We’re now into an age of hiring what we like to call a new ‘breed’ of employees, specifically called ‘knowledge workers. Way back in 1959, management expert Peter Drucker coined this phrase to describe people whose main skillset was to ‘think for a living rather than wait to be told what to do and when to do it. They’re highly independent, confident in their abilities to do their job well, and need little supervision in completing any given tasks. However, this brings up the question, how do you manage these people and motivate them to produce a consistently high standard of work?
I’ll let you in on a couple of not-so-secret practices that we do here at Dovico to ensure our employees remain secure (and happy) in how they go about their daily routine. Here are three things we do to keep the Dovico ‘machine’ running smoothly. Let’s call them “DP’s” or Dovico Principles.
DP#1 – Managers Don’t Micromanage
We love hiring knowledge workers as it saves management time and effort. Managers no longer have to watch over the worker to ensure they’re actually doing what they’re supposed to be doing. After all, no one likes being micromanaged and told daily what they need to do in order to achieve goals, and knowledge workers are especially prone to taking offence to someone breathing down their neck. Give them a clearly defined outline of what you expect from them… and then let them run with the ball. Periodic check-ins are okay, but for the most part, leave them be to use their superpower which is their mind.
DP# 2 – Have Clear Channels of Support
Have a support system in place as a backup. Knowledge workers function best if they know that there is a designated person(s) they can turn to for further information if they need it. Knowing in advance that Max is available for a short clarification meeting if needed removes a lot of pressure (and stress!) from the shoulders of the employee. However, if you find that employee Esmerelda is constantly asking Max for direction, then you may want to rethink your decision in getting her involved in completing that specific task and recognize her knowledge would be better suited for another assignment or even an alternative department in your company.
DP # 3 – Listen
The more you listen and pay close attention to what your workers say to you, the better you will be at forming concrete solutions to help them resolve any issues that may pop up in their job. In fact, we invite active participation and feedback from all our workers. Sometimes the best (and smartest) ideas come from brainstorming sessions and seeking input from our staff. We’ve learned to pay attention to what they have to say and also note their body language when they’re speaking as that shows volumes of how they feel about any given issue. And I’m not talking just about what type of coffee is brewed in the kitchen area here, even though that may be important to most. I’m referring to listening to their thoughts that generate thousands of dollars in revenue from new product ideas etc. that ultimately benefits everyone.
In short, we treat all our staff as valued human beings whose opinions and contributions to our company matter. After all, they’re our biggest asset, and we feel every business should take particularly good care of what affects their bottom line the most, namely their people.
About the Author
Marlene Oulton, AKA “The Words Lady” and resident wordsmith of www.marleneoulton.com, derives great satisfaction from assisting authors, writers, coaches and entrepreneurs produce clean, crisp, concisely written articles, newsletters, blog/website copy and other literary works. Marlene is a frequent Dovico blog post contributor.