Getting the best from people involves a mix of knowledge, skills and behaviours
While organisations may exist for different reasons, one thing most have in common is that it’s the people in an organisation who make or break how successful it is. The best machines, most efficient processes, or most elaborate marketing efforts are rarely guarantees of success if people in the organisation aren’t giving their best. Data shows that organisations with a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity [Gallup].
When a manager looks at what they do day-to-day to contribute to an organisation’s aims, it’s important they consider what they are doing on a regular basis to motivate and inspire their people. Overlook this and they may as well not be doing a lot of the other things that occupy their time. Great managers have the right mix of knowledge, skills and behaviours to help them get the very best from their people, and in this article, we suggest what a few of those might be.
Understanding individuals is a key factor. What motivates one may be very different for someone else. Name in lights or a quiet thank you? Status or achievement? Being a shining star or sharing success as part of a team? This is where a little knowledge can help. Many experts have theorised on the topic: McClelland, Herzberg, Maslow and Glasser to name a few. Understanding the factors that influence motivation helps in identifying this in others. Taking time to understand what floats someone’s boat is time well spent, and having the knowledge can help in knowing what to look for.
Coaching is among the skills that are invaluable for really understanding what drives people. Coaching individuals not only helps in understanding them better, but also provides an opportunity to support them in thinking about what they’d like from their work. Once explored, it might turn out to be different to what was expected. Empathy, listening and communication skills contribute to being a great coach.
Learning the theory and developing the skills can all be undone if the wrong behaviours are demonstrated. A manager who comes across as unenthusiastic and demotivated is unlikely to have a team performing at their highest potential. The power of a manager’s mood to influence a team’s mood is often underestimated. It starts with defining the positive behaviours and then ensuring managers at every level are demonstrating them. Feedback on how they’re doing against the behaviours can be insightful for managers in helping them to develop their own self-awareness, and understanding what they can work on themselves to get the best from their people.
Paying attention to all three: knowledge, skills and behaviours, will ensure managers are best equipped to always get the best from their people.
How do you think you do with all three?