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Match skill to task at hand. Ensure team excellence is by selecting correct person for job! Suppose you hire Jeff because he's great at number crunching, and Lucy because she has experience in customer service. Later, you come to learn that Lucy is really not all that great with clients, but she's gold on expense calculations... meanwhile, Jeff is a master shmoozer. Instead of trying to mold Lucy into something she's not, a quick-switch of responsibilities is all it takes to keep this team operating at prime productivity. When each of your workers is well-chosen for a task, they'll all do a good job together. And when they do a good job, they're truly appreciated. Team spirit is some pretty magical stuff!
Encourage workers to 'figure it out on their own.' By this I do NOT mean tell them to solve their own problems and send them away. That's no way to help your underlings grow. Remember to feel complimented when a subordinate approaches you with an issue. He came to you because he trusts your judgement and seeks your approval. In turn, give your little bird his wings. Maybe share a story of when you may have had a similar problem in your own career. Offer up some general, advice, then assure them that he can find a positive and constructive way to fix problem on his own. He'll walk away with a sense of pride, independence and new determination. And that's a great way to help someone feel appreciated!
Speak to people 'on level.' Ever hear expression, 'talking down to people?' It's one of my biggest pet peeves, and something that I try my hardest never to do. Even in midst of praising someone, you can end up 'talking down' to them. When you say, "Jeannie, you did it, I am so proud of you!!" does it come out sounding like you're talking to a kindergartener who just learned to tie her own shoe? Yikes! There should never be a reason to sound parental in your professional communication with grown adults. Another way you might unintentionally 'talk down': offer advice and assume that it's a foreign concept to person with whom you're speaking. How do you know she doesn't already practice what you preach? If you address your workers respectfully and treat them as mature adults, they might actually behave like mature adults!
Above all, have a little humility. Keep an open mind and an open heart, and lead with a firm and forgiving hand. Experience-wise, even if you're 20 years ahead of someone else, you're still just two human beings on this earth. And it's like I said: we all just want to be appreciated. So managers, show your workers a little respect and gratitude, and watch your productivity soar to new heights!
Dina Giolitto is a New-Jersey based Copywriting Consultant with ten years of industry experience. Her current focus is web content and web marketing for a multitude of products and services although the bulk of her experience lies in retail for big-name companies like ToysRUs. Visit http://www.wordfeeder.com for rates and samples.