How to Know Your Employees

Posted on July 1, 2010 by Liz Cosline 2 Comments

Knowing employees and understanding how they tick is one of the most powerful tools of success that a manager can have. This does not mean that a manager should be pals with the employees and buddy around. Ultimately, that type of behavior by a manager will undermine his or her effectiveness.  However, it does mean that a manager needs to know what works for each employee.

For example, some employees may learn from oral communication, while for others this does not work well.  Some employees are very visual and have to read things for themselves in order to best absorb the message.  Others may relate better to pictures or diagrams, or learn best with a hands-on approach.  So how does a manger know which is which?

Observation is a great tool.  Asking employees if they understand in the different scenarios above is a terrific way to check.  Take a moment and ask the employees how they learn best.  But even when you have the answers use all types of communications at different times to make sure that everyone understands.

In any job some aspects are preferred and enjoyed more than others.  Pay attention to the attitude of the employee when performing different responsibilities.  If you notice that one of your employees really enjoys numbers, then perhaps there is a project this person would be especially good for.  If someone likes writing, perhaps this person can be in charge of certain reporting. Finding what your employees enjoy at work can help you to create opportunities where your employees can try new things, expand and grow. This is a great way to mentor.

Talk with your employees. More importantly, listen.  Employees want to do well and will offer up the things that get in the way as long as there is belief someone is listening and cares.  To avoid a complaint fest, have the employees come with a problem only if they also have a solution to try.

Your efforts to know your employees will have a positive impact on the business. As trust grows your employees will freely share constructive ideas, bring creative solutions to problems, and work better both individually and as a team.


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