One of the most valuable management skills we can have is the aptitude for understanding what our staff want and need in their working lives. In my blog ‘Management Skills: What do our staff members want?’ I looked at how the management skills of clarity, honest feedback and respect can have a hugely positive effect on both the job satisfaction and performance of the staff in our businesses and organisations. In this blog I’m looking at three more ways that managers can meet the needs of their staff (on the basis that when our staff get what they want and need they are motivated to perform better!)
Management Skills #4: Motivational Appraisal Meetings
Performance appraisal meetings are a part of most people’s working lives and I truly believe they don’t need to be the dreaded drudgery that so many managers and staff members seem to find them. In fact, I believe they can be highly motivational for the staff member and highly effective for the manager (in terms of improving staff performance and satisfaction). Here are two ways that managers can improve their management skills of holding motivational appraisal meetings
1. Find out what the staff member wants from the appraisal. Here’s a simple idea. The manager could ask their staff member ‘what will need to happen for you to find the appraisal meeting we are planning really motivational?’ (Read more here)
2. Help the staff member prepare for the meeting. More than anything managers and staff members want the appraisal meeting to be a two-way, adult-to-adult conversation. They want to share ideas and feedback. They want to discuss achievements and identify areas for development. None of these good things will happen if the staff member doesn’t know how to prepare. Read more on how managers can help staff members prepare for the appraisal meeting HERE
Management Skills #5: Confident Management
Have you ever been managed by a manager who isn’t confident about – err – managing? The type of manager who
• Apologises every time they need to do something even vaguely ‘managerial’ (I’m really sorry but I need to talk to you about …)?
• Never gets clear with you on what they want and need from you?
• Never gives you feedback just in case you can’t take it?
Is there anything more frustrating?
It can be tough building the management skills of confidence but when managers lack confidence it’s a pain not just for the staff member but for the organisation too (read more on management confidence here). So how can managers build their confidence? Here are a few tips:
• Believe in their management rights. Some managers don’t believe they’ve earned the right to manage their staff’s performance. Managers don’t have to earn the right, they have it already. The clue is in the job title. So, it’s all about helping managers embrace their right to manage ( read more at ‘Management Skills: Helping your managers embrace their right to manage’)
• Stop trying to be perfect. One of the reasons managers don’t feel confident in their management role is because they are afraid of making mistakes, of not being the ‘perfect manager’. So they don’t take any action at all. The reality is, management (for most of us) isn’t like open heart surgery – nobody will die if the manager makes a mistake. And the truth is very few people want to work for the perfect manager. But they do want to work for someone who manages. If managers give up trying to be perfect they can then begin to be a really effective manager
• Tools, techniques and skills. At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious (hey, what’s new?) if managers don’t have the tools, techniques and skills they need to manage people effectively they are going to struggle to build their confidence. Do the managers in your organisation have the tools, techniques and skills they need? Do they have the management skills?
Management Skills #6: Spending Time with Staff Members
Most managers are busier than an elf on Christmas Eve but what many staff members want more than anything is more ‘face time’ with their manager. Who wouldn’t like to know that their manager wanted to get to know them better, to find out what makes them tick? One of the very best ways for managers to spend time with their staff is having a focused discussion with them about their job satisfaction – and how to improve or maintain it (for some ideas on how managers can plan and run a meeting about job satisfaction take a look at my four step plan at ‘Four Steps to Improving Employee Job Satisfaction’)
What about you?
What do you think staff members want from their manager? What do you want from your manager? What do you want from your staff?
Management Skills: Do the managers in your business need help?
If the managers in your business or organisation need help in building their management skills why not give them access to my FREE management training videos? The 10 Minute Management Toolkit videos focus on how to motivate staff to high performance. Watch full sessions HERE