Challenge : How can I be a boss and a Friend to my subordinate?
This is a challenge that is often faced by managers. It is important to have a clear demarcation in office about roles and relationships. Your actions should be purely competency based and not biased. This creates respect and your subordinates are more likely to trust your decisions. Go ahead and hang out with your subordinates after office hours on neutral ground. This gives you a chance to bond with them and show them your “cooler” side. But at the same time, in office, make it known that they are accountable for the tasks/jobs assigned to them. Try maintaining a healthy balance.
Challenge: How do I give constructive feedback?
Giving constructive feedback does not mean that you start finding faults. If anything, employees find fault finding offensive and they will respond with defense- which makes any feedback pointless. A good leader will always have a solution up his sleeve but will want to make the employee reflect on his/her action and nudge them in the right direction- so that the employee can reach a solution on his/her own. If a red flag has to be raised, the leader should do it immediately and not wait for the appraisal, to enable quick corrections-especially if the issue is expected to cause an impact on other related work areas/functions.
Challenge: How do I resolve cold wars?
No two people think alike. When it comes to working as a team, disagreements are inevitable. As a boss, you need to first identify the reason for such a conflict. It’s best to not get involved but ask a trusted colleague to help. This is the perfect opportunity to empower your employees by allowing them to reflect on the issue and come to a compromise by themselves. If at all you need to step in, approach as a friend not as a boss. They will want a supporter. Try not to take sides even if it’s obvious that one of the people is right. Steer the conclusion in such a way that it appears neutral. However, if need be, you need to exercise your authority and chalk out some ground rules to streamline the process thereby reducing further “cold wars”.
Challenge: High Performer with Poor Attitude.
These “Performers” are found in quite a few companies. While it is difficult to handle such employees, it is not impossible. You need to be upfront. Gather evidence of how his/her attitude is bringing the team morale down and have a talk with the employee. It could be over a drink/coffee or simply in office. Converse with utmost confidence that you believe in the individual and want him/her to succeed as these behavioral points may be impeding their growth. Many a times, you will find that there is a hidden reason for their behaviour(family issues, personal experience, stress) and all they needed was to vent. As a manager, you may need to take that tough decision of asking them to leave if there is no change in the attitude . Do not condone poor attitude as you will set up a precedent that’s unhealthy for the culture. It is better to let that one high performing player leave than to let the entire team suffer. You will notice the rise in efficiency of the entire team once such a toxic person is out. After all, you did improve the work environment for the others.
Challenge: Hiring a niche candidate.
A niche candidate is a
passive candidate. You may not usually find this candidate on popular job
boards or sometimes, not even on LinkedIn.
To hire for such a role, one needs to have a clear vision on what exactly is the role requirement and company proficiency. Once that is outlined, you would need to market your brand as THE one to work with. Let it be known on relevant forums and associations on what makes your company exclusive.
To hire niche roles, specialized/ leadership head-hunters are your best bet. They know the market like none other and are well networked. Sit with them and chalk out a good job description. Their acumen will be an added bonus in helping you zero down on that elusive candidate. Once you do zero down, get the candidate to your office and meet them outside as well. Talk about your company vision and growth plans. Niche folks know their worth, so it is best not to bring up salary at this stage. Once you’ve aligned the role and the company, then is where money comes in. Once again, leave it to the recruiter to be your extended arm in conducting the first negotiation after which you can step in. This will not only help maintain your position, but also help iron out any minor points around prickly money.
Keep in touch with the candidate directly and through the recruiter, every few weeks as such talent can be quickly gobbled up by a competitor.