By March 11, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Don’t Treat Your Employees Like You Want To Be Treated

Don’t Treat Your Employees Like You Want To Be Treated

We’ve all been told that we should treat others the way we want to be treated, but don’t take this literally in your management role.

After all, everyone is different. How your employees respond and react will vary from how you would and from each other. While in some cases, you do have to treat employees the same out of fairness, the reality is, each of your staff is different and you need to take that into account and change your management approach to fit them.

Treating everyone the same is ‘off the rack’ management. Don't practice lazy management - customize your management approach.

A more effective way of managing your staff is to understand each of your staff’s personalities, capabilities, sensitivities and other factors might impact how they respond to any given situation and in particular, how they differ from you.

Here are a few examples of common management activities were you should reconsider treating everyone the same:

Giving employees feedback or praise

Some your staff will perform at a top level regardless of whether you praise them. Others require constant pats on the back to keep them motivated.

Similarly, one person may enjoy being invited up to the front of the room and praised in front of their colleagues and peers but somebody else may be very shy, have no interest in the attention and in fact be quite uncomfortable with it.

Providing guidance or direction to employees

Some employees need detailed instructions and direction but others can simply be pointed in a direction and told the objective you want.

For those who need detailed instructions, it might not be because they have little motivation or don't know what to do. It may simply be a matter of personality or perhaps in the past they've had grief from their boss for doing things not exactly like the boss wanted. Find out what works for each of your staff members and use it to get the best results.

Setting goals and objectives for employees

Like the previous item, some employees are very happy having their goal and objectives handed down to them while others have a need to contribute and help build those goals and objectives directly.

While in some cases your organization's requirements dictate those goals or objectives, with most employees there are numerous additional requirements that could be set collaboratively.

You can't always tell why which approach is the right one, since those that want to do it collaboratively may be trying to moderate expectations and those who want goals dictated may want an excuse when they can’t deliver. Weather dictating goals and objectives or working collaboratively, be careful to keep in mind the potential motivation behind your employees preferred approach.

Disciplining employees

Some employees take discipline and criticism very well, likely the more confident ones, however others may be more sensitive to being told they did something wrong and be driven by fear of losing their job. They may stop taking risks or making their own decisions because of that fear.

Traditional management techniques usually wrap correction or discipline into a softer approach to telling employees they did something wrong or to do it differently next time. That will work for many employees, however sometimes the more direct, harsher approach is the only way you will get change from that employee. Again, this is why it's important to understand your employees -  so you can apply the right approach.

Development and training employees

Some employees are driven to learn and take all the opportunity they can for development and training while others are less enthusiastic. Understanding the reasons for that lack of enthusiasm will go a long way to developing training that works for them.

For instance, off-site training may present logistical or family problems for some employees, so they resist it, or they know a day off the job means they work harder or even longer hours to recover from the work they missed.

Even more important is that different people learn better with different techniques. Some employees may need the hands-on workshop type approach while others may prefer a lecture or even reading a book on the topic to get the knowledge they need.

While there are certainly benefits and drawbacks to the various techniques for learning and you need to make it work for your requirements, taking into account how each employee learns and trying to adapt the development and training program to those needs will go a long way.

About Michel Theriault

Michel is the founder of Success Fuel for Managers. He is an author, speaker and consultant focusing on topics relevant to Managers and aspiring Managers in businesses of all sizes who want to get results, get attention, and get ahead. He is also a contributor to Forbes and AllBusiness Experts . Michel is available for speaking engagements, training and consulting. Connect with him or send an email.

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