Help your Employees Find What Works for THEM

Excerpt

I like to optimize, tweak, find ways to improve. My wife hates it when I cook because when she asks me how it turned out I will say something like: “Not bad, but next time I’ll do…” No matter how well it turns out I still want it to be a little better next time. […]

Help your Employees Find What Works for THEM

I like to optimize, tweak, find ways to improve. My wife hates it when I cook because when she asks me how it turned out I will say something like: “Not bad, but next time I’ll do…” No matter how well it turns out I still want it to be a little better next time.

As a project manager (or any leader) you want to coach your team and help them improve. That’s a big part of leading a team. Unfortunately, many leaders try to PIGEON HOLE their team and change the way they work even when it’s not helping.

I think back to an old job. My teammate and I used a web based task manager to plan our day. Despite the fact that we performed well our office manager/co-owner decided THEY preferred to plan their day with pen and paper. So, if that is that worked best for THEM then that is what we must use too.

I want to make a few things clear. We weren’t missing deadlines or under performing. We rarely collaborated directly with this individual, so it wasn’t an effort to consolidate scheduling tools to integrate the team better. This was purely an act of someone who wanted us to work in the manner that was most efficient for them. Never mind if it was what worked for us. It would be like having a basketball coach who was tall and played well in the paint as a player, so all of their players need to play that way even if they are small and more talented as a 3 point shooter.

As a coach you need to help your people find what works best for THEM. There are some exceptions, if it disrupts other workers etc… For example, if a task takes multiple people and want person decides they would rather come in on the weekend to perform it, then they may need to change their schedule to accommodate the rest of the team. But unless something is conflicting with others or company policy/legal matters (such as causing a security concern with important data) then the goal of a leader is to help someone get as close to 100% of their peak performance as possible.

You might have the experience to help give someone some tips to better schedule their assignments and miss less deadlines. But if your method doesn’t work better for them then you shouldn’t force them to use a system that doesn’t work for them, regardless as to how great you think it works for you. This is someone for you to help, but is not a clone of you.