So, things are going well at work—you’re ready to hire the extra staff you need to REALLY get your operation growing. And, best of all, with all that extra help, your job is about to get a lot easier….right?
Well, in a word…..no.
Sure, having extra bodies to help shoulder the work load is always a good thing, so yes, there will be a significant upside.
But, as far as your job getting easier, don’t count on it. Increasing the horsepower of your car’s engine doesn’t necessarily make it easier to drive; if anything, it requires more attention and hands-on time, especially if you’ve decided to drive faster.
Adding staff increases your supervisory responsibilities, can complicate your management process, and—if you’re doing it right—makes ensuring accountability more than a little bit more challenging.
Even though technology has given us the tools to measure outcomes and results more accurately than ever before, as well as the factors that influence them, accountability (and how to use it) remains a challenge for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
The more players in the game, the more possibilities you, as a manager, have when trying to determine why what has happened has happened! Like adding a new level of squares to a Rubik’s Cube, things can get very complicated very quickly.
That’s why with the arrival of new team members, you, the manager, need to step up your game. It’s not enough to simply watch the bottom line and sound the alarms when the numbers aren’t there. You need to establish specific goals and activity levels for every direct report, and take whatever steps necessary to integrate them into your day-to-day.
Job descriptions need to be reviewed and updated, to ensure that they still align with the overall strategic plan of the organization. (You do have written job descriptions and an up-to-date strategic plan, right? Right?)
You also need to tie their activities into whatever workflow system you have at your disposal. (This doesn’t mean peering over their virtual shoulder eight hours a day.)
When the trains run on time and all is good, enjoy it. Take time to celebrate, even. You’re not rewarding employees for simply doing their jobs, you’re rewarding them for doing their jobs well.
But when missed deadlines and shortfalls happen—which is almost a certainty with new team members—you need to address them, quickly and effectively. Which means that, above all, you need to be paying attention now more than ever.
You’ve increased your horsepower, but now your car is starting to shimmy when you hit 70 mph. What’s the solution? (Hint: it’s not slowing to 55.)
Chances are, another part of the car needs adjusting—the shocks, the steering, maybe even the tires. A capable driver is watching the dashboard and can respond as needed.
Your increase in manpower may be creating some issues. This could be crossover or confusion regarding responsibilities, personality conflicts, or even a more crowded array of workstations. These can make supervising a larger staff anything but easier.
Bottom line: being the boss isn’t easy. But, when you add power to the team, be sure to give the whole organization a ‘check up’ to make sure you can move into the fast lane with confidence that your more powerful (and smoothly running) machine will be up to the task.
Grow Big or Go Home!