The idea of a healthy work culture can be affiliated with good colleagues, a healthy work place or even a great boss. An in depth research conducted by Marcus Buckingham through the Gallup Organization reviewed 80000 managers.
The research discovered multiple types of management practices that are employed by the individual, however a few practices seemed to stand out on top. Managers had thus discovered what is unique within their employees and furthermore learnt how to capitalize it.
Managing individuals can be compared to two schools of thought, playing checkers or chess. In checkers, the game has uniform action and limited movement. However in chess, each piece has a different function and one needs to analyze how to move the pieces to win strategically. A great manager would employ the ability of his or her employees to address a coordinated plan of attack.
In comparison to this, leaders within an organization drive all individuals despite caste, creed, age and sex towards a universal goal. Managers need to work on identifying individual talent and hone it into performance. Managers thus need to work on valuing the differences that are seen in each individual and allow them to excel at it in a unique manner
Some of the methods included –
Capitalize on Uniqueness: It can feel like one is swimming against the tide when trying to manage operations. For managers, a uniform behavior may be expected from a particular set of employees. However, the value associated with bringing individuality forward would develop a sincere sense of accountability to one’s own actions.
It can provide the right kind of strength towards a team as it would create interdependency. This would further bring about a healthy state of disruption; assumptions associated with particular traits would be removed and contributions are made to the overall goals.
The fine shades between different personalities may be a hindrance when achieving goals; however great managers understand the value of employing it in the right direction.
Bringing out the best Strengths: To identify an individual’s strengths and weaknesses may be one that takes time and effort through constant observation and study. However an easy method to figure it out may be to ask, “What does a good and even poor day of work look like?”
Here the manager has to understand that a strength may not just be confined to what an individual is good at. It can be a preference, a particular job role that the employee would enjoy and would want to get better at over time.
The right question should thus allow you to gain insight into the ability that is of best interest to the employee.
Tailor effective learning styles: To bring the best out of employees the manager should always be looking at establishing patterns of learning within the organization. There are three predominant styles of learning that are seen with adult learning which are analyzing, doing and watching.
Analyzers can effectively learn by studying a task, taking it apart into its elements and then piecing it back together. An analyzer is one would need to study all details around a topic before addressing the problem at hand. Here the result may be slow and steady but is subject to a lower rate of error.
A Doer on the other hand learns through the process of trial and error. Here the individual would pick up the task, briefed quickly and given the freedom to do the task – the learning process is discovered during action.
The Watcher may be the individual who would want to see the entirety of a process to learn. Watchers can be associated with individuals who would like to learn the overall picture of what needs to be achieved. The best method to teach the watcher would be to allow them to shadow someone who is a subject matter expert.
The most precious resource to the manager would be the utilization of time, a great manager would know how to best utilize time to bring out the best in their employees. Great management is not always about control, but about release and learning to tweak practices to best suit the required operations.
(Adapted from Seal Education Newsletter)