5 Essentials Employees Need to Learn — From You

I am fond of saying that we learn from people, for I fervently believe that we do.

If you are a manager, you must both learn and teach: Do them well, and others call you “coach” and “mentor.” They’ll say you’re a great boss, perhaps the best they’ve had.

Hit the Ground Running

From Day One, there are 5 essentials an employee needs to learn from you, setting the stage for all the higher-level learning you want them to reach for as your coaching relationship with them deepens:

1. Why you hired, or selected them for your team.

Not simply as a qualified candidate for a job vacancy, but because of the values you share, in your eyes making them perfectly suited to a great working partnership with you. Elevate both their self-esteem and their sense of belonging. Shared values are your common ground, and a business-partner mentality can be your base camp. When employees clearly understand what they were hired to do, all future job objectives become much more meaningful.

2. How to work with you.

Employees can’t read your mind any better than you can read theirs: Tell them straight up what your working style is so they needn’t go through the trial and error of figuring it out. Tell them which freedoms they have — and do not have — in pushing the envelope of change and newness with you. There should be no eggshells to tiptoe through. Landmines exist in all companies: Healthy ones keep them in plain sight until they can be defused.

3. How to talk to you.

Don’t expect they will communicate effectively or completely with you from the get-go. They haven’t learned enough about you to feel they know you, and they need some time to gain their own “water wings” in the company to feel safe about the territory they’ll navigate. Too many employees feel “put up and shut up” is the wisest strategy, or worse, is expected of them when that’s just not true.

4. How you expect the customer to be treated, both external customers and internal ones.

As far as you’re concerned, exactly what is great customer service? Is the customer always right? —really? Not only must they learn how to work with you (number 2), they must learn how to work with — and for — the guest and customer, their peers and associates, your suppliers and professional network of relationships. There are ground-rules in all civilized societies: What are yours?

5. Your vision for the company.

Not the canned speech and company line, but what it personally means to YOU, and how you strive to put your personal signature on it. Bring the vision into sharper focus, making it as tangible as you can. You are modeling the behavior you want to see from them one day; clearly set the expectation that you’ll soon ask them what their personal signature will be. Vision is a compelling picture of the future, but they’ve got to know that achieving it is in their hands. The future gets closer every day.

A Managing with Aloha Jumpstart:
The Roadmap Essentials Workshop

You can easily create a PDF of 5 Essentials Employees Need to Learn—From You above, and hand it to all your new supervisors, team leaders, and reassigned managers as a suggestion, and you are welcome to do so; that’s why I have included it here!

The additional coaching I give in this full-day workshop is training in the practical application of workplace value-mapping: Participants are taught to align these essentials with your values, and with their own.

Each participant will draft a personal manifesto that helps them articulate these 5 Essentials for themselves, assisting them in informally scripting the gist of the conversations they will have with their staff going forward. In addition, they will learn:

  • Why should values be part of the hiring, selection, and orientation process?
  • What are the differences between talent, skills, and knowledge? How are they translated in qualifications, past experience, and future capacity for growth?
  • Most important in ‘management style’ is conversational style: How can you improve yours?
  • Is the customer always right? —really?
  • What is the practical, day-to-day working difference between mission and vision, and how do values affect them both?

The actual execution of the tailored 5 Essentials Roadmap which results will be a pilot project all participants are assigned to complete as workshop follow-up.

Participants need not have read Managing with Aloha as a prerequisite of this class.

Coaching tip:

Add a follow-up workshop to this one, by selecting The Daily Five Minutes workshop.

The Daily Five Minutes was born from the core learning belief that we learn from each other, and from the need to reinvent workplace communication with more effective listening AND speaking up. Over time, D5M has continually proved to be an essential and highly successful tool in the Managing with Aloha toolbox, for Conversation with Aloha is what results.