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The power of knowing what matters to your people

Think about when you’ve had a great manager – what did they do that was so great? How did they make you feel?

In my own experience, a great manager is one who gets to know me: what I enjoy about my role; what my strengths are; what my aspirations and development needs are; and a bit about me as an individual person while sharing a bit about themselves too. In this way we built mutual trust and respect, helping us to work well together and meaning that I felt comfortable talking with them when things weren’t great and I needed some support.

When we use our strengths we feel energised and motivated; so being able to allocate work to your people that enables them to use their strengths will mean they enjoy their work – which in turn means they are more productive. Also, when your people all know their strengths and those of their team colleagues, they can work together to complement and support each other; this builds collaboration as well as social cohesion which is important for great team performance.

Understanding our peoples’ aspirations, performance and development needs helps us to support them to achieve their goals and their desired career progression; which in turn leads to improved engagement and performance.

Knowing our people also helps us to understand how much ‘pressure’ they can take – some people thrive on challenges and tight deadlines, others don’t - and to set achievable goals and stretching goals that are appropriate for them