by Michael Holland    

Some managers may find that they are easily focused on the tasks of their team, while others tend to focus more heavily on the people aspects.  Ideally, it’s a balance. Remember – people come to work. That requires a manager to effectively manage both the people and the work demands of his team.

Focusing too much on the work or task aspects without considering the people aspects will create burnout. In this situation, people feel pressured, unappreciated, overworked and stressed. Blame tends to be a trademark of this type of group when something goes wrong.

On the other hand, some managers focus so much on their people that similar effects take place. Productivity suffers; relationships take over and become more important than the work. The manager fears pushing an employee too much will jeopardize their relationship.

Balancing your focus between the tasks and the people means that you are clearly communicating your expectations, monitoring performance, communicating effectively, supporting employees in many ways and matching employee strengths with the demands of the job. It is a balance that at times must sway back and forth – requiring you to be aware of both work and people needs to be effective.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • Inventory The Balance:  Make a list of your employees.  To the right create two columns, one labeled People and the other labeled Work.
    • Spend 30 to 45 seconds thinking about the first employee on the list. . . is your focus more people-oriented or work-oriented?
    • Is there a great balance?
    • Of the time you invest with this employee, what percentage – out of 100% – do you perceive as oriented towards People vs. Work?
  • Work down the list, taking time to really consider your focus with each employee.
  • After completing the worksheet, take a few minutes to study the results, make an action plan and commit to what you can do differently in the morning to create a better people-work balance with your employees.