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Six Practices to Incorporate Into Your Management Routine

By Lisa Woods (964 words)
Posted in Leadership & Teambuilding on June 15, 2012

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As a Manager, you are only as good as those you manage.  So what if the people you manage don’t feel respected or included in your team?  By taking the time to know your employees, listen to them and help them to feel included, you will not only build a stronger team, but you will drive better results.  It all sounds logical, but how do you do this?  Try to incorporate these practices into your management routine:


1) When you get into the office each day, go around and say hello to everyone on your team.  You don't need to have lengthy conversations all the time, but a friendly acknowledgement goes a long way.


2) Once a week take the time to have lunch with one of your employees, rotating through them to include everyone before repeating any.  During these lunches ask them how they are doing, ask for specific updates on things they are working on, give them advice on ways to move things along, and ask if they need your help with anything.  Over time your employees will learn to be very prepared for these discussions and very productive prior to them.  If you are not in an environment where you can take them out to lunch, bring lunch into your office or go grab a cup of coffee with them in the lunchroom or cafeteria.  The key is to make the interaction a socially relaxed discussion.  Time that you share one-on-one with your employee, but incorporate work into the discussion.  Imagine yourself as their mentor during this interaction.


3) Give your employees attention when they speak to you.  In meetings, or when they come to see you, use eye contact, take notes, and ask questions.  Giving them your undivided attention will make them feel relevant, and in turn more conscious of their work and their results as part of your team.


4) Always have your employees fill out their own performance review…in addition to you filling it out for them.  Have a discussion with them about each point and hear them out if there is a discrepancy between your opinions.  Be open to modifying your rating if they can prove their point.  If a discrepancy remains, put clear actions in place for them to achieve and agree to review their progress every few months.  Don’t wait until the next year; make performance an ongoing discussion.


5) In passing, or in a more formal discussion, ask your employees for their opinions on your work.  If you have to make a decision on something, ask what they would do.  If you need to make a choice, give them options and ask their opinion.  You don’t necessarily need to follow what they suggest, but by including them in your thought process and sharing your responsibilities with them, it will make them feel empowered and important to you.  It will also improve their loyalty as they see themselves as your confidant.  Always make sure to ask for your employee’s opinion in a one-on-one setting.  They should have the opportunity to express themselves without the pressure of their peers.  If you don’t take their advice, explain your thought process to them as to why you chose something different and use it as a teaching tool for them to grow.


6) Give your employees credit in public.  Go out of your way to show your organization that you have a team.  Make sure you speak in terms of “We” and not “I” even when they are not around you.  By doing this your organization will respect your entire team and your employees will respect you for it.  They will also learn to take ownership over both good and bad results…working harder to succeed together.


These are just a few steps you can take to build your team.  Creating an environment where your employees feel listened to, respected and included will not only make you a better manager, but will enable your team to drive results, manage change and inspire creative growth.


I hope this perspective is helpful to you in your day-to-day life.  Test out these concepts and share your results with us.  Others can benefit from your experiences.  Good luck!


Written by Lisa WoodsPresident ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.


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Comments (50)

Jack Hipple posted on: June 16, 2012

These are all excellent suggestions. However, there is no mention of knowing, understanding, and using (proactively) knowledge of the many different styles that are very inbred in individuals. On the one hand, there are social styles as measured by MBTI, HBDI, etc. and problem solving style as measured by the Kirton KAI. This knowledge is essential for assembling teams for productivity and different types of projects. Being nice to people who inherently in conflict in their styles may endear them to a manager but will be insufficient to form a productive team.

Francis Y.F. Lee - LinkedIn posted on: June 29, 2012

Good tips. It is specially useful for managing the subordinates of different cultures. This helps to narrow the cultural gaps.

Matt Jackman - LinkedIn posted on: June 29, 2012

Super article, thanks for sharing it! It's funny how many of these practices describe the kind of behaviors we wish our own manager would adopt, and yet we forget to apply them in our own leadership. It's good to be reminded now and again.

