Observing Employees is a Key Management Skill
Observation skills are necessary when managing employees. Probably a good idea to take some time each day to observe different members of your team. Your ability to observe will help you be aware how the people perceive you, whether your message is received and where there is a need for intervention to improve the performance of your team.
You can watch to see if an employee needs adjustment or recognition around their performance or behaviors. Both aspects are essential in coaching an employee for continuous improvement or motivation to maintain their high level of performance.
How does a manager observe performance?
- What skills or attributes are essential for the position? Knowing what is vital helps to monitor performance against expectations. When you observe the employee performing the work, you may be able to ask the right questions to understand how the employee works.
- You may be able to correct or recognize performance immediately or update your notes on the employee, and when you have a 1:1 you can address either correction or recognition.
- Observe how the employee’s workspace is set up and whether it supports their performance.
- If you can’t observe the employee’s actions directly, the results will indicate the level of performance. Take time to discuss with the employee what he or she did, how they decided to do the work, and how he or she feels about his or her performance.
- Be aware of their body language. Some employees are more open to discussing their performance while others become defensive. No matter how great you are in treating each person on your team with respect, employees have their own internal beliefs that surface in discussions. If you notice they are closing and not available to hear, ask them what they need to feel more comfortable with the discussion. Let them know that this is a discussion around how you can best support them in their work responsibilities.
- Bring curiosity when you observe each person. See what you can learn about them.
You intend to support the employee with the best performance possible and help them succeed in their work. When you take the time to observe and listen, you gather the necessary information to ensure your team members have your support and the best tools available to perform.