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Capturing Employee Discretionary Effort: Management Tip of the Day for Busy Managers and Leaders

We all have good days and bad days. A bad day is when you show up, and try to stay under the radar. A great day is when you push your accomplishments to new heights, and seem to do so effortlessly. The difference between the two is discretionary effort. Join us at Wily Manager this week as we talk about why managers should care about discretionary effort, and how they can capture it from their employees.

Monday's Tip (Discretionary Effort): Do the basics well. Don’t install a hot tub in the employee lounge until you're leading and managing people well. Otherwise, the hot tub is a waste of money.

Tuesday's Tip (Discretionary Effort): Don't treat it like a task. Capturing discretionary effort is a way to run your business that won't ever end. Don't think this is a task you can tick off on your to do list.

Wednesday's Tip (Discretionary Effort): Provide Opportunities for Improvement. It might be training, or it could be a stretch assignment. Whatever it is, you need to help people expand their skill set, and improve themselves.

Thursday's Tip (Discretionary Effort): Connect employees to the larger picture. Nobody wants to be an anonymous cog in a huge wheel. Tell people how their efforts matter to the larger organization, or connect them to something bigger than themselves.

Friday's Tip (Discretionary Effort): Encourage social networks at work. Most people spend more waking hours with their coworkers than their families. If people can feel connected to the co-workers they spend so much time with, they are much more likely to be engaged.

Three Things to remember about capturing employee Discretionary Effort:

1. This is not a task, but a way to operate. You can’t go out and capture discretionary effort, and then tick it off on your list. This is an ongoing job for those in a position of leadership.
2. It’s not about the spa and the concierge. Look to do the fundamental things first, and only graduate to the sublime, once you know you have a well-lead organization.
3. You need to invest in leadership. People and organizations need to take leadership seriously, and continually improve that part of the business.

Improve your leadership skills! Visit www.wilymanager.com for Just-in-Time Management Advice. Get our FREE Management Cheat Sheet Collection!

Watch our video about capturing employee Discretionary Effort.

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