We are all familiar with the golden rule that says to treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. However, don’t take this maxim too literally in your role as a manager.
After all, everyone is different. How your employees respond and react to different situations will vary. In many cases, you do have to be fair in the way you treat your employees, but the reality is that each member of your staff is unique and you need to take that into account.
Treating everyone who works for you the same is “off the rack” management. You need to customize your management approach.
A more effective way of managing your staff is to understand each of your employees’ personalities, capabilities, sensitivities, and other factors that might impact how they respond to any given situation and, in particular, how they differ from you.
Here are a few examples of common management activities where you should reconsider treating everyone the same:
Giving Feedback or Praise
Some your staff will perform at a top level regardless of whether you praise them or not. Others require constant pats on the back to keep them motivated.
Similarly, one person may enjoy being invited up to the front of the room and praised in front of their colleagues and peers, while somebody else may be very shy, have no interest in the attention, and in fact will be quite uncomfortable with it.
Providing Guidance or Direction
Some employees need detailed instructions and direction, but others can simply be pointed in a direction and told the desired objective.
For those who need detailed instructions, it might not be because they have little motivation or don’t know what to do. It may simply be a matter of personality, or perhaps they’ve gotten grief from a previous manager for doing things not exactly like he or she wanted. Find out what works for each of your staff members, and use it to get the best results from that individual.
Setting Goals and Objectives
Like the previous item, some employees are very happy having their goals and objectives handed down to them, while others have a need to contribute and help build those goals and objectives directly.