Quiz: Do you treat your team like employees or people?
Take the quiz below to see how well you do when it comes to showing your team you care about them as people.
Great team culture really comes down to how well you treat your team. If they feel like they’re treated with respect and care, they’re going to work harder and stick around longer. If they feel they’re being treated as just employees who work for you, don’t expect them to go out of their way for you.
Take the quiz below to see how well you do when it comes to showing your team you care about them. If you’re not doing as well as you’d like, don’t worry — we’ve got your back. You’ll find a ton of tips below to help you out.
Are you listening to their feedback?
Your team will pay close attention to the way you handle feedback. If you handle it well, it tells them you value their happiness at work, and if you handle it poorly it tells them you don’t.
Handling constructive feedback as a manager isn’t a talent you’re born with: it’s a skill you develop. Always remember that your #1 goal is to make sure people feel heard, regardless of how you feel about the feedback itself.
Handling constructive feedback well
Request feedback often
- Regularly ask the team to share any feedback with you so you hear about it early
- Always leave time at the end of performance evaluations and check ins to ask them for feedback on you as their manager
- Send the team occasional, anonymous surveys to check in
Ask the right questions
Do you have any ideas to improve the way we do things?
What else can I be doing to better support you?
Are you happy with your job right now?
If there’s one thing I could be doing differently as your manager, what would it be?
Receive it with grace
- Always start by thanking people for their feedback
- Ask follow up questions that focus on how they’ve been affected and what they would like to see you do differently in the future
- Give yourself a day or two to respond to critical feedback
- Don’t argue with them on the spot if you don’t agree with the feedback. Your response will always be better after some time to think things over
- Be sure to schedule a follow up chat within a day or two
Are you making it a point to get to know your team as people?
It sounds so simple, but it’s really easy to forget to make the effort to get to know the people on your team. That’s especially true if they’re newer, remote or there’s a lot of turnover. Just the act of asking these questions tells your team you see them as people. And the answers will help out in the section below.
Getting to know them better
Questions you should be asking
- Do you have any hobbies or skills that no one would guess you had?
- What’s the coolest thing about you that I wouldn’t think to ask about, but that you definitely want people to know?
- What’s the best job you ever had before this, and what made it so great?
- What makes you happy at work?
- What makes you happy outside of work?
Going from good to great
- Always start your 1:1 meetings or chats with people on your team by asking them how they’re doing. You can glean a lot from this seemingly simple question. Remember not to pry into their personal lives, but remind them that it’s okay to voluntarily share big news in their lives if they’d like to
Are you helping your team get to know each other as people?
Ever heard someone say “I stayed for the people”? People don’t stick around for strangers. They stay for people they care about. Your job as their manager is to make sure they know each other well enough to get to that place.
Helping your team learn more about each other
Kick off meetings/huddles with a “get to know you” question
- Even just a silly question like “what’s everyone’s favorite music genre” goes a long way. For bigger teams, have them answer in chat or on a post to save time
Ask people to share life news
- Make a weekly “Share your life news!” post to encourage people to get to know each other as people
- Encourage them to add a “personal” section to their weekly top of mind post
Ask people to share hobbies or talents
- Make room for it in occasional meetings, especially for new or remote team members.
New team members
- Ask every new hire a short list of questions about themselves and share the answers in a team meeting and a Workplace post
Are you helping your team get to know each other as people?
The reality is that big things going on in your team’s lives will affect them at work, whether you know about them or not. Your job is to make sure they feel safe bringing these issues up so you can celebrate the great news with them and work together to accommodate the tough news.
Accommodating personal lives
- Remind people that their health and their families come first through your words and actions
- Encourage your team to stop working and start resting when they’re sick
- Have realistic expectations of parents and caretakers
- Don’t schedule meetings before or after work hours without giving a lot of notice
- Don’t schedule people for shifts at times when you know they are on caretaker duty
- Get excited about good news they share with you and celebrate it with them. If they’re okay with it, make it a point to celebrate it as a team
- Lead by example. Take all of this advice and apply it to yourself. If your team sees you online when you should be caring for a family member or working while sick, they will think that is expected of them as well
Are you helping them achieve their goals?
If you want your team to take your team goals seriously, then show them you care about their goals too. That means making it a point to ask people to share some career and personal goals with you.
Holding yourself accountable
Keep those goals top of mind
- Record them in:
- A pinned post in a 1:1 group in Workplace
- A chat message pinned at the top of your 1:1 chat
- An online document you can both edit
Take responsibility for developing their career
- Treat them as equally important so they know you take them seriously
Track personal/career goals with the rest of their goals
- If they want a promotion, make a list of concrete goals they can hit to earn it
- Become an expert in all the career resources available to them and regularly share them with the team
- Create new projects — or connect them to existing ones — that give them experience they want or need for their next career step