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There’s no one size fits all in management

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Have you ever tried on a garment labeled “one size fits all” but it didn’t fit you well at all? My experience with the term “one size fits all” is that I am never satisfied with the fit of a generic size garment as I am with a garment that is customized. The same can be said in management – leaders who try to manage a diverse team using one single approach end up mismanaging everyone in the team.

On every team there are employees who exhibit exceptional qualities, some with normal behaviours and, some with characteristics that can only be described as challenging. Successful managers are innovators who reinvent their leadership style to efficiently manage different types of employees.

In an article “Seven Employees that Drive Managers Crazy” Marie G. McIntyre Ph.D. of YourOfficeCoach examined several types of employees that present specific management challenges, – Challengers, Clingers, Drama Queens, Loners, Power Grabbers, Space Cadets & Slackers and the recommended approach for each type. Today, the microscope is on Slackers.

Slackers are either obvious loafers or sneaky slackers. Obvious loafers can be seen lingering in the lunchroom, surfing the internet or parked in someone’s cubicle for a lengthy chat. The sneaky slackers run lengthy errands to avoid tasks they don’t like doing, spend unnecessary hours on work that they prefer and surf or make personal calls when no one is around.

Employees may slack off because they never developed strong work ethics, never made to take responsibility, or have a chip on their shoulder. They favour managers who are afraid to address their performance issues.

Slacking off is contagious. To avoid it affecting the entire team – keep slackers on a tight leash. Visit their work area regularly. Set specific objectives to meet. Set regular times for feedback and follow-up to ensure that work is actually getting done. Address unfinished projects or missed deadlines immediately.

One size doesn’t fit all – Don’t use the same management approach with slackers as you would with those who are performing well.

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