Model the Way
Chris Coleman’s new position as the town administrator requires him to set a different way of doing things, and to gain the confidence of department heads that had lost faith in the former town administrator and were performing below standards. To do this, Coleman models the way he wishes to run things properly. A good leader must have a stand in which people can attest to as his and he or she should not have double standards at any time. In stating his stand, Coleman would also have to let the management team of the department heads and all other people who will be working under him, of some of the values that he would want to promote during his tenure in the office.
A leader would have to ensure that he/she sets a good example for others to follow. The values that Coleman would wish to see in others must first be seen in him; this way, other people would not have hard time believing in those values. To be a good leader who can have the support of others, Coleman must ensure that he portrays all the characteristics of a good leader. The main characteristics of a good leader include the following:
- Self-controlled etc.
Inspire a Shared Vision
The next thing that Coleman must do is to find out what the former TA left unaccomplished, and find out what he can do about them. He should meet the management team of the department heads and deliberate on the issues that regards their grievances. The DHs had issues with how the former TA had handled the performance evaluation. Coleman should therefore think of what he can achieve to eliminate these grievances. Coleman should look for a shared purpose that his office and the DHs offices share. The shared purpose is to make the town the best place anyone would wish to live in. This means that the leaders must be satisfied with the TA to deliver to their best. Coleman should search for measures and means through which the spirit of a common purpose would be achieved.
The department heads should be asked questions and be allowed to respond unanimously on the ways in which they think performance evaluation should be done. Coleman would then decide on the best suggestions to use later when carrying out a performance evaluation. The suggestions considered must all be in line with the TA’s vision, which is to have a satisfied staff working with him and help him deliver to the people of the town. The management team should also be allowed to express themselves in an open manner. Coleman should also ensure that his communication skills are clear and the channels of communication between him and the management team are simple and open to all the department heads.
Challenge the Process.
Chris Coleman is chosen to be the town administrator after a sudden recognition of the former TA. He might not be prepared for this role given the fact that he stayed long on the role he held before this promotion. As a leader, he should seize the opportunity and treat his new job as an adventure that has a lot to offer and to be learnt. He should try out new ways and find out methods in which he can improve the relationship between his office and the junior department heads. As a TA, Coleman must work with the management team and encourage every member in the team to look out for the best ideas and practices that have ensured effective performance evaluation in other areas.
The ideas generated and collected by team members would involve some that come from experiences. The team and TA can then work together and form short term targets, which when achieved would be small wins for the good cooperation between the offices. TA and his group must ensure that department heads are consistent with the set short-term targets and evaluations done after every target has been achieved. This would help them establish some of the challenges and solutions realized during the process.
Enable Others to Act
As mentioned in the characteristics of a good leader, Coleman must create an environment of trust between his office and offices of the department heads. Coleman must ensure that the relationship of trust is natured and sustained solely through his effort, and he should not count on others to help him develop this relationship. He must prove that he is trust worthy so that others can also learn to trust him. He should not go back on the things that they had solved and create mistrust between his office and the DHs’ offices. The TA must learn to listen to others and take their advice. People feel appreciated when they are asked questions and their opinion on the matters that are discussed.
The management team of the DHs should be encouraged to do more on its own without waiting for instructions from the TA’s office. This would make them be determined to initiate activities on their own and accomplish them. Team members should be trained to improve their work competence and increase their confidence. The Town administrator must make each department head accountable for all the activities and roles that fall within their respective dockets. Coleman should offer training on a monthly basis for the management team members to gain valuable insights into their lines of work.
All the above steps give out a clear guideline on what Coleman ought to do to ensure that performance evaluation during his tenure is effective, free, and fair. He should realize that the management of the evaluation process is not about a single individual, but affects the whole system. Orientation, coaching, and counseling of the new department heads are steps towards future performance evaluation. Coleman should never view performance evaluation as a one-in-a year event. He should realize that it is an on-going process and the events only cover part of filling forms and actions on the salaries. The bodies responsible for evaluations must ensure that they constantly give both the negative and positive feedbacks to employees whenever necessary.
The management team must be held accountable for all the conversations in the work place, which must be geared towards achieving the desired goals. Coleman must actively involve all department heads, including the senior heads with the set goals, which must be achieved by the Town administration. All the department heads must be involved in the evaluation process. As sated earlier, Coleman must create an interactive environment where department heads can ask questions, discuss the objectives, and goals with a view of gaining more clarity.
The management system should ensure that the desired values are linked with the department heads competencies. This should be set clear from the interview day to the time of performance evaluation. The evaluation process must link to the development, retention, and succession plan strategies. Coleman should ensure that while including the junior department heads in decision-making, he should not lose the support of the senior department heads. Support of the senior members would give him a wider and effective performance evaluation system. The senior heads would enable him attain an excellent evaluation system that improves productivity and retain best talents available.
Coleman should also embrace the spirit of open communication to let the department heads know areas where evaluation would target. The management of expectations would enable the Town administrator to control misinformation and rumors among department heads.
In summary, the use of good leadership practices and concepts would help Coleman avoid the problems experienced before. Organizations have in the past identified that there are a number of challenges that come up during the performance evaluation.
Biasness is one of the issues that most members complain of after every evaluation exercise. The Town administrator would have to take note of the members’ performance on a monthly basis to avoid the halo effect at the end of the year; not being able to recall concrete examples, which show good performance. The feedback used in evaluation should cover all areas and not lean so much on one aspect at the expense of another.