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Blog - No one is “Unmanageable” - managers have a right to manage by Tracy Powley

No one is “Unmanageable” - managers have a right to manage by Tracy Powley

Posted by Debbie Stanfield 07/02/14

One of the situations we frequently come across in the development work we do is Managers' sense of powerlessness when faced with a performance issue. Particularly if it is a longstanding issue or one they have inherited, there is often a belief that there is just nothing they can do.

This is not helped by comments recently from conservative party chairman Grant Shapps, questioning if the UK makes it too hard for employers to sack people.

But we believe we should be making it clear to Managers that they have a right to manage - as long as they do it fairly.

So what does this mean in practice?

It means that we should

  • Set and communicate clear, relevant and specific objectives and standards of behaviour. You can’t get frustrated with someone’s behaviour or attitude, if you have never communicated what you expect from them.
  • Offer regular, specific feedback on how someone is doing. Most of us want to know how we are doing in our jobs; the issue is often that there is simply no feedback until there is a problem.
  • Pick up on areas of concern early, with the intention of getting things back on track and supporting performance. Managing performance should be about helping people return to the desired standards, not blaming or punishing them for what they have done/not done.

If someone continues to fall short of the expected standards, despite clear guidance and support outlined above, then a manager has every right to take action and legislation and organisation policies will support this.

If managers can confidently say they have managed fairly, then they will have no reason to resort to “disingenuous” reasons for addressing performance issues, as Mr Shapps seemed to be suggesting.

Debbie Stanfield
Debbie Stanfield

I joined Stella and Tracy at Focal Point in 2003 and have seen both the Company and my role evolve during this time. I now work closely with the management team to achieve and improve business efficiently. To re-energise myself after a day in the office, I like to go to Zumba classes in the evening!

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