Working out what your staff need from you as a manager can be like solving a complex puzzle, particularly when team members have differing requirements. However, our experience points to a number of things that all team members need if they are to perform at their best and be successful in their role:
- Clear expectations. Explain to your staff what their roles are, what you want them to achieve and what the rules are for getting there. Fuzzy roles and expectations lack focus, cause confusion and have no place at work.
- Autonomy. Most people react best when they have interesting work to do and are trusted to ‘get on with it’. No one likes to be over supervised!
- Accountability – Holding your staff to account for their performance sends a clear message about what is and is not acceptable. In addition, having regular discussions about performance and development ensures that any issues are resolved before they become a real problem.
- Specific feedback. Specific feedback is vital for people as it helps them to understand what they are dong well and what you wish them to do differently. The more specific it is the more helpful it will be. Bland feedback such as ‘that presentation was great’ or that report wasn’t very good’ doesn’t provide the individual with the information necessary to repeat a good performance or make a change.
- Recognition. Everyone wants to be recognised when they have done something right. You can motivate employees by highlighting what they have done well and not just picking up on the things that they have done wrong.
- Learn and develop. It is human nature to want to master what we do – no one likes to stand still. Provide opportunities for your staff to learn, develop and become masters of their own roles.
- Be decisive. Procrastination can be a real downer for staff. That doesn’t mean that you need to make instant or ill considered judgements, but it does mean that you need to be prepared to make decisions and make them within a reasonable time frame.
- Act with integrity. Employees expect their bosses to be confidential and not to discuss any issues that they may have with other people in the team. In addition they want you to do what you say you will and ..there’s nothing more demoralising than working for a boss who says one thing but promptly does something else!
Working out what your staff need from you as a manager can be like solving a complex puzzle, particularly when team members have differing requirements.