I have had many conversations with employees who tell me they are not getting what they want or need from their Manager. I have coached these employees to approach their manager to attempt to rectify this.
If it doesn’t work then it won’t be long before the employee resigns and finds another job.
Some managers, whilst brilliant at the technical aspects of management, lack skills to deal with the human element of managing employees and don’t understand what they want and need to become fully engaged.
Human interaction and real connection may not be a natural strength these managers possess. Identifying and acknowledging this and upskilling in this area will go a long way to improving the overall results in their teams.
If you struggle with the people side of management ask yourself the following questions;
1. Do you know what motivates each of your employees?
2. Do you know much about them outside of the workplace, do they have families, children, hobbies, problems?
3. Do you know how they perceive you and have you ever asked them what they need from you?
4. Do you understand their strengths and weaknesses and have you ever undertaken any surveys or activities to identify this? (see www.richardstep.com)
5. Have you allocated or distributed work flow according to their strengths and weaknesses and understand what their natural workflow is (tasks that they do with ease and comfort as against tasks that they postpone or become anxious about)?
6. Do you know if they feel connected and secure in their role?
7. Do you know what their career aspirations are?
If you can’t answer most of these questions about the majority of your team then you are too heavily focussed on the technical.
In my experience, the 10 things employees want from their Manager are;
1. They need a real connection to you – that you are approachable, will listen to them and value their ideas, that you respect them, trust them and are genuinely interested in them as a person.
2. That you recognise their skills and abilities and give acknowledgement for the positive contribution they make.
3. That you provide them with meaningful work and projects that stretch and challenge them and the support and encouragement to succeed in those challenges.
4. That you understand their career goals and you show genuine interest and support in helping them to achieve those goals where possible.
5. That you support and encourage learning and development in line with their goals and the businesses requirements.
6. That you are approachable and available when they might need you and if they do have a personal issue impacting work that they feel comfortable enough to be able to share that with you.
7. They love it when you ask their opinion and include them in analysing problems.
8. That you say good morning when you arrive in the office and ask them how they enjoyed the weekend, event or special occasion they told you about – and that you remembered!
9. That you can have a laugh
10. That you walk the walk not just talk the talk
Trust me if you can find some time to work on these things the loyalty, engagement, productivity, sense of connection and general demeanour of your employees will lift substantially.