Two Part Expert Blog Series - Part two: Manager Alignment to Enhance Employee Performance

17 July 2012

By Michael LeBlanc, LCSW, Intertek

Michael is a Senior Consultant for Intertek and works from the Lafayette, Louisiana office. Specifically, Michael consults and trains companies across the oil and gas industry to better enhance performance and safety management.

Last week, I highlighted the difference between positive and negative alignment regarding occuapational performance management. This week, we take a closer look at the top three suggestions toward achieving this goal:
Below are suggestions on how to help you align.

• Make a list of positive aspects about this person.  Start now, get a piece of paper and put the name of the employee (or anyone) you are struggling with at the top of the page.  Begin thinking and writing down positive aspects of this person.  You may feel resistant to do this, but if you want different results then this is the work you must do.  You may need to think outside of work.  For example, I knew an employee I struggled with is a great dad to his kids; so I started there.  I continued to find aspects of him which led me to feel better about him.  Any time I had a meeting with this employee, I would think through positive aspects about him and practice genuinely wanting success for him.  This changed our interactions.   

• Make a list of everything you want for yourself…success, money, relationships etc…a specific list of all your own desires.  Now genuinely imagine yourself wanting all of this for your employee.   Any time you think of the other person and begin to rehearse the negative…stop and think of all the success you genuinely want and imagine them also receiving this.  One day, I went from having a great boss to a horrible boss overnight.  My new boss had a reputation for being a ‘hot head’.  I had never worked with him before so I figure it could be good.  It was a nightmare.  I went from loving my job to hating it within a week.  He would yell, fuss, threaten and all conversations were one-way.  Daily I would find myself angry, and constantly rehearsing conversations in my head of my confronting him and being the one yelling at him.  I could feel the situation taking a huge toll on me and I knew something needed to change or I was going to leave my job.  To practice ‘Alignment’, I began daily writing down all the success I wanted for me and genuinely wanting all this success for him, too.  Believe me, this was not easy and of course was opposite to how I felt.  Whenever I would think about him and feel the anger, I would practice.  Gradually, I could feel a shift within me.  The anger began to lessen and within about two weeks, we had a significant shift in our relationship.  Not from ‘outer’ action I did but through ‘inner’ action…changing my alignment to genuinely want success for him.  I have used this repeatedly with success over the years and still do.  

• Imagine you are the employee you are feeling negative about.  If you were in their situation, what would you want from your manager?  How would you want your manager to interact with you?  What would you want him/her to say?  This can help you shift your focus to thoughts more aligned with your employee. 

So in your approach to Performance Management, first positively ‘Align’ with the best of your employee and genuinely want success for him/her.  Then proceed with your interactions using your favorite performance management tools.

If you have a question or comment about today’s expert blog, please leave it below and Intertek will get back to you.