Friday, April 15, 2016

Managers: These are not leadership tools

Liz Ryan, CEO and founder of Human Workplace, writing in Forbes, says she was approached at a conference on leadership by a guy who said he had a wonderful leadership tool.

She asked what it was.

Software--he explained--it tells the manager which websites each employee has visited and how much time they spent there. At the end of the day, the manager gets a full report.

Ryan said, this is not a leadership tool, it's a sneaky, Big Brother-type tool that lets managers bust employees for taking mental health breaks.

If an employee is getting the work done, who cares how many YouTube breaks he or she takes, Ryan continued. If the employee is a success, then YouTube may be a tool of success.

It's easier to trust people if you know what they are doing, the guy insisted.

That isn't trust, Ryan said, it's fear-based control.

She added that if someone could make software to monitor the employees' thoughts, some managers would buy it.

Some other crutches for weak managers, according to Ryan:

--Keystroke counting software.

--Software that tells when a worker is logged into the company network or isn't.

--Forced ranking or "stacked ranking" software.

--Software that monitors each eomployee's time on a call and dings if they go over a time limit.

Our obsession, Ryan says, with pointless metrics is a sickness.

Bam. Think about that one.

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