Guest Blog by Patrick Hogan, CEO of Handle.com
When a construction business has projects and teams scattered on multiple sites, it is quite challenging for project managers to stay on top of things. The conventional method of construction project management involves managers traveling from one work site to another to check with the employees and get updated on the progress of projects. However, this process has changed with the introduction of remote management technology.
The biggest obstacle to positive change is a lack of good sustainable habits. Many of the people we’ve worked with genuinely wanted to be more productive and reach their career goals faster. But old time-wasting work habits kept them from being effective on the job. The following five simple habits have generated the most impact for our teams.
1. Focus on priorities
It’s easy to get lost trying to balance duties of managing teams and delivering consistent business results, plus everything else in between.
An HBR survey of 1,300 managers, including more than 500 presidents and vice presidents, found poor priority setting to be common. The study noted that even though most executives work very long hours, only 47% of their working time is taken up with managerial duties.
A disciplined system of priority-setting can set you on the right path to ensuring you’re focused on those goals and activities that are most important to the success of the team.
TIP: Determine your top 5 weekly priorities. To achieve them, plan the days of your work week around those activities that contribute the greatest impact to your organization.
Meditation and mindfulness practice is on the rise in organizations to promote wellness and balance, and I was ready to jump on board. So, I committed that I would try meditating, and of course, there’s an app for that! A quick search through iTunes of the word “meditation” brought up 97 apps. I chose the first (free) one that popped up.
The app allowed me to choose a short 10-minute meditation to practice with a voice and bells guiding me along the way – quietly encouraging me to let go of the thoughts cluttering my brain and breathe deeply. Sounds pretty simple?
Well….I failed miserably at it. I made all sorts of mistakes along the way – I tried using the app on my commute to work (bad idea with people sneezing and talking around me). I tried, and got distracted by email. I tried and got distracted by Netflix – you catch my drift.
And finally, I allowed myself to recognize I had failed. And I’m all about lessons learned (like maybe first time at meditation shouldn’t be on a moving train with throngs of people). Here’s what I bottom-lined for myself:
Most employees leave managers, not organizations. But how do you turn a bad manager into a good one? Train them on how to be better, right? Nope – training rarely sticks. Even the best-intentioned manager will often revert to old, comfortable and ineffective habits. Securing lasting adoption requires a system of engagement that reinforces effective management practices every day.
A costly goose chase
Companies make hiring decisions based on poorly defined criteria. Then, they try to fix that with one and done training – investing significant time, effort and dollars with little to show for it.
What would life be like without managers? Chaos or relief?
Skeptics have often questioned the value of hiring managers. Many have actually considered converting to flat organizations. But can a flat organization with self-managed teams and individuals really thrive or even survive? After all, they say, we make bad decisions in hiring managers most of the time.
How often? Well, according to Gallup research, wrong managers are picked up to 82% of the time.
Why keep hiring them?
Let’s just Google it.
Google was founded by a pair of engineers who did not think much of managers. The flat corporate structure they created was designed to encourage close collaboration and quick concept development. Engineers cheered at having zero layers of management, thinking that managers only delay development with unnecessary approval bureaucracy.
For some time, things worked out well for the online search engine firm.