Management Skills: Do Managers Know What Their Staff Really Want?

management skillsWhy are the management skills of knowing what the staff in our organisation really want so important? Why would the managers in our business need to even care? Well, quite simply, because when managers meet the needs of their staff – their job satisfaction needs – then they motivate those staff to high performance. It’s really a business or organisational performance issue. So, what are these management skills? In the first blog in this ‘mini series’ ‘Management Skills: What do our staff members really want?’ we looked at; Clarity, Honest Feedback and Respect. In part two we looked at the management skills of; Motivational Appraisal Meetings, Confident Management and Time. In this article we’ll take a look at:

Management Skills # 7: Helping Staff see the Meaning of Their Work

Here’s an old story I was recently reminded of. A woman is walking along the road when she sees three men smashing boulders with hammers. Being a curious type of person she asks the men what they are doing. The first replies ‘Breaking big rocks into little rocks’ the second replies ‘I’m just working to feed my family’ the third replies ‘Building a cathedral

Clearly not many of us are involved in building cathedrals (literally or metaphorically). But surely we are all involved in work that is meaningful to our businesses or organisations (because if it wasn’t what would be the point of doing it?). Every single staff member in some way contributes meaningfully to business or organisational success. Many staff members, though, don’t see how their work is meaningful to the business. One of the most vital management skills is helping staff understand how meaningful their work is (read some ideas on managers can do this at ‘Helping Employees to Understand the Bigger Picture’)

Management Skills # 8: Showing Appreciation

Not surprisingly, research shows that ‘appreciation for a job well done’ consistently ranks highly as a motivator in staff satisfaction surveys. Yet research also shows that most people don’t feel they get enough praise

So why are managers seemingly reluctant to show appreciation – to give some praise?

Putting aside the fact that it’s likely that some staff feel they should be praised for just turning up every day, I guess that managers are sometimes reluctant to give praise because they have had experiences of being praised themselves in ways that haven’t actually motivated them at all. And, of course, they’re not too keen on having the same effect on their staff

Actually it’s quite easy to deliver praise badly – praise that is seen as patronising, manipulative or just meaningless by the recipient. But done well, its dynamite (take a look at my blog ‘Five Ways to Give Praise’ for some ideas on managers can to do it well)

The Key Management Skills: Effective Management!

The one thing that our staff really, really want is effective management – the type of effective management that incorporates all the management skills we’ve looked at in this series of articles. The question is – how do we help the managers, team leaders and supervisors in our business or organisation develop those management skills?

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

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