Tony Pashigian - LinkedIn posted on: June 29, 2012

Great information and reminders. I wonder what "managers" that aren't doing those things think they're doing with their "teams". The only leadership idea that I was opposed to prior to reading this is asking staff to write their own performance reviews. I've always thought of that as a sign of disinterest. In the context of the article it makes more sense. What are your thoughts?

Shellie Jackson - LinkedIn posted on: June 29, 2012

Excellent article Dan. I have utilized ALL of these practices and increased employee satisfaction and empowerment by over 20%! It was worth the time invested as the results were over the top in business results AND with morale.

Desiree Bartholomew - LinkedIn posted on: June 29, 2012

These are all wonderful practices to adopt, thanks so much for sharing. However, #6 can be tricky. Some cultures are averse to public praise and the employee can feel embarrassed. Anyone has thoughts on this?

Ruy B. C. Filho - LInkedIn posted on: June 29, 2012

Excellent article and very useful tips.

MaryAnn Karides posted on: June 29, 2012

Great article, thanks.

Darlene Fenn - LinkedIn posted on: June 29, 2012

Great information. Taking 5 or 10 minutes in the morning to speak to staff makes such a difference in the level of employee engagement. Having employees fill out reviews (depending on what is being asked) also helps to ensure that both the manager and the employee understand and are in sync with the job responsibilities. This process should be done regularly to help in achievement of individual and team goals and ensure the performance is in line with the company's overall goals. As Desiree mentioned, public praise is not always welcome. It is not necessarily just a cultural thing, but an individual preference. Of course, once you have had that 1x / week lunch or coffee with your employee, you would hopefully have found out what motivates that individual. If public praise is not a motivator, don't do it!

Linganath N - LinkedIn posted on: June 29, 2012

Good tips, thank you for sharing with us.

Tom Raines - LinkedIn posted on: June 29, 2012

Great article. It is always important to make everyone feel important in the work place. I am currently trying to find employment and I believe it is very important to not only emphasize your accomplishments, but to also compliment your previous staff while being interviewed. I believe it shows how well you work in teams and also your flexibility of accepting new ideas and concepts. I am a big fan of getting contribution from team members and sharing those ideas and giving credit where credit is due.

Cheryl Trojanowski - LinkedIn posted on: June 29, 2012

Great article! Thanks for sharing.

Gary Mueller posted on: June 29, 2012

Thank you for posting this information. I love this article and the overall concept.I firmly believe that a manager is as good as his/her surrounding staff. Your success as a manager needs to be acknowledged and shared with your staff. With this, a good team can and will self motivate and direct themselves in doing a great job. This will allow you as the leader to steer the ship with little corrections to the wheel.

tia smith posted on: June 29, 2012

thanks lisa- this is a grate article this is how managers should manage their team

Razeena Begum posted on: June 29, 2012

I fully appreciate this article - thanks Lisa! In fact, this is definitely how managers should behave with their team. Always ensuring that compliments and recognitions are being shared and well deserved. However, sad to say, there are still to many "bosses" out there taking all the credits from their subordinates. I hope this article will open up the humility and empathy within us as Managers to give more than to receive!

Kim Lacon posted on: June 29, 2012

This is a good article. These type of managers make employees go the extra mile.

Julia Braun posted on: June 29, 2012

Great Advice!

Michelle Falasco posted on: July 2, 2012

This is a great article! Will be implementing some of these

Brooke Ober posted on: July 3, 2012

Very good article....it is a good reminder that building effective teams does not just automatically happen. It requires dedication, patience, and a sincere interest in serving others. Thanks for sharing!

Linda Cummings posted on: July 3, 2012

Excellent article. Some of you might remember Tom Peters - years ago, one of the best management practices he talked about was MBWA - which was 'manage by walking around'. Item #1 again reinforces that notion. Again, excellent article.

