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Value Creation Blog

Managers Get What They Inspect, Not Expect

Posted by Josh Patrick

Inspection   business coaching resized 600I’ve been a fan of what my first mentor Shields Harvey calls the expect, inspect, accept form of management for over thirty years.  I’ve heard too many managers tell me, “I told them what to do.”  Telling is just the first step in getting people to be great at what they do.

There has to be an inspection process.  You’re not going to get what you want unless you’ve put an inspection process in place.  If you don’t have a process to manage the inspection process you’re going to have a hard time getting the results you want.

When you set an expectation of performance for someone it’s important that you tell them when you’ll be inspecting.  You then need a personal management system in place where you make sure you follow up.  If your employees know that you only ask and never inspect, they’ll do what they want, which might not be what you want.

Systems are the key for managing expectations.  When you ask an employee to perform a task you will want to make sure they have a system for how to perform to your expectations.  Too often I see expectations set without systems in place for employees to follow. 

Most employees that I’ve had don’t want to figure it out.  They want to have a system where guidance is provided on how to perform.  If you go back to inspect performance and your employee is confused as to what they should be doing there likely is not a good enough system in place.

Systems are the key to having successful inspections.  A system allows your company to perform to standards.  Standards allow your customer to have confidence they can trust your products or services.  

If you have problem with employee performance have a system for checking whether it’s the employee or your system.  If you notice inconsistent service you want to know whether it’s your employee or the system.  If several employees have a problem with completing a task it’s probably your system.

If your inspection shows that other employees are successful at what they’re doing, you can concentrate on helping your underperforming employee.  Those who are doing the same work or those who have done the job before are the keys to helping you know where to look.

If you decide it’s the person and not the system act quickly.  If you inspect and you’re not getting the result you want you must act.  If you’ve decided that your systems are good, then it’s time to make sure you have the right person in your company.

We all make mistakes in hiring.  If your inspection process shows that you’ve made a mistake then it’s time to act.  One of the best things about having an expect, inspect, accept form of management is that it allows you to move quickly when performance suffers.

You can’t afford to have your company staffed with poor performers.  Your customers will suffer and today customers don’t have patience with companies that aren’t tactically excellent.  Inspections allow you to be tactically excellent.  That’s the first step in making sure you have a great company.

We’ve put together a case study on how to hire for unique abilities.  This case study will help you understand three ways to evaluate new employees.  It also allows you to put together an analysis system for those who are in your company.  You can then inspect to make sure you’ve made a wise decision in who you hire and how you keep.  To get this case study, click on the button below.


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Topics: systems, business coaching, Tactical Excellence, unique ability

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