- Wednesday 09 May 2018
When did you last sit down and really think about how you can improve overall management effectiveness in your business?
If you are like most owners and managers in hospitality and tourism, it’s something that you are naturally aware of, but perhaps not something that’s not overly structured at present, particularly in the context of a small business.
You are probably constantly on the lookout for new external opportunities for business development, and so you should be, but there are also internal development opportunities that often are not maximised - and building management effectiveness is one of them; if you can raise the performance of each of your managers, even by a small amount, the collective positive impact on the business can be significant.
To start exploring this issue, the first point to make is that the term 'management effectiveness' is a fuzzy notion at the best of times; it can mean different things to different people. You can’t really use such a vague concept to drive improvement efforts and you certainly couldn’t measure progress in future against something so intangible.
Therefore, if you don’t have already one, it’s worth developing a management competence model to put a bit of meat-on-the-bones as regards of what you actually mean by a manager being ‘effective’.
A competence model may sound like a complex undertaking, and it does require careful thought and attention to develop one, but it doesn’t need to be an overly complicated process. The benefits of having one make the time and effort required to develop it worthwhile because the model can:
- Help in the recruitment process,
- Support on-going management development training,
- Help to manage individual and collective performance and provide a template for meaningful performance appraisals,
- Serve as a tool to help develop performance related to pay schemes.
There is a lot to be gained by creating a management competence model for your business and there are many approaches that can be taken to do so. But, in an effort to keep things relatively straightforward, one way to go about it is to first think about what a manager, at any level, actually does – and this can be broken down into three dimensions: The What, the How and the Who.
- The what relates to the goals that managers are expected to achieve - the most important of which relate to achieving excellence, satisfying customers and of course helping to deliver profitability.
- The how refers to the manner in which the work is done and includes being concerned with issues such as productivity, efficiency and quality.
- The who is concerned with the people they manage and includes having a focus on issues like their commitment, competence and motivation.
Everything a manager does can be allocated into one of these dimensions, and based on these components, you could develop specific criteria to describe management effectiveness in each of these areas which might include some or all of the following points:
Naturally, the specific targets here would vary depending upon the role and level of the manager in question but every manager should have defined targets in relation to their role. For example, a senior manager might be judged on the overall customer satisfaction rating for the business, but the restaurant manager should have a measurable customer satisfaction target for their area too. The same principle applies for all headings.
These criteria cover a broad spectrum of activities and again have relevance to managers at all levels, although their application may vary.
These are just sample criteria for you to consider, but you get the idea; you are translating management effectiveness into something more concrete and measurable.
Even if you are not keen on these three areas, just select or define a set of criteria that you feel describes 'management effectiveness' in your business. In doing so, you might use these criteria as they stand, or you can develop others to reflect your own requirements. Whatever route you take, you will want to generate a user-friendly definition of what you expect from the managers right across your business.
Think of it this way: if any given manager in your business was delivering on all of these sample criteria, they would be very effective and adding a lot of value. As indicated, the competence model you develop will also be useful in other areas such as recruitment, training and performance management, so it is certainly a task worth undertaking.
Measuring Management Effectiveness
Measuring the performance of your managers against the competences in the model will help you to determine how well they are individually living up to expectations; and this can be done continuously by informal observation, and through more formal appraisals that rate each manager against the specific criteria in the model. Based on the criteria above, you can create your own checklist relevant to your business and assess how effective is your management.
The benefits of a competence model for both you, and your managers, are many so it is a task worth undertaking. The competence model also creates a common language around management effectiveness, so all stakeholders are fully clear as to what is expected of a manager in your business. There are no grey areas.
© Dobiquity Limited (based on extracts from the book ‘How to Run a Great Hotel’ by Enda Larkin. ISBN: 1845283465)