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The Ten Commandments of People Management

Always implement a 90 day probationary period to: measure performance and production, determine “right fit” for your team/organization and to establish clear expectations and correct work-flow habits.

Keep an employee journal to mark performance needs and issues, as well as, customer kudos & other wins. If you’re fairly new to the management gig, know that your Human Resources Director/Manager will require documentation before you can A. let someone go, even if they aren’t hitting their numbers as a loan originator or B. increase commissions, salary or bonuses. Documentation is KING!

Conduct performance reviews with your entire team, not just your processors and assistants, but with your Loan Originators, too. Have them set goals and revisit these goals with them on a monthly basis. Avoid taking on the burden of their ability or inability to sell. Share ideas, best practices, bring in top sales speakers, mentors, coaches, etc., but in the end, the old saying remains true..”You can lead a horse to water…”

Communicate expectations and set clear boundaries. It’s not good enough to simply have a talk with your Loan officer or Processor. You must ensure that they understand what is being asked of them. You must be explicit with what needs to change, improve, etc. State deadlines for those improvements and follow-up to check on progress. Immediately after the meeting with your employee, always follow up with an email restating your expectations and agreements.

Stop giving away all of your attention and energy to the “resistors.” Remember the 20/50/30 rule. 20% of the people are “change-friendly.” You can depend on them to help drive change. 50% are your fence-sitters. They remain neutral. They are not hostile to change, but they aren’t necessarily helping like they should. 30% are the resistors. They are antagonistic toward change and often do everything to derail your efforts. Who do you think is your loudest squeaky wheel? DON’T give ’em the grease. This will only exacerbate their behavior and the problems. Look to win over the 50%, but give your greatest attention, kudos and support to the 20%.

Over communicate, especially in the wake of organizational or systems changes.

Know when to let go. If you have a team member who is not meeting your company’s expectations and standards or who may be resisting change, behaving in an insubordinate manner and/or generally has a poor attitude, these things don’t mean that the person is “bad.” It simply means they are unhappy and are likely in desperate need of change for their own sake. You’re not helping them or you by letting them slide by. Know that by releasing them, you will be giving them the opportunity to find a place where they CAN be the star that they really wish and hope to be.

Make sure that your praise is fitting to the personality of your employee. Don’t drag an introvert, perhaps you processor, into a conference room full of people and extol their virtues. They are more likely to appreciate a lunch one on one with you or a sincere 10min conversation in your office.

Remember that all eyes are on YOU. Do not share your personal issues. Do not drag your bad temper from this morning’s spat with your spouse into work with you. Do not blame Corporate for all of your team’s problems. Do not compare one employee to another, EVER.

Be a constant source of hope for your team. As a Leader it is your duty to always keep the light on the path to hope, shining. The real truth is that even in the face of dilemmas, roadblocks, chaos, controversies, and challenges, your employees will look for “hope.” If they can’t find it in you, they will inevitably search for a new Leader.

December 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment

About Victoria

Victoria is Founder of I Can Coaching Company and I CAN Plan. She is a full-time Business Coach, working exclusively with Mortgage and Real Estate professionals, helping them to define and implement winning, business-growth strategies, systems, and habits.


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  1. Spot on Victoria! After all, in our line of work, it is about people management.

  2. Chris Brown says:

    Insightful. I have kicked around bringing someone on for quite some time, but have been reluctant to take the plunge. this is good food for thought.

    Chris the implementer

  3. Victoria says:

    Hey Chris…

    The first questions to consider when thinking about bringing on a support staff member are:

    1. Do I have the systems in place that will allow me to bring on an additional team member? Remember, throwing bodies at a problem will not fix it.
    2. What is the position that I’m looking to fill? What character traits, skills and experience must this individual exhibit?
    3. Do I have the reserves to maintain this employee during their start-up/training period, approx. 90 days?
    4. What will bringing on this individual allow me to do differently, in order to increase my earnings?
    5. How will I monitor/track the R.O.I.?

    These are the questions that you want to chew on for now. The items above come after the hire has been made.

    Hope this helps, Chris. Systems and team support are your ways to get your biz to the next level…period.

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