Fear Is Not the Answer: Learn the Six Pillars to Growing a Productive Staff!

The following is a guest column by Pam Shultz-Kovalewski, Owner of The Frugal Decorator

My background in corporate management was an eye opener. I quickly learned that “Trusting your staff and watching them grow” is a dynamic approach to business that most businesses don’t put into practice. Historically companies rule employees by fear. Such as “don’t mess this up or your fired,” or “if you don’t hit goal you’re fired.” The best way to manage if an employee fails at a project starts with you, the manager. You must first ask why? Were they not trained properly, were they not managed or directed on their part of the project properly, how can we help set them up for success? 

Much like a teacher must learn how to teach” individual” students and figure out their learning process, the successful way to manage is to understand your employee’s personalities. There are six main traits to look for.

1) Challenging Work-These are people who attain success based on their talents. They are self-motivated and need challenge in order to produce. They also need to learn from their failures by teaching them what went wrong and helping them to arrive at solutions to create success the next time. Make sure you are teaching them and grooming them, for higher productivity ensures everyone’s success and pride in their work.

2) Predictability-These employees are motivated by security in their job and are the core work force not the exceptions. They look for a pleasant work environment, a steady paycheck, benefits and an upbeat and positive work place where they don’t get beaten up and harassed daily.

3) Independence- some employees need independence. They do not work well by being micro managed and need the opportunity to adjust their hours and not have someone looking over their shoulders constantly. Often, these are a creative type, such as a graphics designer or creative marketing positions. They tend to be more free spirited and produce great work when given more free-reign on a project.

4) Interaction and affiliation- These employees need others around them and need the social aspect of their job to feel fulfilled. They do best in teams or on group projects where their opinions, input and suggestions make them feel of value.

5)  Authority- These are natural leaders who never mind taking the lead on a project. They like to be in control and direct others well. These are the employees that should be groomed for higher positions by giving them decision making projects that allow them to thrive and be motivated to produce and lead others.

6) Recognition- These employees need praise after they have succeeded on a project. If they don’t succeed on a project they need recognition on the parts done well and gentle guidance on the part not done as well so they are motivated to do better on the next one. Often competition with rewards and perks are what get them going.

Many employees are combinations of these traits, but one trait in particular will be their success point.

Managers need to get to know their employees. Figuring out their personality traits and working with that information to motivate them makes everyone a success. Degrading and de-motivating employee’s makes them want to find another job and you might be losing a great employee simply because you haven’t figured out how to manage them. So learn about your employees so you can trust them and watch them grow into a success that reflects on you both.

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