When it comes to being a good leader, there’s three simple letters you should follow: “KYP,” or “Know Your People.” At one point, we’ve all dealt with that one boss who was completely clueless about what their employees wanted, secluding themselves in their office for most of the day and keeping interactions to a minimum.
3C Contact Services Inc., the leading provider of outsourced call center solutions, tells their partners that there are steps they can take to ensure that they get to know their people better:
1. What do you know about their generation?:
Most modern workplaces have people from all generations, from baby boomers to Millennials. Doing research can reveal what their attitudes are and help you to better understand how they think. However, reading about how a generation thinks on the Web is no substitute for actually interacting with your employees.
2. What are their career aspirations?:
Look at where your employees want to be in five to 10 years and determine if the work they are currently doing can help them to achieve this goal.
3. What is their life-stage?:
Is the worker recently out of school and just entering the workforce, or are they looking at retirement within the next few years? Are they single, or are they married with children? This information can often reflect their career goals.
4. What is their cultural background?:
A person’s cultural and ethnic background can have an enormous impact on their attitudes and values, which they often bring to the workforce.
5. What do they do outside of work?:
What do your workers do for fun away from the office? Are they involved in sports? Their church? Finding out what your workers’ interests are outside the office can give you valuable insight into the kind of person they are.
6. What is their life history?:
What shaped your worker into the person they are today? Where did they grow up? Casually finding out about an employee’s life history can tell you a lot about them.
7. What are their strengths?:
Many managers make the mistake of focusing on their workers’ weaknesses rather than their strengths. An employee’s strengths are what will drive your organization forward, so focus more on what makes them an asset.
Being able to empathize with your workers is one of the most important skills you can have as a manager. 3C Contact Services Inc. suggests you always try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. This serves you well when dealing with customers; use the same approach with your workers.
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