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On this page you will find information that has been formatted for training purposes. These training segments are offered at no charge to you and your employees. Training segments are rated as either high level or detailed. A high level segment is one that tends to be a discussion of issues with some associated detail. A detailed segment is one that provides a significant amount of detailed instruction. A new training segment is added on a regular basis. Recent Online Training segments can be found in Archives.

Training Segment Category: Supervisory Training

Dealing With Your Employees Effectively

Rated: High Level

Perhaps the most overlooked dimension of managing people is the understanding of what motivates people and what satisfies people about their work and their employer. The best managers, without question, are adept at reading people and knowing how to push the right buttons. People are complicated and everyone is different. That's what makes managing people so challenging. If we could use one standard method of dealing with everyone, it would be much easier to be a manager/supervisor. Unfortunately, this is impossible.

  • Your job as a manager/supervisor is to get work done through others.
  • To maximize the amount and quality of work that your people put out, those people must have the appropriate skills.
  • Even if the people have the necessary skills, but are not consistently in the proper frame of mind, the level of productivity will suffer.
  • Cracking the whip or "Gestapo type" management simply does not work!

What do employees want?

  1. They want to feel like they are part of the decision making process.....they want to feel like their opinion counts.
  2. They want their company to show a genuine concern for its employees.
  3. They want to be paid a fair and competitive wage for the work they perform.
  4. They want feedback on their performance on a consistent basis.
  5. They want to feel like they are as important as any other employee.
  6. They want to work in an environment that encourages open communication.
  7. They want to be kept informed about what's going on within the company, department, etc.......where are we going?
  8. They want some degree of recognition for a job well done.
  9. They want clear communication of what is expected of them.
  10. They want to be treated with respect.
  • All of your employees have a unique personality. Personalities are generally formed by the age of seven so changing someone's basic personality just won't happen. What you will strive to change is behavior as required.
  • Managers/supervisors must be keenly aware that this diversity in personalities requires adjustments in how they deal with various individuals.
  • People have deeply ingrained sets of values. These values tend to drive our thought processes.
  • Managers need to learn how to read people. This requires good listening skills and good observation skills. It also means taking a genuine interest in other people.
  • Managers must spend time with their people to get to know them. One-on-one sessions with your people will help in two ways:
    1. they will help you better understand what is important to the employee and what motivates them and
    2. it will strengthen the rapport between you and the employee assuming that you deal with the employee in a manner that is relationship developing.....not relationship destructive.
  • We have heard for years about the various theories about what motivates employees. But, what really motivates employees? This is a difficult question to answer in a general way. Because everyone has different personalities and different value systems, there are some differences in what motivates people.
  • Let's start with the basic motivators that would probably apply to all of us:

    1. For many people, the most motivating factor in a work environment is money. However, for others, money might be second or third or lower in terms of what motivates them the most. Money motivates by fulfilling the needs (paying bills) and the wants (nice home, car, boat, clothes, savings, etc.) of the individual. The more money, the more wants that can be fulfilled.

    2. For some people, money is a temporary motivator and for others it is a constant motivator. People with high dominance factors in their personality tend to be the most highly motivated by money. Money motivates best when performance is directly linked to monetary gains, i.e., increased salary, bonus, commissions.

    3. For many people, the most motivating factor in the workplace is reinforcement of a job well done. This comes in the form of praise, promotions, high scores on performance evaluations or some other form of recognition. And everyone appreciates a bit of praise for a job well done.

    4. For most people, there is more than one factor that provides motivation. Motivation means to provide a the business world this is a motive for higher performance. Or, higher performance equals some reward. The reward then is the motive. If an individual has high conformity factors in his/her personality profile, a pat on the back might be more motivating than money, however, don't underestimate the motivating power of money especially if it is directly associated with performance. Job security is probably a bigger motive for someone who has more patience and conformity factors than dominance and extroversion factors. Why? Because someone with more dominance and extroversion factors has high levels of confidence and inner security and believes they can go anywhere and do anything. And because they tend to be more materialistic.

  • In terms of motivation, it is important to recognize that motivation does not occur through one single reward. It is a package of, recognition/praise, job security, being included in making decisions, etc.
  • A good manager is a good motivator. He/she understands that employees are motivated in different ways, but all employees can be motivated to some extent by recognition, praise, money, lighthearted, but productive work environments, being included in the decision making process when appropriate, being treated fairly and with respect and in general enjoying working for the company. You want your employees to get up in the morning and feel good about coming to work....not dread it. If they dread it, there will be virtually no enthusiasm and, therefore, low performance and productivity.
  • Understand clearly that employees listen to and hear virtually every word a manager speaks. Does this mean they understand what is being said or that they don't interpret what is being said to their liking? Absolutely not. Learn to recognize that employees are interested in a manager's communication with them and choose your words and carry yourself in a manner that establishes good rapport. Also, if you tell someone something, you can bet they will remember what you told them, albeit perhaps to their benefit at times.

  • People respect bosses who:

    1. Show an interest in them as people.
    2. Are consistent and fair in administering policy and procedure.
    3. Are honest and trustworthy.
    4. Remember what they told (or promised) employees and stick to their word.
    5. Set clear and realistic expectations/goals for their employees.
    6. Base decisions on sound reasoning and logic and not on ego or emotion.
    7. Would do, or attempt to do, whatever they ask their employees to do.
    8. Act maturely.
    9. Have a can-do, positive attitude.
    10. Lead by example and not by "do as I say, not as I do".
    11. Allow employees to have input into at least some decisions or gather input from employees.
    12. Don't have a know-it-all attitude and out of control ego.
    13. Interact with employees and don't hide in their offices.
    14. Don't look down on employees.
    15. Don't constantly change priorities.
    16. Know how to laugh and aren't all business.
    17. Don't appear to be out for themselves.
    18. Provide reasonable opportunities for employees to advance.
    19. Know how to praise in public and constructively criticize in private.
    20. Understand where the company is going and share as much of that information as is feasible.
    21. Deal with problem people and situations expediently and fairly.
    22. Show no favoritism.
    23. Don't self-promote.
    24. Work hard.
    25. Share success with employees and are not greedy.
    26. Can admit they made a mistake and don't transfer blame.
    27. Can apologize sincerely.
    28. Attempt to develop their people and don't see those who work for them as a threat.
    29. Don't overreact.
    30. Show respect for employees.

  • Study this list carefully and live by it....if you do, you will gain the respect and cooperation of your employees.

Application Exercise

  1. What do you believe motivates the people who work for you?

  2. How do you currently attempt to motivate your people?

  3. What do you feel you can do to better motivate your people?

  4. From the list of things that lead people to respect their bosses, indicate below anything that you need to improve on to gain a higher level of respect from your employees.

Supervisory training is a critical ongoing aspect of any organization. The amount and quality of supervisory training generally provides a direct correlation to the level of success of any business. The workbook that accompanies our award winning Managing People For High Performance workshop is now available for purchase at This widely used workbook is a self-study manual that is effective for all types of supervisors and managers.

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