4 Things You Must Know About Your Staff

BEWARE as you read this post!

Your definition of what a “successful manager” is may change, hopefully. I find myself often wondering, “Do I know something insightful or profound about organizational management that others do not?” The answer is always no. What I do know, I would chalk up to common sense. I do believe there are a few things we should know about our staff which tend to make the greatest organizational impacts. There is a right way, and in turn a wrong way, to care for people, and in particular, the staff that we have been charged to lead. Specifically, but not all inclusive, there are four things that I believe we must know about our staff to be a successful manager.

Know Who They Are

It is important to understand who they are far beyond what assets they bring to workforce.

This takes a personal investment that many are not willing to engage in. This may be due to time constraints, personalities, or some other distractions. However, in order to utilize our resources most advantageously, we must know who they are. For some, this may only go as deep as their abilities, but for the successful manager, this includes their likes, dislikes, and motivative tendencies, to name a few. It is important to understand who they are far beyond what assets they bring to workforce. The reference line of familiarity will differ from employee to employee, however the more we know about the makeup and personal dynamics of our employee, the better. One thing to note here is that any data gathered should be used only to help them be the best “them” as they can.

Know What They Are

it is those hidden gems of talent that can truly make a person more valuable

I have had the privilege of having a manager who saw something in me that I did not. This was a major catalyst in my career progression. Our employees may not know their own strengths and weaknesses. It is our responsibility to help them develop both personally and professionally. Most review processes focus on what weaknesses need to be strengthened, but it is those hidden gems of talent that can truly make a person more valuable to the organization and more fulfilled within themselves. Also, it is important to know the limitations of our staff, not to limit our ability to challenge them, but to protect them.

Know How to Protect Them

if they fail, it was our failure

We have a responsibility as a manager to protect our staff. This means not placing them in a position or circumstance that they have not been prepared. This is not a scapegoat however, since we should always be preparing them for the next step in their career, but a responsibility to mentor them adequately for success. Also, know that our staff will make mistakes, and if we are challenging them properly, they will fail along the way. This failure will exponentially benefit their growth through the learning process. Know that it is our duty to protect them by being the shield, and if necessary, by taking the blame. I know that many are thinking at this point, “I’m not going down for their mistakes”, but we should recognize that if they fail, it was our failure. This cyclical process will gain strength, and their necessary trust, during these times of your commitment to your staff.

Know Where They Are Going

It is our responsibility to help them succeed.

Some may be content doing the same job until they retire, and those employees are crucial to our team, however most people have a long range vision. By knowing and consistently building upon these “4 things we must know”, we will have been investing in their future and their satisfaction. It is our responsibility to help them succeed. Some of the saddest, but most fulfilling times I have had, is when I was able to promote an employee. Often, this means losing them and the relationship that has been build, but it also means that I was a successful manager.

Life is short, and the majority of it is spent with our coworkers. As a manager, we have a responsibility to them, their families, and our companies to help them be the most successful and value added resource that they can be. After all, the most valuable resource we have is not our customers, or our products/services, but our employees.

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