If you are a supervisor or manager, and you have staff reporting directly to you, how do you get the best out of them?
Get to know your team. Take the opportunity to talk to your team as frequently as possible, and try to find out what motivates them, what their different personalities are and what communication styles they respond to best.
Let them know when they do a good job. If a member of your team performs well, tell them. This should both help them feel good, and let them know they are doing the right thing.
Keep comprehensive records. You should keep records of your team’s performance, and regularly review their progress at one-to-one meetings. These meetings are a chance for you to deliver feedback to your subordinates, and for team members to raise any concerns they may have about the work environment. It may also be appropriate for you and the employee to discuss targets and goals they can work towards.
Encourage them to get involved with a wider range of tasks. If the opportunity exists for your team members to do more than just the regular duties of their role, actively encourage them to get involved.
Let them know when there are potential issues with their performance. Unfortunately, managers will from time to time have to tell an individual that their performance is below expectations. Try to identify any potential issues at an early stage, and consider if any changes to the individual’s working environment, and/or any additional training, could help them. Try to deliver constructive feedback that will improve the situation. If your initial attempts to improve the situation don’t work, then you may have to clearly explain to the individual exactly what the company’s expectations of them are, and how they are falling short of these.
Keep them informed. As well as briefing your team on the tasks in hand at any one time, tell them as much as you reasonably can about goings-on in the company as a whole. Let them know how their individual contributions help the overall success of the organisation.
Set a good example. Remember that your team may follow your lead in all sorts of ways. Ensure you act professionally at all times, adhere to the company dress code and refrain from grumbling about the company within earshot of your team.
Don’t be a dictator. As far as possible, let your team suggest what is the best way to get things done.
Treats and incentives. As far as possible, give your team little treats and incentives. Buying the occasional round of coffee or cakes is usually a safe bet, and consider taking your team out for a meal or social event.