Staffing Management

Dear Workforce How Can I Motivate My Staff To Be More Detail-Oriented

By Staff Report

Sep. 7, 2011

A Dear Not a Bully:

Why do you want your people to pay more attention to detail?

If you feel most comfortable when you have a tight grasp of the details, goodfor you. But your staff might not share your preference.

There’s another point about attention to detail. You can become so harriedby the way others make mistakes or miss things that you check everything as amatter of routine. If you do this, your staff will happily delegate all thedetail to you.

You say you want to establish control. It sounds like you’re tempted by theold “command and control” management approach. You can’t command people tothink in a particular way, or control what they do.

Here’s what to do. Explore how far your wish to have your staff payattention to detail stems from the needs of the job or your need to feelcomfortable. If the need for attention really stems from the work, explain toyour people why it matters. Reinforce your message until you and they getpassionate about the outcome. Eventually they’ll pay all the attention neededwithout being asked.

If your need for detail is stems from something more personal, then youshould quit trying to change your people. You’ll fail and they’ll dislikeyou. Instead, invite them to suggest how they can help you feel more in control.Listen. Then let them create a system that you can agree will meet your needs.Most people genuinely want to help others feel more comfortable, even the boss.

SOURCE: Adrian W. Savage, president, PNA Incorporated, Raritan, New Jersey,June 17, 2002.

LEARN MORE: See “How Do We Implement TQM?

The information contained in this article is intended to provide usefulinformation on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice ora legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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