Stephen Streich posted on: July 4, 2012

Excellent article. Thank you for sharing these salient principals. If members of the team are not, or don’t feel engaged it becomes very difficult for them to contribute effectively to achieving the team’s objectives. One point I would like to contribute, is to make certain individual team members know what is expected of them and how they will be measured in achieving the expectations. This should be done in strategy or planning sessions well before the start of the review cycle.

Eli Minson posted on: July 6, 2012

Great article. Totally agree on informal discussions with each employee and taking credit or lumps as a team.

Syed Maaz Ali posted on: July 8, 2012

Amazing article and a true one to be implemented. Employees need to be lubricated well enough with you that they have this trust relationship with you which results better performances which is definitely measurable

Bobbi Roth posted on: July 10, 2012

great article.. totally agree with using the term "we" instead of "i". A lot of tips to remember that would go along way...

Dean Haddy, MSIM, CPCU, ARe posted on: July 11, 2012

I agree, this was a great article!

Manoj Verma posted on: July 13, 2012

This is a great article. Thanks for sharing.

Ansh chaturvedi posted on: July 13, 2012

i Have forwarded this article to my boss, hope he screw of lives less now.. lol.. indeed, superb article.

Akhilesh Muraleedharan posted on: July 30, 2012

what would you recommend to motivate a team, who has been respected, motivated again and again, communicated the goals of the company, told that they are the most integral part of the company, each and everyone of them, and still they don't see the company's targets as their own, but are busy achieving their individual targets which are actually given to them by the company and not self set?!!

Lisa Woods posted on: July 31, 2012

@Akhilesh- There may be a misalignment of individual objectives in relation to the company goals. All individual goals should be set to help achieve the overall company objective. If they are aligned, then there is no problem with your team focusing on individual goals. So step one: align individual goals with the company objectives. Step two: create an overall team objective that they must collectively meet. Step three: add an individual goal that they need to be a team contributor. Have it as part of their review process. A combination of these three steps should help you focus your team on the impact they can make toward overall company success. Good Luck!

Karen St Germain posted on: August 13, 2012

Thanks for the article. Managers need to remember that good teams don't just exist, they require hard work and dedication from all involved.

Sandeep Bartwal posted on: August 13, 2012

Thanks for the article.. Looking forward for more informative articles..

Madhuri Lolam posted on: August 14, 2012

Hey ManagingAmericans, thanks for the informative article.

Patrick Maloney posted on: November 26, 2012

For the last 20yrs I have employeed these ideas as well as others to empower my staff. Most employees would rather have acknowledgement and input than money.

Borja Pérez Muñoz posted on: November 28, 2012

Very good article. People are the basis of every company, so it is very important to motivate them and make them feel part of it.

Stéphane Parent posted on: December 26, 2012

Some of these practices work well when you and your team are co-located. How do you extend for those who work remotely?
I once had a group of thirty DBAs, spread all over Canada, working with different clients, usually alone. "Team" meetings were difficult as there were so few common things. To make it more difficult they were DBAs on three different plaftorms, making sharing tips and tricks not so useful. I made sure I had a one-on-one with each DBA, once a month. How would you turn such a group into a team?

Glenn Sieja MBA, CSCP posted on: December 26, 2012

The benefits of these practices are pretty obvious, but most often we get so consumed with the tactical day to day activities that we don't leave time to do them. Making the time to do these is a commitment.

Sue Hardwick posted on: December 26, 2012

I am the CIO (located at the corporate headquarters in North Carolina) for my company with teams in Kuwait and Afghanistan. I support my company with communications infrastructure and information sharing platforms to allow them to conduct strategic logistics operations. I conduct weekly collaborative meetings with the team leads - with the platform, we can do just voice or add video or use collaborative tools with powerpoints slides, etc. During these meetings, I ensure that I discuss the overall strategic vision, goals and priorities of efforts so that each team leader understands how their operation fits into the big picture and how important they are to accomplishing the strategic goals.

