12 – The Elements of Great Managing – book review and actionable insights from WPRiders part 2 of 4
This is part 2 of the article and book review about how to manage a WordPress team and how to create a healthy and strong organization culture.
In case you missed part 1, you can find it here.
4. Recognition and Praise for Good Work
Employees that receive Recognition And Praise For Good Work (RAPFoGoW) on a regular basis are 50% less likely to leave the company during the next year. RaPFoGoW is the simplest yet the most overlooked opportunities in the business world.
The book recommends observing what things have been done well and then vocally express your appreciation. You can do this both in private as well as in public, in front of the other colleagues.
How are we doing it
I trust my employees and their consciousness. I trust that they’ll make the best decision under the given circumstances. If they will make a mistake, then that’s going to be a valuable lesson learned for them as well as for me as a manager. You may ask, but hey, dude, isn’t it dangerous, to trust your employees and to let them make mistakes? Well, you unbelievers 😃 my answer to you is: choose the right employees before investing them with your trust. But that’s a completely different story.
Observe what are they doing well, observe their initiatives. Then show them that you’ve noticed, express recognition and praise them.
Every 7 days ask myself: did I noticed something good at my employees. Did I articulate that?
5. Someone at Work Cares About Me as a Person
Create the feeling of a tribe. Let every employee feel as a full time member of that tribe, not just another number on the paper. Whenever people feel treated as human beings, they start bonding and creating emotional ties to their peers, their work, to the clients and company. As consequence, studies show that employees cheat less at their workplace. Bottom line: when someone cares about them, they start caring as well!
How are we doing it
Be human and show that you are a human being yourself: acknowledge if you make a mistake, accept you are not perfect, talk openly about your mistakes and what are you doing/changing to avoid this in the future.
Do whatever it takes to be human.
Say Good morning! Really look at your peers and see how they are feeling today. Give them a few mindful moments of undivided attention. Be present when you listen to them. Keep looking at them when they talk to you. Ask your employees what is their spouse/kids doing? And… listen…
Wanna get better at listening? Here’s a terrific resource: Listening First Aid by Gregorio Billikopf
I’ve noticed that our employees like to have a very good coffee in the morning. Therefore, we make sure we have good supply of high-quality coffee.
I do my best to take care of the emotional well-being of the team. Our team organizes “pizza” evenings, Xbox or board games events.
One thing about which I disagree with the book: the book recommends to publicly display individual results so that people will get inspired and will get more ambitious. I could have displayed the hours every developer spends on a daily basis, how much money every developer makes for our company, etc. But I feel this will foster competition rather than cooperation. And this is completely against our cooperation based, tribe-like culture.
6. Someone at Work Encourages My Development
Employees need clarity over their day to day activity, both for what and for how. This is especially true for new employees.
A good mentor assigned to the newcomer is a sure path to getting the new employee up to speed and top engagement as quickly as possible. The mentor will watch and encourage the growth and development of the new employee, will help him/her with the on-boarding, with understanding the processes and the general flow.
Actually, the book tells us that only 1% of those who don’t have a mentor are able to reach full engagement in the company.
This one management element is an important condition for promoting all the other elements inside your team. A good mentor will patiently show and teach how are things being done here both technically, but most importantly, culturally. He/she will transmit all the values of your company to the new employee at a practical level and will show the way you applying our values on a day to day basis.
Having a good mentor is also a key to fulfilling the other element: the right person for the right job. The mentor will be well connected to his mentee, will know and understand his strengths and weaknesses and will be able to guide and advice both the mentee and the management in assigning the mentee to a specific project.
How are we doing it
We have a very talented and dedicated developer-mentor on our team that takes care of the wellbeing and onboarding of the newcomers.
I personally tell my employees: I would like to know you as much as possible, as much as you are allowing me to. The better I know you, the more I can help you be better at this job.
It’s important to have a mentor at the office even if you are not a newcomer anymore. Therefore, we are functioning like a support group where everyone jumps in whenever something needs to be fixed/decided.
Encourage your new employees, acknowledge that they might have a hard time adapting. Ask them to give themselves some time 😃
I do my best to invest in the relationship with every employee.
I do my best to fulfill their true potential, to find their place that will match their innate skills and to make them thrive.