This blog entry is primarily intended for leaders and managers (LM) who have direct reporting employees. However, if you are one of those employees or seeking a new position, you should consider reading through this as this is what you should expect from or look for in your boss. The 80/20 can have significant retention implications.
Simply, 80 percent of the LM’s time should be dedicated toward doing his/her job. Typically this would include Planning, negotiating department or setting business objectives, budget management, building and applying functional expertise, and leveraging business acumen to influence organization resources for the department or business.
As importantly, the 80 percent also has an employee element. This would include managing performance, compensation, career guidance and direction, training and development, sponsoring advancement for those who are ready, and creating space for new talent. In short, creating space relates to exporting talent from the department for broader career opportunities and new challenges, and, using due process, removing people who are non-productive. (More about creating space in a future post)
And the 20 percent: The percentage of time expended assisting direct reporting employees in understanding and doing their jobs.
If the 80/20 ratio changes significantly (60 / 40 for example) the LM is probably spending an inordinate amount of time doing the job of others putting his own performance and that of the department at risk. If it swings the other way (say 90/10) the LM is likely not sufficiently supporting the employees who support the productivity of the department or business. In either situation, loss of key talent can also be a byproduct.
The 80/20 balance swings with situational leadership and management, but in the long haul it should be a key leader and manager guide post
There is a lot to be said for Time Management’s role in striking the 80/20 balance and its importance to LM and employee success.
***** S&E *****