People Management Skills: The Power of Clarity

I’ve written before about clarity (for example in ‘The Secret to Effective Performance Management’). Without simply repeating myself, here are the key management skills related to gaining the level of clarity that improves both employee satisfaction and employee performance (because that’s exactly what clarity achieves and why it’s important). I’ve also given some questions you might like to use to assess your management skills in this area

Management Skills: Clarity on Expectations

‘Knowing what’s expected of them’ constantly ranks high on staff satisfaction surveys. In short, more clarity = more job satisfaction

Key Question:

Are you clear on what you want from your employees? Can you describe, in detail, what effective performance looks like for each of the jobs you manage?  

(You can read a detailed description of this question as an exercise at ‘Performance Management: Are You Clear on What You Want from Your Employees?’)

Here’s my point – if you can’t describe exactly what you want from your employees (and many managers struggle to do this) then, of course, your employees ‘knowing what’s expected of them’ is pretty unlikely!

Management Skills: Clarity on Contribution

Research also tells us employees want to ‘connect their efforts to the mission and purpose of the business’. Employees want clarity on how they – and their job – contribute to the ‘bigger picture’, to the success of your team, department and organisation

Key Question:

Can each of your employees describe how their performance directly contributes to the success of the team, department and organisation?

Not sure? How would you know? Here’s and idea – why not ask your employees? And then you can work with them to help them see exactly what their contribution is and why it’s so important

(You can see some ideas on how to get this type of clarity at ‘Management Skills: Helping Employees to Understand the Bigger Picture’)

Management Skills: Clarity on Performance

The old cliché ‘Feedback the breakfast of champions’ seems, for most people, to be true. Employees tell us they want to know how you – their manager – view their performance. They simply want clear, objective and evidence based feedback that focuses on both what they are doing well and what they need to improve

Key Questions:

When was the last time you gave some positive feedback to your employees – some praise?

(Find some tips on how to give praise at ‘5 Ways to Give Praise’)

Could one of your employees use some performance feedback?    

(And  here’s a very simple way to give some ‘artful performance feedback’)

Management Skills: Clarity on Satisfaction Needs

For reasons I’m sure are pretty obvious the most effective and skilled managers have clarity on what satisfies and motivates their employees. They get to know what makes their employees tick – often simply by having a conversation focused specifically on the question ‘What do you want from your job, me as your manager and the business?’ (Read more at ‘Four Steps to Improve Employee Job Satisfaction’)

Key Question:

Is it time you had a conversation with your employees about their job satisfaction? Could you use the ‘What do you want from your job, me as your manager and the business?’ question?

Management Skills Summary

It’s much easier to gain clarity with your employees if you have a systemized, step by step approach to managing employee performance. You can see a step by step system here. You’re welcome!


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