by Gretchen Nelson
Are we managing with the same care with which we are hiring? We all know that hiring well can be hard work. In fact, we have developed a system at Emancipet that is almost bullet proof for hiring people that will be successful in our culture. No matter what system you are using, hiring takes time, and if we are going to invest the time up front, it follows that we should spend an equal or greater amount of time and consideration making our workplace one that people want to be in! This means that we need tools to positively shape the experience of the people that we are responsible for every day. One great tool Emancipet managers use to better understand the needs of new employees is the Personal Inventory worksheet.
The Personal Inventory provides a supervisor with the opportunity to discover an employee’s learning style, stress indicators, motivators, and preferred mode of recognition or reward. Every employee fills one out and shares it with their manager during their first week of employment. By completing the Personal Inventory, the employee is sharing the type of support they need from their supervisor so they can be successful in their growth and development. In turn, the employee’s answers to the questions on the worksheet (which are confidential between supervisor and employee) provide the supervisor with information that will help them to create a transformative experience for that person. Successful managers engage and empathize with their employees by coaching them through both professional and personal development milestones. By asking these questions about personal habits and preferences, the supervisor is asking for trust and making a promise to honor the individual needs of the person that they are responsible for supporting.
For instance, if an employee divulges that they jump rope on one foot to combat stress, the supervisor should be curious and checking in about how the jump rope is going: Do they have any competitions coming up? Are the extra shifts that they have been working lately encroaching on “jump-time”? Do they go through one shoe much faster than the other? If another employee tells the supervisor that they have set a personal goal of leaping over a tall building in a single bound, and they then achieve this (because you hired a super hero), then the supervisor needs to check the Personal Inventory for how that person would prefer to receive recognition for their accomplishment. If they answered that they prefer private recognition (to protect their secret identity), then the supervisor should follow through with providing feedback privately as requested. Sending an organization-wide email to congratulate them would violate their trust (even if the manager is proud and wants to tell the world), but providing that employee with a handwritten note shows that you care as much about them and their accomplishments today as you did on day one.
The Personal Inventory is just one step in the Monthly Check-in Process that Emancipet uses to ensure supervisors engage and communicate with their employees about their growth and development opportunities. Supervisors that are curious, confidential, consistent, and caring with their employees will have an engaged workforce that succeeds at meeting the organization’s mission, and protects the culture that (hopefully) makes it a thoughtful, supportive, and empowering place to work!
Take a look at the Personal Inventory Sheet and adapt it to fit your team.
To read the follow-up article on Monthly Check-Ins, click here.
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