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Do you manage your Workforce – Or do they Manage you?

Ever had that feeling as a Manager or Business Owner where you thought that you were the Alpha in the pack but it turns out that you’re in the middle of the pack – if not at the back? When it comes time to hook up the lead sled dog, you may very well hold the harness...but someone else is barking out the orders. It’s an uncomfortable place to be in, particularly if it’s your money, brand and name on the line. Nine times out of ten there is a common reason for this disconnect, and sadly to say, it’s more often than not, you. I know…it’s that old saying, “We have identified the enemy…and they is us!”

It’s not that you’re a bad person…or often even a bad Manager. Particularly in the SME space where you have a smaller number of staff, which of course amplifies the affect that any dominant or destructive Worker can have on your business. Many successful animal trainers – or Whisperers as they like to call themselves, have developed tremendous communication skills with the pets they work with. (I’m not for a minute equating this to your Workforce! So let’s not go there.) It’s sobering when so many pet owners work with these trainers and work through the behavioural issues that many of these animals display, and realise that it isn’t the animals fault.

The errant pet owner eventually looks on in awe at the amazing transformation of their heretofore spoiled pet, who under the guidance of the ‘expert’ suddenly stops ripping the handles off doors, and destroying anything in the house that has an intrinsic value. Then comes the secondary realisation that the ‘new’ behavioural pattern was always there…it was me that had caused this bad behaviour and now that the pet has clear guidelines and instruction from someone who understands their behaviour, they have fallen into line and become model citizens in their previously chaotic home.

You can probably guess where I am going with this in terms of managing your team. The Animal Whisperer succeeds because they remove any confusion from the animals’ life. The Whisperer gives clear concise instruction and introduces a penalty if that instruction isn’t followed. The net result – there is a consequence in engaging in behaviour that isn’t acceptable. If the animal follows the instruction of the Whisperer then there is no correction, so the animal thinks “I must be doing something right, there is no tug at my lead “. Setting clear guidelines and processes results in less stress for both parties. One party leads and gives clear direction over what is expected, the other follows and there are corrections in place in the event that they do no. The end result – we get where we are going to.

So enough on the analogies…we’re here to talk about who is leading and who is following and what you as a Manager or Business Owner need to do if you’re the follower…

Getting control back so that you’re at the front of the pack requires the following:

  • Process – Everybody on board needs to know and follow the process. It should be written and have tool/s in place to measure the tasks that are being undertaken

  • Structure – Clearly defined reporting routes. Who reports to who and policies in place so that ALL team members are clear about those reporting lines

  • Corrective Measures – This is the “what happens if someone doesn’t do something rule’. These need to be written, reasonable, and cast in stone.

  • Determination – Stick to your guns and the plan once it has been made. It will be difficult and troublemakers will try to bend the rules to wrest control away. Like the Whisperer you must win.

If you don’t already have this in place then define your Workforce management policy. Make sure it encompasses effective scheduling, real-time adjustments, staffing, and forecasting that is essential to a thriving company. Workforce management is a system that ensures that you don’t miss any crucial details of your business needs. Staying on top of these tasks will increase profits and productivity. In addition, it may grant your company the opportunity for expansion if done right.

Using WFM software may help improve brand equity, which is the commercial value of a company. Don’t confuse this term for the cost of a business’s products and services. Instead, brand equity may aid target markets to see the importance of using your business’ services

WFM solutions like SeeMySite help achieve this goal by minimizing the risks of employee dissatisfaction. That’s right – Workers actually want to use simple clear electronic systems to record their activity as there is no ambiguity at pay day.

Workforce Management Software – Helps meet compliance requirements

Non-compliance risks may increase with cluttered management. Reduce these hazards by using reliable WFM software like This system helps keep attendance and time tracking organized in one place. Many employee non-compliance cases come from poor attendance and work ethics. For example, a staff member may take an extended meal break without you knowing about it. Conversely, a company worker might not report their absences to their supervisors.

Use a WFM system to help minimize these incidents from happening. Require staff members to clock in and out of their work, even if they’re only going to head out for a break. By incorporating this system, you’ll always know the current status of your employee’s tasks.

Make the Big Calls

To introduce change sometimes you have to make the big calls. If your Workforce is managing you then you really only have two options. The first – let it carry on, but at some stage you’ll find that a lack of direction will result in financial or operational collapse, as all rudderless ships eventually drift onto a reef and founder. Secondly…make the big call. Introduce process – include some digital attendance management software and use devices like Worker Mobiles to monitor work. Measure the information that you receive back form these tools, and make the hard calls when that information comes to hand.

It’s time to get back in front of the pack and become the lead dog again….

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