Recognition is the key to productivity

Managers
must change their focus to employees’ successes rather than their failings if
they want to increase productivity.

This
is the view of global leadership experts gathered in New York speaking to
delegates at the UK Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) conference via
a satellite link.

The
speakers agreed that a fundamental change in management culture needed to take
place if companies were to move from management techniques of the industrial
age, to approaches relevant to the new IT age.

Marcus
Buckingham, global practice leader for the Gallup Organisation’s strengths
management practice, said that historically the UK had always celebrated
losses, such as the Charge of the Light Brigade, and were happiest when their
backs were against the wall.

"We
must learn to work on people’s strengths, not weaknesses," Buckingham
said. "If you study the bad and then fix it, you get ‘not bad’, rather
than ‘good’."

Business
guru Ken Blanchard said that bad managers could be compared to seagulls.

"A
bad manager will fly in, dump on people and then fly out," he said.
"Leaders need to equip and prepare people and take them from dependence to
independence."

He
said people usually knew when they made mistakes, but many only knew they had
succeeded because nobody was shouting at them.

Rene
Carayol, business transformation expert, and event compere, warned that while
UK managers needed to take more time to celebrate success, bad practices should
not be ignored.

"Many
companies are too slow to clear out under-performers," he said. "I
support a fail-fast system. In 99 out of 100 cases you will know within three
months of hiring whether or not someone can do the job."

By
Michael Millar

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