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Now You’re A Manager

How well do you know your people?

When assessing capital assets, implementing a marketing approach, procuring a computer system, analyzing your competition, or developing a strategic plan, there are clear parameters for each issue and a prescribed list of questions to review. But assessing the potential of the people working for you can seem more elusive.

Just what are the right questions to ask to make sure that you have a clear understanding of your team? How do you tap into their potential? How can you ensure that their knowledge and creativity are focused on the company’s vision?

Below are some of the questions to ask yourself to get a clearer read on how well you know your company’s biggest asset—its people. A thorough analysis of your team will enable you to create an environment in which individuals, and your firm, can thrive. It’s precisely in this area that improvements can result in quantum leaps in productivity.

  • Are your people aware of your company’s goals? Are they committed to them?
  • Do you know the key factors that motivate each individual on your team?
  • Are you aware of each individual’s real abilities and how suited those abilities are to the job that they do?
  • Which of your people genuinely enjoy what they are doing?
  • Do you know why your best people perform so well?
  • Do you know how your corporate culture impacts on people’s performances?
  •  How many of your staff members ask questions?
  • How many put forward ideas for improvement?
  • Do all your people learn the same way?
  • How many people passively or actively are looking for another job?
  • How does each of your people feel about you?
  • Do they look to you for leadership?
  • What is your management style? Does it work?
  • Do you delegate effectively?
  • Are your employees working up to their full potential? How can that ability be tested?
  • Who on your team has the potential to be a manager?
  • Are there people on staff who would be better suited to other positions?
  • How well does each individual understand how his or her role fits into the scheme?
  • How open is each individual to learning and growing?
  • Who on your team focuses on understanding the needs of their customers?
  • What qualities within each individual make him or her succeed or fail in their position?
  • If you were to leave tomorrow, which of your people would be vying for your position? Which of these would be suited for it?

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association

Herb Greenberg Meet the Author
Herbert Greenberg, Ph.D., is the president and chief executive office of Caliper, a consulting firm headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey.

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