Develop Your Staff
There’s no better way to make power moves than to empower your staff. It doesn’t matter if your staff is part-time students or full time lifers. Giving staff a voice and opportunities can go a long way to strengthen teamwork and work culture. Not to mention that keeping staff in the dark and untrained is not the way to retain them. If you are about keeping good staff, then treat them in ways that make them great.
I just finished reading Radical Candor: How to Be a Kick-Ass Boss without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott and it was great to read a book that validated a lot of what I already believed and practiced.
The book is primarily about giving good and sometimes impromptu feedback so that things don’t fester and get awkward or even litigious. That feedback has to come from a place of trust and care. Being radically candid is not permission to be a jerk. It’s about being clear not mean. The author calls this Challenging Directly.
But what I want to focus on is the section of the book that talks about growth trajectory. As managers and supervisors we need to understand the growth trajectory of the people who report to us. If you want to retain good people, you need to do 3 things:
1.Understand their motivations and aspirations. This is what the author calls Caring Personally. Take time from your one on ones to discuss what motivates your staff and why? That is, why do they care about their work? What are their long-term ambitions and how do their current situations fit into those goals? I would add, don’t just listen to their responses. Find ways to either act on their behalf when opportunities arise for them to grow and provide opportunities for professional development. Stop talking about how expensive a conference is and find the cash to develop your team.
2. Have skip level meetings. These are meetings with staff who do not report to you directly. Instead they report to someone who reports to you. These are not secretive or gotcha meetings. These meetings are supposed to open a door to honest feedback about the work and work culture. You don’t have a skip level meeting without first having conversations with the managers who are being “skipped.” And you don’t have skip level meetings with only one manager’s staff. You have them with all of your people’s direct reports. Finally be sure that the direct reports understand that these meetings are to help their bosses become better managers, not opportunities to bury them.
3. Cultivate feedback. This is probably the most important of the three and the area that may best build trust. Whenever I host a StrengthsQuest training with a team, I ask everyone to give themselves the mirror test – What are you bringing to the table, good or bad, that is making this team work or flounder? If you think the challenges at work are because of everyone else but you, then you need to keep that mirror up to your face a little longer. As a manager, you must role model a culture of feedback. Ask your staff, what can I do better. If they say nothing. Everything is fine. Push. Push them to share the things they have noticed are making work harder or less effective. But remember. Be ready for the feedback. They may not have read radical candor yet and may come off mean, but it’s ok. You want to be a better manager and when it’s time for you to provide feedback, model a better way to do it.
I absolutely loved this book. It has an underlying message of appreciation for people’s strengths, which is what I am all about. It puts the onus on managers to model behavior that will make everyone better, not just those at the top. So to summarize, developing your staff is a huge power move. Understand that motivations and aspirations. Invite a high level of honest, radically candid feedback. And finally cultivate feedback especially constructive criticism for you, the manager.
To learn more, check out:
Or just read the book!
#powermovemonday #solutionsnotresolutions You got this!