This is a story about a manager at a winery in Northern California. Like many other Napa Valley wineries, this company relies on a staffing agency for the wine industry to send them top talent. The manager has a great team to work with, but something is missing from the way he manages his staff.
The problem? He’s only thinking of management in terms of what the team produces. So he decides to turn around his perspective and wonders what he can give his team instead. Here are four management hacks that work by giving your team something they need and receiving increased productivity in return.
Feedback. Millennials in particular appreciate regular feedback on their work. This might seem like a burden, but don’t think of it in terms of micromanagement: consider it a chance to keep an open line of communication between you and your staff.
The wine industry staffing agency sends the manager in our story a new lab assistant to join the winemaking team. It is her first time working in a winery, and she’s unsure how well she is fulfilling her duties. The manager decides to provide regular feedback to all employees, new hires included, and lets the lab assistant know how her work is vital to the winemaking team. Now she can move forward with her work more confidently, boosting productivity for the whole department.
Opportunities. Today’s job market is very fluid. Our winery manager is worried about retaining his wine talent in the fast-paced environment of wine industry recruitment, so he decides to provide that movement for his staff within the company. This helps them see how their wine careers can advance without having to seek employment elsewhere.
Creating opportunities for your employees to advance and grow within the company allows them to work on their career development without changing jobs. This creates an environment of professional development while reducing turnover. Minimizing turnover necessarily improves productivity as it reduces the amount of time spent onboarding new staff.
Influence and leadership. Expert managers know the difference between influence and leadership. When you influence your staff, you communicate new ideas to help them think differently about their work; in order to lead, you need to translate your ideas into actions and effectively mobilize your employees. Offering both to your team will help them grow in their knowledge and understanding while providing the guidance they need to stay on track with their work.
Gratitude. The manager’s latest winery talent recruitment efforts land him a talented oenologist from Sonoma County. The new hire isn’t used to the tourist-focused atmosphere in the Napa wine country but does his best to understand the importance of tourism and sales at his new company. The manager takes note and expresses his thanks to the winemaker for going the extra mile to take on the company culture.
Sometimes a simple “thank you” can go a long way. Expressions of appreciation don’t need to be complicated to be impactful. Showing your staff how grateful you are for their hard work, patience, or brilliant ideas can lead to improved productivity since a positive team gets more done.