There are few easy answers about how to manage a mobile workforce. Effective workforce management comes in a variety of forms.
However, each different approach comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. It’s worth considering whether or not you should shake up your approach to leadership, as it has a huge effect on how your employees view their work, and therefore the results they achieve.
To help you identify what kind of leadership qualities you have and how your employees likely view you, we’ve put together a quiz based on a number of common workplace scenarios. How you would react in each situation will say a lot about what kind of leader you are.Q1: One of your best workers arrives to the job site five minutes late. What do you do?
- Nothing. You don’t want to drive away your best employees by making a fuss over this.
- Reprimand them in front of the other workers to make clear that nobody is above the rules.
- Send them a notification informing them that they have been marked as tardy and reminding them of the company policy on tardiness.
- Accommodate them. Say that they won’t have to use the employee time clock app until they’re comfortable with it.
- Tell them that you’re sorry, but the decision has been made to use a timesheet app. They’ll eventually figure it out.
- Assure them in person, or through the team messaging app, that there will be a training session where all the nuances of the new time clock app will be explained to them. Guide them through the process each step of the way so that they become more accustomed to the new system and its benefits.
- Give him a new title and a very small pay increase even though you aren’t really offering them new responsibilities. The symbolic act will make him a happier, more motivated employee.
- Tell him that he’s not ready for a promotion. When you start seeing better results, you’ll let him know if there’s a position available.
- Draw up a list of goals for him to work towards in the coming months that will help him qualify for a promotion. Schedule check in meetings so he knows how he is tracking against milestones.
- Tell her that you don’t need to know what clients are saying unless they ask for you specifically or it’s a major emergency.
- Tell her that you want to review any email before it’s sent to a client. She shouldn’t hold meetings or calls with clients without you.
- Tell her to keep you in the loop on important news and set up a weekly 20-minute meeting to review the past week’s work.
- Make no comment. It’s not worth the trouble and it’s unlikely that any guests will notice or care.
- Tell him firmly that they are in violation and tell them to go home and change.
- Clarify with him before the event starts whether it was a misunderstanding, and then clearly state that in the future jeans are not acceptable.
- Tell the customer that you will send another team by at no expense, and assure them that the team will do whatever it takes for a satisfactory cleaning. You make sure to send a different team over there to avoid an awkward situation for the original cleaners.
- Defensively retort that they are requesting a service that was not previously agreed to. If they’d like a deeper clean, they must pay more.
- Relay your staff’s comments to the customer and offer to swing by and take a look for yourself. As an act of good faith, you offer the customer a discount for their next cleaning.
So, what kind of leader are you?
Mostly a’s: Buddy/Hands-off
You avoid confrontation, both with employees and customers. You reason that getting along with people will lead to a more engaged, productive workplace. However, your good nature is at risk of being exploited and result in a workplace with low-standards that could drive your best workers to seek opportunities elsewhere. You would likely benefit from setting clearer rules and expectations for your workforce –– and committing yourself to enforcing them. You should continually remind yourself that by allowing bad behavior or poor performance to go unnoticed, you’re hurting those who are working hard and trying to do the right thing.
Mostly b’s: Power Tripper/Micromanager
You believe that giving clear instructions and sticking to them is the best way to ensure consistent performance. You have a hard time tolerating actions that deviate from those instructions. While your workforce is disciplined, your inflexibility threatens to undermine employee morale. Simply put, you need to loosen up a bit and show employees that you recognize and appreciate their hard work. Otherwise, you risk high turnover and a depressed workforce.
Mostly c’s: Diplomat/Balanced
You strike a balanced approach to dealing with employees and customers. You understand the value of both carrots and sticks as workforce tools that encourage good behavior and high performance in the workplace. You believe it is important to praise good employees actions in public and correct them in private.