Yesterday I went on a full-day course provided by our own Organisational Development team as part of the Practical Skills For Managers series of courses. You can find more information about the series here: https://www.city.ac.uk/intranet/human-resources/organisational-development/learning-and-development-classroom/practical-skills-for-managers. The module was delivered by Louise Shepherd of Louise Shepherd Associates.
The learning aims of the course were:
- To enable us to spot the problems inherent in having disengaged, unmotivated staff
- Identify what does motivate us, and how managers can use these motivators with their staff
- Learn how to identify our own development needs and some development needs in our colleagues
- Use different management styles to develop staff at different points
- Ways to help manage reactions of staff to change
- Find ways to approach supervising an unmotivated colleague
- Coach using the GROW model
I’m pleased to say that the course did meet these aims and I now feel more confident about how to approach motivating and developing staff I manage. (Of course I don’t actually manage any staff right now so you may wish to avoid me for a few days in case I try and practice on you!)
I found a couple of things particularly useful. Firstly, there was a questionnaire called the “Survey to Assess Employee Engagement”, which we filled out for ourselves. Considering what motivates me, and conversely what might motivate other people, was a useful exercise because not only did it remind me that we’re all different when it comes to things like motivation, it also helped us to think of some improvements we could make that would motivate most people, such as clear and targetted communication, and using best practice to inform improvements in your own management style.
I also found the Situational Leadership information helpful. This is a grid which suggests four broad management styles you can adopt when managing, or helping a colleague or direct report learn a new task. The idea is that you adapt your style as the colleague’s compentence grows in their role, moving from a “Telling” style where you focus on giving exact instructions and leading the person through exactly how to do things, to a “Delegating” style where you are available to help if needed but mostly leave the person to their work.
Finally, I enjoyed learning a useful technique for assessing personal strengths and helping others to learn their own. Louise suggested we pick a really good day at work, one where we’d left feeling that we’d done a great job that day, and then explain to a partner why that had been such a great experience. Because we tend to enjoy doing things that use our strengths, what we were really doing was telling our partner what our strengths were – we used a prompt sheet of Work-Based Strengths to help. I can see this would be a great technique to use in One to Ones with direct reports, but it was also rather nice to be reminded what my own strengths are!
All in all this was a useful, enjoyable course, and I’m looking forward to attending the next module in the series, which is on Managing and Enhacing Performance.