In my opinion a true manager needs to follow the strategy below to succeed and deliver results:
- Being a role model
I call them the three pillars that a manager uses to hold and stabilize his strategy. If every manager follows the three simple steps above, he will gain the respect of his employees. They will love him and will make sure not to upset him, and hence will deliver more than he expects out of them. And they must be followed in exactly the same order as listed above.
Start by being what you want them to be, and then apply a reward system to motivate them when a reward is due and finally a punishment system to penalize when needed as well.
Being a role model means that you have to do yourself first what you want your employees to do. If you want them to come on time to office, then you must be the first one to arrive. If you want them to perfect their work, then you must perfect yours first. If you want them to be hard workers and always meeting their deadlines, they must see you doing that. It is exactly like raising a child, if the parents keep preaching their child not to lie, and then they lie in front of him, he will definitely be a liar no matter how much they keep telling him not to lie. It is what you “do” not what you say that really matters.
Then following that, you must start rewarding exceptional employees and results oriented ones. Always focus on the results. Whoever delivers and excels earns himself a reward. The reward can be monetary, can be a raise, a promotion or even a thank you letter and certificate of appreciation. It can be anything that motivates the staff and encourages them to do more and excel. I will go back again to the example of raising a child. Your toddler will never know that he has done something right until you clap your hands and tell him encouraging words, or take him out to his favorite place, or play his favorite game with him. You must make your team feel that you are happy and satisfied with their performance when they are doing well. It is the nature of human beings to excel when they are encouraged and motivated. Once they feel that no matter how hard they work, you never appreciate their efforts, they will stop trying.
The last step is the punishment. You have to establish a punishment system and apply it on employees who deserve it by missing deadlines or showing signs of negligence. Your punishment system has to be wise and gradual. When to apply the punishment is an important question and how to apply it is even more important. Sometimes the punishment has to be in private, between you and the employee only. And some other times, it has to be in public to make sure other employees learn the lesson too. Never start by a very harsh punishment or else you will not have room to make a harder punishment the next time.
If you start punishing before encouraging and rewarding it will backfire. Again like your toddler, you first explain to him that he must not lie and then you never lie in front of him and then reward him and encourage him when he admits a mistake and does not lie and the final step is to punish him when he lies. If you put any step of those before the other, the formula will not work and the end result will never be good.