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Being a fairly new manager, I require my group of 16 sales people to turn in reports every 2 weeks. These reports help me to know what is going on with them and their accounts, and also help me report up the line as well.

The problem is that I very clearly set a day and time the report is due, and there have been a few people that did not turn their report in, or they turn it in a day or two late. The people not turning them in are doing well in their sales so I am not sure how to handle this with them. To me, it's complete disrespect and makes me pretty angry because whenever a report is due to my boss I would not think of not turning it in.

How would you handle this situation?

juliahhavener's picture

Feedback! Consistent feedback - when they get it right, and when they don't. Doing well in sales doesn't forgive missing deadlines. Your reporting is part of the job they do and they must be held accountable for it.

LouFlorence's picture

Hi DR --

This sort of behavior from your directs is aggravating, but it's almost certainly not about you. If your directs are like most sales people, they have little interest and no incentive in generating reports. After all, the commission on reports is pretty low -- it's hard to blame them.

That being said, you have set out a clear expectation. Now, regardless of their performance in other areas, you should give them feedback about their failure to complete the reports. (Of course they should be getting lots of positive feedback because they are such great salespeople!)

If you haven't listened to the feedback podcast, I strongly recommend you do so.

Finally, I would ask if you have considered a technology solution to do the report writing. Let your directs spend time doing what they do best.

regards,
Lou

Mark's picture

I once got on an elevator with a friend. A guy got on after us with an umbrella under his arm, and when he started looking in his pockets for his keys, his brolly started poking me in the chest. Alas, I had nowhere to go.

After he got off, I turned to my buddy and said, "man, that guy made me mad."

And my buddy said: "No he didn't. He poked you with an umbrella. You got mad all by yourself."

This is pretty simple stuff, and it's not disrprect. Give them some polite, pleasant, quick, painless feedback.

And asking for reports every two weeks isn't a new manager technique. Every great manager I know gets all kinds of reports from their folks, most of them every week. What you're doing is more than reasonable.

Feedback.

One on ones would help, too, I'd bet.

Mark

juliahhavener's picture

Mark, I really love the illustration! I think my eye skipped right past that part because my brain said what you did and it didn't even register. I've been talking to my staff a lot lately about that topic - I'm going to try your story to make the point!