Employee Relationships: 7 Strategies for being an effective supervisor
We believe that to be the best leader you can be, you need to be a fearless, bold, effective coach on a daily basis. Aspirational, right? The path to greatness seldom runs smoothly though, so here are a few strategies to get you started.
Often we get a clearer understanding of our own goals, ambitions and weaknesses by talking them through. So try this: stop talking at employees at review time. You’ll get far more useful information if you just prompt with something open-ended and just listen to what they have to say. With some people that might mean the occasional uncomfortable silence, be patient and give them a chance to talk.
Play to your (and your teams) strengths
How well you understand your own strengths and weaknesses can really change how you approach feedback and coaching. Knowing your frame of reference (“I have high technical ability”, “I have no problems conducting tricky negotiations”) and allowing for differences in your team’s abilities means you can tailor and temper your feedback, making it more relevant – and useful for them. Using your experience to coach them will help them grow and learn new skills.
Manage teams, not individuals
Performance reviews typically look at individuals, but managers are responsible for the output of a team. A great manager needs the ability and skills to manage individuals as well as the group dynamics of a team. By recognizing individual strengths and skills gaps, you can pair team members up with complementary skills to provide learning opportunities as well as promote teamwork and project success.
Accentuate the positive
We all have our professional strengths. But our weaknesses represent the areas where we have the greatest potential for growth. It’s important to focus on the strengths of the employee while finding ways for them to develop skills that need improvement. Encourage them to find ways to develop that skill. The goal is to turn what was a weakness into an area of growth and add that to the list of positives as well.
The most successful organizations have one thing in common: they’re able to inspire their employees, and they recognize achievements. So find that exceptional talent in each employee: something they do really well that can be developed further. Build coaching and feedback around it, and refine it further by finding challenging work opportunities to continually develop that skill. Finally, tell everyone about it, and make sure the employee gets recognized. This reinforces current performance and drives strong performance in the future.
Give feedback frequently
Acknowledging achievement is Management 101. It’s easy: give feedback frequently – it means more in real time than it would 6 months from now – and do it publicly when appropriate. It’s unlikely that everyone on your team performs their jobs perfectly all the time, and you need to be able identify the fails in order to coach them and help them grow. . So when it happens, acknowledge it – be direct, and don’t criticize the person (it’s about the action). Above all, you need to be honest and sincere if you want your feedback to carry any weight.
Performance reviews are about people
Performance reviews aren’t just about the numbers. It’s about the people and their contributions to the team and the overall organization. Help them understand how their efforts drove overall success so they feel a part of something bigger than just themselves. This will tie them to the organization and drive engagement, productivity and ultimately success.
Luxa is an outsource HR firm that specializes in employee relations and the supervisor employee relationship. If you need any assistance with your HR processes please contact us at your earliest convenience.
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LUXA Enterprises offers outsourced hr solutions for small and mid-size businesses in the Tulsa and surrounding areas. If you’re considering a short or long-term approach for your hr needs, give us a call for more information at 918-928-7288.