Learn to Follow Up
Don’t fall into the trap of believing that, since an assignment was given, it is in the process of being completed. “Trust but verify” is a tried and true Russian proverb that will work for you if employed properly.
Learning to follow-up is critical for Effective Management.
The Full Scoop
The saying “fortune is in the follow-up” holds true in various business aspects. When it comes to your success as an ‘effective manager’, actively ensuring follow-up becomes crucial for the success of numerous projects. We have encountered situations where a manager assumed an employee was working on a task simply because it was assigned, only to discover otherwise.
It is rare to find someone who is naturally exceptional at understanding a request, completing it in a timely manner and reporting back promptly on the status. We need to develop our workforce until this becomes a habit.
Keep the following in mind if you are having a hard time delegating assignments,
- Always give assignments with due dates.
- Strive to understand the current workload of your employee, are you introducing conflicting priorities?
- Have you provided unclear or highly watered down instructions?
- If employees are afraid to make mistakes, take time to understand their concerns.
- If you are effectively delegating and training, address situations where someone exhibits little motivation to complete assignments, as there might be underlying performance issues that require attention.
When requesting the completion of a task, adhere to these key rules of delegation. One of the most important steps is in the follow-up, your instructions may not be as clear as you had assumed. Check to ensure your instructions are clear, that deadlines are given, and an understanding of the urgency of the request is made. This on-going process will develop effective management techniques within the team.
- Provide clear instructions to employees.
- Outline your expected timeline and due dates for tasks.
- Request status updates and follow-ups to re-enforce the priority.
- Balance your desire for status updates depending on the urgency of the request.
Follow up on assignment statuses to re-enforce the importance of your requests. Emphasize to direct reports the importance of reporting back to you with status updates. Without their input on status updates, you will remain unaware of the completion status of the request. Employees must learn this principle. In conclusion, ensuring a request is understood, prioritized, and reported back to a manager fosters great communication.
Let us know if you need help on your next project. We would love to hear from you.