Good management doesn’t have to take long. It’s fairly simple if the managers don’t want to control everything and if they give their people the benefit of the doubt. In other words, trust can really lead a company to sky high levels.

Trust is the #1 rule for good employee management. It can be shown inside a company through 3 simple practices.

1. Crystal Clear Objectives

The manager starts by fixing realistic and simple objectives for each one of his or her employees. Each objective should hold on a little piece of paper and be readable in less than a minute. The manager and the employee should keep a copy of that piece of paper close by and read it often. The lack of clarity and communication between them can be a major cause of unhappiness, un-fulfillment and disappointment in the company. When it’s easy to read and figure out the objective, success is much more achievable. If failure happens, it’s much easier to digest it because it’s not as surprising. Both parties knew what was expected and it won’t come as a surprise that it wasn’t achieved.

2. Crystal Clear Reviews (?)

Next, the manager lets the employees know wether they ruled their objectives or not. No turning around the pot (ahah! French expression. It means going in circle, avoiding the core of the subject). Both the manager and the employee will benefit from the honesty and clarity that comes from a true, to the point comment. This doesn’t have to take long. A minute or so, a handshake or a tap on the shoulder with a heartfelt congratulation for a specific task that’s been achieved well. Or, for a loss, it needs to be a clear review of why it was wrong, why it shouldn’t happen again and should end with a compliment like “you can do more”, “I believe in you” or “I know it won’t happen again”. That way, the trust goes both ways. The manager feels comfortable enough to be honest and say what he or she has to say. The employee knows the manager doesn’t do bullshit and can rely on the fact that it’s never just black or just white. Everybody does great things and not so great things, managers have to find a balance between good and bad critics. You mostly hear of managers being negative all the time and never acknowledging the wins or barely, during a quarterly or even yearly evaluation.

This needs to shift radically. Most talk with employers should be about positive things to keep the energy, motivation and loyalty high. Hell! It’s like in a personal relationship. Sometimes you gotta let a few things that bug you slide and focus on the positive if you want it to work. The same principle applies in a work relationship.

  1. Give the benefit of the doubt

In order to rock #2, managers have to be able to give the benefit of the doubt to their employees. Some things might seem badly handled, stupidly done or lazily managed... but was it really? Unless he or she was there to observe the work the whole time, there’s no way to know for sure HOW did the bad result happened. Unless there’s an obvious proof as to who did it (in such case, a quick reprimand followed by encouragements is in order), managers should let go, not reprimand anyone, just mention the loss in a meeting with a can-do positive attitude and clear straightforward objectives to recover the mistake.

What's the biggest insight you take away from this post? What will you try to apply tomorrow at work? Leave a comment and let me know! :)

With love and merriness!

Ariane