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With the beginning of the Knowledge Revolution, unlike its predecessor, the Industrial revolution, the role of people forming an Organisation has changed. The Factory Supervisor was an individual who may have been a worker and then promoted to a supervisory role. And therefore, knew exactly what the worker had to do, during his clocked-in hours.
With the Knowledge Revolution, it can seem that there is a paradigm shift. Many leaders and experts have shared their views on hierarchies and their value. It is now more real then earlier when people across organisations say ‘I am an Individual Contributor, and I don’t need a Manager’.
While this may be so for many driven professionals who find passion in their work, one often finds themselves not able to crack through a problem. With methods like Agile Practices embraced by fast paced organisations, people have to constantly change.
Translating that ‘change’, into ‘action’ means that an employee may need to re-do a piece of code completed yesterday, as newer research have emerged in the meanwhile. Therefore, it becomes the Manager’s responsibility to constantly steer the team through these changes.
And this is where often one hears employees say that there is new learning, growth at a pace that they have never experienced before, etc. While this is so, a Manager must recognise that change means that the employee needs to constantly move in the same direction, as you.
So, as a Manager steering your project to places that you want it to go, here are some thoughts:
With the emergence of knowledge workers, based completely at home, Managers need to take a ‘peak into their life’ and sometimes this may not be easy. Young and older families face challenges ranging from depression, parenting, geriatric care associated stress and so on.
Here, too, as a Manager, bring your whole self, into being available for the individual. One need not be too intrusive in personal matters, but ignoring the silence, will have no positive outcomes in your relationship with the employee.
Here are some to-do’s I recommend as a coach and a senior employee at an organisation filled with a diverse employee need:
Outside of Work: Introduce a time when individuals can speak about topics other than work.
All this is to say that a Manager needs to be someone who can really ‘discern’ an employee who really has an issue and works towards improving them. Listening deeply to yourself and your team members is the starting point.
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