, many employees also feel that they have access to fewer growth opportunities when they take up flexible work arrangements. Flexible work arrangements need to be handled strategically so that the organizations can reap the benefits.