Friday, 26 February 2010

Why Good Systems Not Pop Psychology Hold The Key To Superior Employee Performance

So many gurus and management experts tell us that "psychologist" is one of the "hats" managers have to wear. That's only partially true. In fact, if you're seeking superior employee performance, concentrate on your systems and forget about playing amateur psychologist.

If the Systems Are Poor The People Will Fail. I've learned that conclusively after 40 years in people management. It's expressed in other ways too. "Poor systems, poorer people". "Fix the systems before the people" "There are few poor people but lots of poor systems".

You may be a manager who prefers to discuss things with employees. You may prefer counselling or even issuing formal warnings. Check your local industrial laws to see what's required. These approaches can be useful. But I repeat what I've learned. When performance falters, look at your systems before your people.

If your people are performing poorly, you have a systems problem somewhere. If you fail to fix your systems, training and counselling your employees won't solve your people problems. That's beyond doubt.

What's A System. A system is simple. It's "the way we do things around here". Your systems may be extraordinarily complex and sophisticated. You may have nothing in writing or formally laid down.

If that's how you do things, that's your system. If that system, brilliant or banal, doesn't support your people to help them to do their jobs competently, the system, or part of it has failed.

Systems Problems Can Be Anywhere. Just because the staff in the warehouse are underperforming, doesn't mean that your warehouse systems are faulty. The system problem could be * recruiting the wrong people * liaison between warehousing and purchasing * administrative procedures that inhibit performance * poor storage facilities * poor training * or any of a number of different issues.

In other words, it could be anywhere. But I'll guarantee there is a system problem. In this case, it could be something as simple as poor form design.

Simple Solutions. You'll often find that the solution to your systems problem is relatively simple. If could be form redesign, paper flow adjustment or work sequence change.

It's hard to believe, but I once saw someone change the spot where orders were placed on a desk and clear a major bottleneck. The solution was simplicity itself. No one had realized the exact nature of the problem. Staff themselves often know the answer. Ask them.

Conclusion. You may have some lazy, incompetent and difficult people in your workplace.

But the reason for their behaviour may lie with the systems you require them to operate with.

Replacing and retraining people is very costly. Try improving the systems before replacing or retraining the people.

Leon Noone helps managers in small-medium business to improve on-job staff performance without training courses. Some say his ideas are too unconventional. Find out for yourself by reading his free Special Report "49 Practical Tips For Better People Management In Small-Medium Business". Simply visit and download your free copy now.
Its not only employee pperformance that can benefit from great systems, we all can
My free report on time management will help you to create good sysstems