How Knowing Your Employees Helps to set them (and You) Up for Success

nov 20

As a leader, how well do you know your team members as people? Do you know what their top priorities are in their life as well as their work?

I remember a few years back, listening to an exceptional leader, Marc Petitpas, speak about how he took the time to meet with each employee and understand them as people. What were their life goals in five years – not just career, but personal as well. This helped him to lead them and ensure that opportunities for success were shared with them.

What gets in the way of you sitting down and talking with your direct reports? Let them know you value them and would like to get to know them better.

You might ask:

  • what are their favourite activities during their free time (or outside of work)?
  • What makes these activities so meaningful for them?
  • What’s on their bucket lists?
  • What do they desire to create in their work and what meaning does that give their lives?

Get in touch with their personal values, and well as what they wish for in their careers.

Then as a leader, ask yourself, how can you set this individual up for success? What projects or committees would be best suited to this individual’s skills, abilities, and goals? How might you use their specific values, and insights to improve client results?

Hint: This information also comes in handy during a recognition event – as then you can ensure that the gift they receive has personal meaning to them. For example, if you are giving gift cards, you might choose to get cards for the local ski hill for someone who loves to ski and a bookstore card for the person who loves to read a good mystery novel. In this way, you are helping the individual feel honoured and valued in one action.

Also, when you notice an article, book or event that might be of interest to this employee, you can simply email them the details.

By showing this personal level of interest in your team members, they are likely to reciprocate with even more dedication to their work and your organization – and, definitely, to you!