Sue Hardwick posted on: December 26, 2012

I do this so they don't feel "alienated" or forgotten that they are a part of the "team" and what they are doing is valued. The operations in Kuwait and Afghanistan are mutually supporting so to make sure there is no "us/them" mindset - I ensure through the meeting that both teams understand what I need them to do to help each other out and/or if they need any resources from the corporate headquarters. I am a very much "walk about" type leader - to make up for the separation - I make sure I take the time to call each team leader (at least once a week) and sometimes members of the team to personally check in with them to make sure everything is ok, what concerns/issues they may have, etc. Additionally, if a member of the team is to be recognized, we coordinate to do a VTC with all 3 locations so that in front of the entire team, that member is honored.

Sue Hardwick posted on: December 26, 2012

It definitely takes a lot more work and sometimes you have to be very creative when you have geographically split teams but it is very doable.

Curelaru Dan Ionut posted on: December 26, 2012

A good team it's built over time. Because rarely you can have a good team from begining.

The true question is how you manage a team when your manager put's you in a position where you can not fire a lazy / trouble maker member of your team and the rest of the team starts to question you authority?

Brad Bridges posted on: December 26, 2012

Very important to give public credit, spend time with others, and encourage self evaluation. Thanks for sharing the article.

Chris Serafin posted on: December 26, 2012

I think back on some of the classes I recently took for my MBA, and the program was centered around us working in Learning Teams. I went to Phoenix, so was online, and had new people every class....and nobody wanted to work in teams all that much. Although this hurt my grade in a few instances I'm grateful for the experience. One of my rules was establishing a team leader off the bat and if nobody wanted to, I'd volunteer. It would help establish boundaries and expectations so the group didn't waste much time fuddling around. Once the initial leadership issues were sorted out everything else went relatively smoothly.: Enable your team to be in a position to do great work through establishment of expectations and work flow & my guess is the team will get along great.

Prashant Agarwal posted on: December 26, 2012

A strong team needs support, suggestion and motivation, that binds in unity.

Tim Tarver posted on: January 2, 2013

I totally agree 1000 %

Joanne Lee posted on: January 2, 2013

To build a strong team, you need to understand yourself and also your team member well. understanding yourself gives you clarity on what you really want which enables you to set clear goals and direction. Understanding others empower you to know what drives the other person(s) as an individual and as a team. This makes it easier for you to identify and tap on similar desires and interest to build synergy and manage differences in expectations and desires to minimise conflicts. You could do so through earlier methods suggested by Lisa Woods. Establishing boundaries and expectations early as highlighted by Chris is also important. And as Prashant pointed out, a strong team needs support, suggestion and motivation that binds the team together. We could all do with some help in this aspect . If budget is not a constraint, an objective profiling of your team members and yourself would help.

Lesley Sinclair MInstLM MCMI posted on: January 2, 2013

It's always the simplest advice that is the most effective! The key to managing a team always, in my opinion, as outlined in this article revolve around good people and relationship management. Treat people with honesty, trust and respect and the rest usually follows. Good article - always beneficial to have a reminder about what is important when working with others. Thanks for sharing

Keith Lincoln posted on: January 8, 2013

Good article, very simple techniques that we easily forget or don't seem to have time for in our frenetic daily lives.

Chris Fox posted on: January 8, 2013

Good list for encouraging relationship building and co-operation - group building. To achieve synergy through mutual problem solving and innovation by a team would require that co-operation to start with but a then a lot more as well such as establishing norms and support to reach the high performance stage.

Andrew Priestley posted on: February 5, 2013

The two award winning teams I created were on a mission. In the first case we had a very clear 'why' we were doing something we all loved. And in the second case a clearly determined 'enemy'. We were all on the same page. In both cases we were totally aligned on what we valued.

Tina Gummery posted on: February 5, 2013

Agreed it is a cliche but a clear vision, values, goals and for me clarity of accountability and responsibility alongside personal strengths.

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