As a leader of people, it’s way too easy to get caught up in “hitting the numbers”, “blowing our budget out of the water”, “knocking our sales numbers outta the park”, etc. etc. etc. What REALLY is THE most important thing you can do as a leader???? DEVELOP YOUR PEOPLE!!! Work on their skills, both technically but also the soft skills area. Map out a development path for each based on your needs AND their goals both personally and professionally. Meet with them individually to initiate this process and to make it more effective and more personalized to them. How are you going to consistently meet or exceed your targets, with less effort and more smiles and PMA in the workplace? I was taught a long time ago to constantly not rest on your laurels and to set the bar higher each year. But, I was also reminded that while numbers were important, if every conversation started and ended with “numbers talk” and not about the people that get you those numbers you were doomed to under-achieve. In other words, keep an eye on the numbers and monitor them but work with and through your people to get there. Without them you cannot reach the heights you strive for individually and as an organization!
While traveling for a client this past week, I was reminded once again what one of my “greatest bosses” drilled into me. Relationships with and understanding of your employees are KEY to success as a manager and leader. In order to move the bar on performance, spend less time dealing with conflict, miscommunication, stress and poor productivity. Learn to build better relationships with those on your team!
I didn’t say, get into their “personal stuff”, but that might happen willingly to some degree as some of your relationships develop. What I AM saying is what data supports. That people want to be understood. They want to feel like they are heard, respected and VALUED. They are more than just a number on a sheet of paper or a computer report. Soooo…get to know them, what really makes them tick, where they want to go with their careers and their lives. And as a result, much better employee engagement and retention will occur. A true Win-Win!