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Leadership

Client success story – Aim Transportation Solutions

Client success story – Aim Transportation Solutions

By on Aug 29, 2018 in Blog, HR Consulting, Leadership, Success Stories, Succession Planning, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Most organizations reach a point where they need to get really specific about what traits make leaders successful in their organization.  Sometimes organizations get lucky and promote the right people from staff positions into supervisory roles and these people are successful leaders. But many times, the wrong person gets promoted, and this is because they focus more on the person’s success in their current role and less on what the expected behaviors are for leaders and whether this person has demonstrated their ability to exercise them.  This month’s success story shares our recent work with a company that came to that conclusion. Aim Transportation Solutions is the largest, privately owned truck leasing company in North America. Aim Leasing Company was founded in 1982 as an affiliate of McNicholas Transportation who was, at that time, the largest steel hauler east of the Mississippi. Their initial goal was to purchase and maintain equipment for companies that didn’t have internal logistics capabilities. Since then, they have achieved steady growth and are now considered the largest, privately owned truck leasing company in North America. Like many growing business, identifying and promoting the right people into the critical middle management role was something Aim struggled with. Their people are truly passionate about solving their customers’ problems, but this passion does not necessarily mean that these employees would be good leaders. What Aim wanted to do was develop tools and processes to identify potential leaders in a consistent manner, in order to increase newly-promoted supervisors’ success, and continue to enhance their ability to solve customers’ problems. Vice President of Human Resources Patty Durkin said: We knew that by implementing a process to identify potential leaders in a consistent fashion would greatly enhance our succession planning efforts.  We are a growing company in a very dynamic industry…we need to make sure we have the right people in the right place and trained the right way for our customers.  This is especially true for anyone with the great responsibility for leading people.   We connected with OA based on their experience helping companies implement leadership development programs.  They have a solid methodology for identifying leadership competencies, defining them, and helping organizations integrate them into their succession planning...

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Creating effective management and successful supervisors

Creating effective management and successful supervisors

By on Aug 9, 2017 in Blog, Leadership, Supervision | 0 comments

As mentioned in our previous post, most companies promote workers into supervisor positions because they seemingly deserve it, rather than have the talent for it.  For example, a great contributor with long tenure may be given a promotion and put on a management track to keep them on the team.  However, it should be noted that the habits that made them successful as individual contributors are not the same ones that will make them effective leaders.  We’ve found that great leaders have many of the following talents: They motivate every single employee to take action and engage employees with a compelling mission and vision.  For more on employee motivation see here They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance. They create a culture of clear accountability by checking in regularly with staff and making sure everyone has the tools needed to do their job. They delegate meaningful projects to their team members. This builds up their team and helps them reach their potential. They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency. They communicate clearly and make the time and space for people to talk and ask questions. They make decisions based on productivity, not politics. They are flexible and can adapt to individual employees and allow them to work according to their own individual style. Knowledge, experience, and skills develop our talents and the fundamental skills of management can be learned by anyone.  Since management is not something we are born knowing how to do, it is especially important to ensure that your supervisors are given the training and support needed to succeed.  Finally, remember that excellent managers come in all shapes and sizes and their management style can be as unique as personalities.  There is no single way to be a successful supervisor, instead recognizing what works for your company and developing those traits in your employees can help create effective leadership. If you need assistance strengthening your management team or other human resource needs, contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Barriers to successful supervision and management

Barriers to successful supervision and management

By on Aug 7, 2017 in Blog, Leadership, Supervision | 0 comments

Time and time again many of our clients have expressed that finding great managers and supervisors is challenging, yet having a great leader can exponentially increase employee engagement and company growth.  Regardless of business size or industry, we have found that poor management contributes to poor performance.  Missing the managerial mark could drive good employees to leave the company and cost valuable time and money. Learning what makes a poor manager can help yours flourish in their role.  Sometimes, the barriers supervisors must overcome to be effective at their job are unintentionally set up by the employer.  Here are some common challenges supervisors face: Failing to officially designate someone as a supervisor even though you expect a person to fulfill the role.  For instance, sometimes the duties of a manager are added to an employee’s current position without giving that person a title.  This robs the person of any authority to enforce company standards. Failing to give supervisors the skill sets and tools to do the job.  Simply promoting the highest performer to a management role does not mean they will be a high performing supervisor.  The skills needed to be a manager are often different than the skills needed to be a successful programmer, machinist, salesperson, or engineer, for example. Providing inconsistent training and education.  Supervisors also need to be comfortable exchanging this information across the organization.  If their health and safety training and education vary, they may not understand and interpret the job requirements in the same way nor be able to discuss this information with each other. Communicating only one way.  Supervisors must be both the employer’s face to the workers and the workers’ face to the employer.  Employers need to make sure they are responding to concerns coming up through their supervisors, which also ensures concerns going down are addressed. Ignoring diversity in the workplace (e.g., culture, ethnicity, gender, age, and physical abilities).  Employers who fail to hire diverse supervisors or only hire supervisors who don’t know how to manage a diverse workforce may reinforce stereotypes and fuel conflict.  Working positively with diversity engages everybody. Eliminating these barriers will help supervisors transition into their management and contribute to their success in the new role.  Make sure to read...

