Great managers know what matters.
They know both what matters to the organisation (vision, values, goals, behaviours, strategy in action) and what matters to individual employees. Their families’ names. Who is terrified of flying. Their favourite hobbies and interests. Who has expressed interest in a leadership role.
They take every opportunity to recognise and appreciate what matters to the organisation and to recognise and respect what matters most to the individual. They help to connect the dots between what matters to people personally and what matters to the organisation.
In my work with Progressive Managers often the largest challenge is that of recognising the good stuff. Often managers do not see enough of what people do to be able to observe (even less recognise) it. And if they are in a position to observe it, often the subtleties go un-noticed and un-acknowledged.
The best managers know what they expect to see an employee doing to support vision, values and goals. They look for it – and when they see it they acknowledge it. If they don’t see it then they will ask questions:
‘Is there anything more that you could do to put our values into practice?’
‘Are there any opportunities that you can see to help reach the goals we have set?’
Good managers know their stuff. They know excellent work when they see it – and they know that they MUST appreciate it. Lesser managers struggle to distinguish excellence from mediocrity – and unwittingly establish a standard that says mediocrity will do.