Describe how you used your management and leadership style to effectively motivate and manage staff.

In my current role as Senior Manager within the NSW Department of XYZ, I reprioritised and allocated extra time in managing and motivating my team – three at individual level and five in a group setting – at end-of-month (EOM) to complete tasks against strict deadlines. Over the past three consecutive months, EOM deadlines were not met. I facilitated individual face-to-face meetings with three staff members, one of whom managed the team; this manager was my direct subordinate. I led the meetings and asked for their feedback on what they believed the issues were and engaged them in formulating viable solutions to correct the issue. By organising meetings with them individually, I determined from all parties (management and subordinates) each side of their stories. With the issues identified, I organised and led a group meeting to set out my expectations regarding the deadlines. This meeting was also instrumental in diffusing the animosity between management and subordinates brought about by blaming versus focusing on devising solutions. I emphasised the importance of maintaining open, transparent and ongoing communications between them, and for the subordinates to be upfront and honest with their manager if they were challenged in meeting the deadlines. As a result, in the next EOM period, the timetable was maintained and deadlines were met. Furthermore, I implemented regular (monthly) group meetings which focused on discussing areas of improvement with a solution-driven focus. These meetings were also central in improving and maintaining high levels of morale at individual and team levels.

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Annie Cerone