Whether you've just been assigned your first assistant or have managed a team for years, your ability to do your job well can be enhanced by your relationship with subordinates. And while every person and every dynamic is different, basic strategies will help you make the most of this relationship. Follow this outline to lay out your team's goals, keep on top of them and improve their performance. Remember, when they look good, you look good.
- Define the employee's role.
Make sure your expectations of a worker's role in a team project or with individual responsibilities are clear and understood. Misinterpretations will result in wasted energy and time on both your parts. Begin your definition with the job description. If your employee doesn't clearly understand his or her basic responsibilities and job title, as well as how his or her role interacts within the team dynamics, you lose. The employee won't be effective, and this shortcoming could affect the entire team and its goals.
- Sketch out a more nuanced list of your expectations.
That's the only way her performance can measure up -- if she has set goals to achieve. Expectations should include time frames for tasks and projects, deadlines and quality guidelines, and future areas of growth for her skills. Be certain that the standards you impose are realistic for her abilities and that you put them in writing.
- Communicate these expectations to the employee.
Putting things in writing is the easy part. When it comes to one-on-one conversation, communication can break down. Most of us think that when we've said something, we have been understood. That's not always the case.