Many managers justify their day by providing guidance when needed, final votes on a major decision, monitoring progress and fighting fires. Are your team members aware of what you do, why you do it, and how it affects them?
Can you subjectively perform a self analysis of your worth to your people? Many managers believe they spend their day appropriately in meetings, conferences, on phone calls, answering email, creating reports and dealing with personnel issues. Somehow the day flies by. Fire are identified, some put out, some still smolder, but you are ‘on top’ of the current projects or day to day business.
What if you were to ask or survey your team members about their perception of your daily job? Are you likely to get a truthful report from your team if their jobs are related to the review? Why would they tell you anything outside of the pleasantries or rock the boat? Are they likely to criticize or just stay mum on issues? Would you listen openly if they criticized you?
It requires a large amount of trust in the interpersonal relationship for someone to provide honest criticism of a superior. Have you established this with your team?
Do you think your staff values your presence? Are they aware of how you add value in the supply chain? Are you able to keep in touch with them regularly? Would they be likely to call you if they had a problem? Have you had anyone burden you with a problem lately? Are you losing touch with your staff?
Employee satisfaction is one of the hardest metrics to establish and measure. Your staff needs to know you are there to support them, empower them to get things done, and behind them when things go wrong. And they probably want to know how you fit into the picture, how do you add value, how is your presence justified.
Do you perceive of yourself being involved with your team members daily lives? Do you know birthdays, children, and /or spouses? Do you care? Do you need to know this info?
You used to be one of them before you moved up. Get into their shoes – what do they need from you to be successful? How can you empower them to get their job done efficiently? Do you trust their judgment when something goes wrong?
Do you back your team’s efforts when there are mitigating circumstances?
No one wants surprises so keep in touch, keep the rapport alive, and earn their trust as they earn yours. Be there for them when they need your support. You never know, the circumstances might get reversed.