If you had the opportunity to work for yourself, would you? This question has been popping up in conversations with several clients lately. It’s come up during a board strategy session. It’s been discussed during coaching calls. And, it’s come up while discussing the challenges of working in a multi-generational workplace. The reason I ask the question is simple: Focus on yourself before you criticize your team.
Focus on yourself before you criticize your team!
It’s so easy to point out the mistakes of your team members, and to criticize their performance or what you may perceive as a lack of “ownership” of their jobs. Yet, when you take the time to view the environment and circumstances within which they are expected to perform, can you criticize them? Really? Could you perform better than they are if you had to work for yourself? What if you had to work in the environment they deal with every day? What if you had to use only the tools and support you provide them? What if you were expected to perform with the limited information and feedback you give them? What if you were expected to know how to do ever-more complicated things, yet you weren’t regularly mentored or provided targeted training? What if you had to work for a manager who didn’t focus on you?
What if you worked for a manager who didn’t focus on you?
Every successful leader I’ve had the opportunity to work with through the years has realized that without a talented, dedicated, and loyal team, business can be very hard. It’s harder to attract and retain customers. It’s harder to shift to meet the customers’ needs. It’s harder to keep up with the ever-changing needs of the marketplace. Without a dedicated workforce, it’s hard. So why not focus more intently on the one asset your organization has that can impact your business’ bottom-line, enhance your market position, improve customer engagement and retention, and change your organization’s culture? Why not focus on your employees and ensure they want to work for you?
Why not focus on your employees and ensure they want to work for you?
Engagement surveys are great. They help capture your employee population’s insights on various aspects of your leadership, culture, and work environment. However, you don’t need to wait until your organization undertakes a formal engagement assessment to focus on enhancing your team’s working environment. Focus on yourself and your zone of influence. Focus on how, when, and where you impact others. To help you do this, ask yourself the following questions:
- Would I want to work for myself?
- How well could I perform if I had to work in this environment, with these tools, with the information and feedback I’m provided?
- Would I feel understood, appreciated, and challenged if I had to work for a manager who managed as I do?
- What am I doing to regularly help my team members develop their skills so they’re successful here, and to ensure they stay relevant and highly marketable?
- Would I be able to envision a future for myself here if I worked for a manager like me?
Focus on any of the above questions that make you squeamish. When these questions no longer make you nervous, you’re probably well on your way to creating a workplace that no longer makes your team members squeamish because they’ll know you’re focusing on them. And they’ll want to work for you.
Do want your team to want to work for you?
Get on the right track with my book
“What Managers Need to Stop Doing”.
Copyright MMXVII – Liz Weber, CMC, CSP – Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about me on LinkedIn!