As a manager of a team, you have certainly asked yourself one or more of the following questions :
- “Is my team happy?”
- “Do they have what they need to work correctly?”
- “What does the team think of the company”?
And so on. Some of you might think: “Well, they’d certainly tell me if something wasn’t right.” Don’t be mistaken about this – people often don’t raise word by themselves, even if they feel things are wrong. It is probably a manager’s nightmare to rest in confidence and assume everything is well for everyone, because the manager thinks it is, just to find out that a rebellion has been growing inside your team and notice it when it’s well too late. Unsatisfied employees will be less productive and identify themselves less with the business, which leads to even more lack of satisfaction, as the boat slowly sinks.
My advice is: ask your people regularly about how they go and feel about their work and the business in general. Be candid about it. You don’t have to ask them to run the business for you, and they won’t take decisions for you, but you should carefully try to ask the right questions to find out how “life is within”. Managers often have to take a couple steps back to see the big picture, so you have to rely on what your team tells you from the inside and day-to-day work.
I have recently organized a small team chat on Skype to ask some questions and start a debate about how the company is doing. My people trust me and know that they can be honest and speak freely – they do, as well as I do. We had a very interesting 30 minutes of chattering, that made some interesting points to come up. The team also appreciated this initiative, as they feel looked after, and as they get confirmation for the fact that their wellness is important for the business.
I plan on repeating this every couple of weeks now – just to feel the temperature and make sure everyone is doing fine and we work towards the same goals, as a team.