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Employee Partnership Through Delegation (661 Words)

Delegation equals effective employee partnership which delivers accelerated employee productivity

Effective Employee Partnership

A true leader displays personal power rather than position power.

Leading the charge is an important element in employee partnership.  When I was a child, my mother would say, “Do as I say and not as I do.” Which choice do you think I made? Sure, I’d do as my mother “did” and frequently got in trouble for my actions. If this scenario sounds familiar, you better change your approach.

“Be sure you’re prepared to live the values you profess—your people will ‘hear’ what they ‘see,’ not what you say.” Dan McNamara, Senior Vice President, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America told me this when I interviewed him. He really learned about perceptions in employee partnership.

High-Performance Employee Partnership

If you want to develop high performance employee partnership, you must do so by example. One way to lead by example is to exhibit self-confidence. You can show that you are a confident leader. A leader has personal power. A boss gets his or her power from the title on a business card. Show your confidence by delegating tasks and responsibilities to your team members.  Delegate in a way that builds alliance relationships so team members become interdependent with one another rather than dependent or independent. This will give you an integrated organization.

Listed below are some tips for high-performance employee partnership through delegation:

  1. Adjust your attitude and be willing to hand over control, if you can.
  2. Identify which tasks can be delegated and then define the delegation for your employee.
  3. Create a training program because delegating without educating is a formula for disaster.
  4. Show trust in your team and encourage trust between members. Your employees will enjoy no greater honor than your trust.
  5. Spell-out the limits, explain results wanted and define authority. Create a safety net so individuals can take risks. If they make a mistake, still acknowledge the risk they took. This will go a long way in building a robust relationship.
  6. Ask for, and agree on a project/delegation deadline. Wow, what a concept, let them tell you when they can get it done. First give the time parameters and then get out of their way.
  7. Set intermediate goals and check to be sure the goals are being achieved. Regular follow-up is crucial to success. Be careful though, a new employee needs much more follow up than one who has been around for years.
  8. Delegate with a purpose, no busy work. Explain the reason for the delegation and how the activity affects the workplace in total. Your employee will then have buy-in or better yet, an ownership in the project.
  9. Delegate the what, not the how and get out of the way. Do not micro-manage. Micro-management is the kiss of death in building partnering relationships with employees.
  10. Be honest with your team members and assign tasks fairly based on ability and past performance. Be careful of the teacher’s petsyndrome. Discrimination for whatever reason is destructive to workplace harmony.
  11. Avoid perfectionism, especially if you are one of those analytical types. Give people a reasonable margin got error and accept that different can also be effective.
  12. Debrief after the project delegated is complete. Ask for feedback from the person you delegated the task to. Did you give them the authority and tools necessary to successfully complete the delegated task within the deadline? Also give helpful feedback to your employee on how they could improve the next they receive a delegated task.
  13. Do not take on the projects of others until you are sure you want the responsibility. If you take on something from your team members, which they should be doing, you can easily become the supervised rather than the supervisor.

Do most, if not all, of the things listed above and you will be successful in building synergistic employee partnership and developing empowered employees.  Empowered employees take risks, are innovative and make the kind of decision that you would make. What more could you ask for as a leader?  Good luck and much success.

Culture Shift–Partnering at Mitsubishi (808 Words)

Culture Shift--Partnering at Mitsubishi

Culture Shift

Culture Shift to effectiveness. You, the retail business owner or company executive, determine the culture of your company. At Mitsubishi Motor Sales, the executive team really understands that it’s up to them to lead the charge that being the optimal partner is critical to partnering success. They know that without the executive suite beating the partnering drum, very little happens. It wasn’t always that way. Most of the executive team came from the American automotive industry and they thought they were going to build a different kind of company. Dan McNamara, senior vice president of corporate administration at Mitsubishi Motor Sales related their story to me. Seven or eight years into it, as the organization was maturing, the executives looked around and realized they hadn’t developed a partnering situation. They had built the antithesis of what they had planned–company politics and back stabbing–they had a sickness within.

Culture Shift to Fix Problems

Lucky enough, they realized they had a problem. The company was young and the culture flexible–they believed change was possible. After several flawed attempts to change, using popular management quick fixes and learning buzzwords, Richard (Dick) Recchia, executive vice president, general operations and COO, went off for an afternoon to develop a new mission statement. The statement was published, distributed, and not followed. They then realized that gimmicks were not going to work.

Later, they started to talk about values and realizing, with the assistance of outside consultants, that people’s behavior is grounded in their underlying values. This led them to a model for ranking values, both individual, and collectively. They found that the key was to identify those values and align those values with the kind of company they wanted to be. As the management team started understanding their own individual values, they were surprised at how similar their values were collectively. The executives realized that they each were not alone in putting high value on family and personal life.

Culture Shift to a Visioning Process

From this foundation, they stared a visioning process–Recchia went off to a hotel room, with a consultant, to articulate his vision for the company on paper. Next, the executive team went on a two and one-half day retreat, focusing on only three issues:

  • Breaking down the barriers that existed.
  • Recchia sharing his vision.
  • Recchia inviting the team to expand his vision, encompassing their additional values.

The result of the retreat was an expanded vision for the company–not one that Recchia had to “sell” to his executive team, but one expanded by the team, in which they had ownership. The next step was to share this vision with the next level of management, about 30 people. Again, getting this level of management’s personal ownership in the vision through their additional input. Then appointed these 30 plus managers to carry the vision throughout the company.

McNamara recalled, “We made a mistake!” As the managers were carrying the message throughout the ranks, the executive team, rather than pushing ahead and further working in the new vision, moved on to other challenges and assumed their managers could make the cultural change alone. The change they wanted wasn’t possible because the employees did not experience the executives changing their behavior and pushing for the new culture. McNamara told me they lost about a year.

Culture Shift with a Re-Start

Learning from their misfortunes, the executive team started again with the process, taking charge and showing the employees by example that they meant, and would live by what they professed.  Following this enlightened genesis, the executives set out to change departmental policies that were not in alignment with the vision. As an example, human resources had been reviewing employees, giving them a numerical grade, like in school. Eventually, the review process was changed to a “Values Initiate Performance” (VIP), where numbers were replaced by a value-based system that was “individual driven,” focusing on their growth and not holding them accountable for a corporate “guesstimate.” The value Mitsubishi has received as a result of their change:

  • Communications improvement. Reduced politics, backstabbing, and hidden agendas, along with, an increased willingness by employees to partner interdepartmentally, keeping others informed.
  • Greater productivity through increased creativity and risk taking.

The Mitsubishi executive team believed that they could build a better company, one in which partnering was part of their culture. Once they were clear on their vision and allowed it to be expanded by others, things happened. They didn’t sell the vision but allowed others to have ownership by expanding and adding to the primary vision.

After many false starts, the executives became optimal partners by not charging others with executing the company’s vision, but by leading the charge and living what they professed. The lessons Mitsubishi learned are universal truths that any retail business owner, executive, or executive team must embrace to successfully partner with their employees. If Mitsubishi can do it, so can you!