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Why managers avoid dealing with conflict

Why managers avoid dealing with conflict

By on Apr 13, 2016 in Blog, Leadership, Supervision | 0 comments

Many managers are fearful of handling conflict because of perceived negative ramifications in the future. They are afraid that favorable employee relations may never be restored to a positive and productive level. It is not uncommon to become tense just at the thought of becoming involved in workplace conflict. Managers are concerned that if a conflict is not handled properly morale may be reduced, and that additional conflict may result. Frequently, managers just wish the conflict would go away, or look someone to blame. Today’s workers do not want conflicts made public. They fear that complaining could make them appear to be petty and incompetent or insecure and unprofessional. Customers and employees alike can sense tension. A manager must ensure a positive atmosphere in the workplace. As with any performance or Human Resource related situation, a manager’s ability to achieve compromise and build a consensus with the parties involved is essential to an effective resolution. Watch for new postings on workforce strategy here on our blog, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn,...

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Tips for a new leader

Tips for a new leader

By on Jul 8, 2015 in Blog, Leadership, Training and Development | 0 comments

Before a new team leader can begin to focus on the team, a self-analysis should be completed to determine readiness for assuming leadership responsibilities. Some factors a team leader should consider when beginning the new role include: Self-esteem – people with high self-esteem are generally success-oriented. High self-esteem in the workplace is essential for a successful team leader. Confidence in yourself and the members of your team will help create an atmosphere of trust and respect. As a team leader, you must also strive to build the self-esteem and self-image of your team members. Realism – it’s important that the team leader always project a professional image. At the same time, it’s equally important to be perceived as “real” by other members of the team. Be willing to admit to your shortcomings. Occasionally, a team member may have a better idea than yours. Team members can offer valuable insight into the decision making process. Attitude and arrogance – new team leaders frequently fall into the trap of giving an impression of arrogance. Having pride in a new leadership position should lead to confidence in your abilities. Remain aware of others who may be skeptical about your leadership skills or credibility. Quietly and subtly demonstrate your confidence rather arrogance. Being committed to achieving team goals and standards will improve your leadership skills and enhance your credibility. Fallibility – Team leaders are not made in a day, and mistakes will be made along the way. They are human too! Mistakes are part of the growth and development process and should be considered learning experiences. A mistake does not lessen your abilities as a leader, as long as a lesson was learned and the mistake is not repeated. Blame should not be passed on for your mistakes. The manner in which you accept responsibility for mistakes sets the standards for your expectations of other team members. Offer assistance and guidance to help your team avoid mistakes. These are just to name a few! There are several other factors that a team leader should consider before beginning a new role as well including opportunities for improvement, succession planning, delegation, workplace bias, role modeling and role playing, determination, and objectivity. Watch for new postings...

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All about leadership

All about leadership

By on Jul 6, 2015 in Blog, Leadership, Training and Development | 0 comments

Leadership is the process of influencing employees to reach common goals. It also involves motivating them to achieve these goals. Plainly said, an excellent leader works with and through employees and is essential for any team to be successful. Did you know there is a difference between being a “manager” and being a “leader”? Take for example a common business occurrence. An individual is responsible for implementing a new plan or process. Generally, a: Manager would focus on monitoring results and comparing them to goals, in addition to correcting any deviation from the plan/goal. Leader would focus on energizing and influencing employees to reach the goal, helping them overcome any hurdles that may arise. Given the same project or plan, the: Manager’s outcomes would be very predictable, and the expected results would be delivered consistently. Leader’s outcomes could likely generate change in the processes, which may result in greater efficiency in the future. Managers are necessary to conduct business in an orderly manner; however, leaders are necessary to create valuable and necessary change. In order to thoroughly understand leadership, it is necessary to understand the relationship between power and leadership. Power is defined as the ability to influence the behavior of others. In most businesses today, five types of power actually exist. Legitimate power – bestowed upon individuals who hold a particular position within a company’s management structure. Coercive power – suggests employee compliance by psychological or emotional threats, existing today only in the form of discipline. Reward power – gives or withholds salary, promotional, or recognition awards. Expert power – bestowed on an individual based on their expertise in a given area. Referent power – bestowed on an individual based on traits such as loyalty or charisma. Even though a manager or leader possesses one or more of the five powers, it may not be necessary to routinely use them. Power should be used as a means to achieve desired team goals, not disguise personal shortcomings or achieve personal agendas. Watch for new postings on workforce strategy here on our blog, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn,...

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