As an HR Consultant, I have a lot of answers when my clients have questions and need help. As a business owner and manager, I often need help myself. Ever here of the shoe maker’s children? Sometimes when you are “in” the situation, it’s hard to look “out” of it… So, I had a staff meeting the other day and asked my employees to answer 4 important questions on our white board- they are as follows:
1. How do you want to be rewarded?
2. How do you work best?
3. What don’t you like about my management style?
4. What can I do to make your job easier?
Number 4 is a hard one, especially if I want the truth- so I told them they could type up that answer and throw it in a box to remain anonymous.
I realize that #1: my employees are different and don’t like to be rewarded in the same ways. Some want money, some want advancement and some just want gift certificates and fun team outings. Knowing what motivates each person is important -they are so diverse, it’s hard to please one without another being disappointed.
I realize that #2: my employees have different work styles- some work at an urgent pace, so need to have meetings planned in advance- where one person thrives on drama the other one runs away- understanding if I need to run over quickly or schedule a meeting ahead of time to talk about important matters can make a huge difference in how they respond. Remembering that they don’t naturally gravitate towards my work style is also sometimes hard to swallow. I am working on it.
I realize that #3- I may do things that drive my employees crazy that I think they like. Knowing when to START doing something and STOP doing something in any relationship is valuable.
I realize that #4: Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a successful business- each person has a different pace and might need help from time to time. Knowing when to give others help when they might be too proud to ask for it, or think it is a sign of weakness if they do, is key. Each person needs someone to lean on from time to time.