KEY STUDENT QUESTIONS
Student questions about control come from one of two perspectives.
If you have older students with work
experience, you will see questions from a manager’s point of view, primarily along the lines of “How do I
control my employees?”
Students with less experience ask questions from the employee point of view,
often something related to “How do I get my manager to loosen his/her control over me?”
question is asked, you have the opportunity to present both sides of the picture in your answer.
1. “How can a manager correct an employee’s behavior without
the employee angry or defensive?”
“Why is it difficult to control some employees, while others are easy to
“How can excessive control be regulated so the employees are not too
intimidated to work?”
Control is one of the most difficult problems a new manager faces.
In answering your students’
questions about managerial control emphasize the importance of shared goals, respect for
individual preferences, and good feedback technique.
Explain that before making any
corrections, it is important to be sure that both you and the employee have the same ideas about
the ultimate goal/purpose of the work, and that the employee understands why the work is so
Then discuss the fact that it is important to allow people to reach goals in their own
way, as long as their methods aren’t harmful to the company.
If a person is not reaching the
goals you have set together, find out why before attempting to make a “correction.” Most
managers assume that employees don’t reach their goals because of a lack of motivation, but in
reality, employees may not have the correct training or resources to reach their goals, or they
may simply believe other goals are more important, based on what managers have said earlier.
Finally, emphasize that if a correction is needed, it should be done:
as soon as possible after the behavior,
with a focus on what needs to be done (the correct actions and/or outcomes),
with questions about, and extensive listening to, the employee’s view of the situation,
with a clear explanation of what was not done or done incorrectly,
with an offer of help as needed (and with a specific agreement about what help will be
with a follow-up timeline.
One of the things many managers don’t understand is that they will be much more effective at
controlling their employees’ behavior if they concentrate on moving forward, not on beating
the person up for something that they’ve done wrong.
If necessary, after the initial
conversation, there can be a second conversation about the consequences of not changing,
but that will change the tone, atmosphere and trust levels of the discussion.