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Managers / People w/ direct reports -- What are the things your direct reports do that make you...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I understand the basic philosophy that making your boss' job easier makes you a better employee, but what are some specific, recurring things that your employees do that make you think, "wow, I really value this guy,' and similarly, things that make you think the opposite.

Specific examples would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
post #2 of 9
You probably want something more specific, a list of behaviours you can work on, but to start off I'll give you an over arching statement that answers the what makes you say, "I really value this guy." Own everything about your job and what you do. And the inverse which pisses me off is making excuses, or the absolute worse thing, is trying to toss one of your peers or subordinates under the bus for your short coming. That pisses me off in two ways. First, not owning your problem tells me a lot of how much I can count on you in the future. Second, how fucking stupid do you think I am I cannot figure out this is your screw up?
post #3 of 9
here's my take


1. do your job well - what ever the fuck your job is, produce.

2. don't waste my time, when you communicate with me, do it clearly, when I ask you for information, give it to me in a formate that I can use. if I have a strategy, feel free to disucss why you disagree, but if I decide that that this is the way we are going, then you better fucking well put your heart behind it. don't try to lead things, like group discussions, in a direction away from where I want it to go.

3. don't make me look bad in front of my boss or other people in the company. I don't want to hear anybody saying something bad about you - that you are a slob or that you are late for meetings or what ever. If I need to get material from you to give to my boss, don't make me late. don't be rude or flirt with people in the company that it might come back to me.
post #4 of 9
- People I can rely on to get the job done without complaining, whining, or making excuses. They simply find a way to make things happen.

- Honesty and integrity beyond reproach. No lies, games, or beating around the bush, ever.

- Employees who strive to make my unit (i.e., me) look good smile.gif

- People who share my "brain" and values. For example, my most valued manager called me today to go over how a politically sensitive and complex situation was being handled. He stated to me what he planned to do and say, and it was exactly what I would have done and said.

By the way, I demand that all my managers treat every one of their subs with respect. Sometimes we have to show people the door, but we do it respectfully. Word of someone abusing power doesn't sit well with me.
post #5 of 9
1. Take responsibility for your screwups and fix them.
1.(a) Take responsibility for your teammates' screwups, and help them fix them.

2. In our 1x1 time together, don't waste my time with a list of things that you did since last time we met, especially if they are components of your job description. It's safe to assume that I believe that you are doing your job. I don't need you to tell me that. Use the time to ask questions or get feedback on how you're doing.

3. I don't care about your HR issues (unless you need my help, then I'm happy to help). Don't ask me if you can go on vacation, or if you can take a personal day. I trust that you can manage your workload and you know if you can be away from the office. I once had a couple of new hires (right out of college) who didn't eat lunch for their first two weeks because I never explicitly told them that they could take a break (it didn't occur to me that anybody would think you'd need to have permission to eat...).

4. Execute your job flawlessly. When you're done with that, help the rest of the team with their jobs. When you're all satisfied with the work you've done, go have a beer. Even if it's 3:00 in the afternoon.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Great, great input, thank you very much, everyone.

Assuming your work product is 'good,' I believe the best working relationship between a report and a manager/boss comes when there's a natural rapport and you both get each other, in terms of working styles, communication, and yes, even personality and hobbies (though I think sharing common interests is just icing on the cake, especially if you can actually bond and relate over them).

So having said that, I also believe it helps tremendously when you have a 'constant' boss, someone you work with and report to consistently -- due to the nature of my work, my mangers change constantly as I get staffed on different projects. These managers are the ones who have the greatest impact on my success because they're the ones who are writing my performance reviews. While I do have an admin manager, he's certainly more limited in terms of having an impact on my career, because, well, he's there more for administrative stuff. When it comes to bonus / promotion discussions, performance reviews from individual projects are discussed.

I wish I had just ONE manager whom I could work with all the time, so I could take the time to learn their working style and adjust accordingly. It's definitely been the case that I've had to tweak how I work with managers as I got staffed on new projects. One manager likes dense, wordy deliverables. Another prefers higher-level deliverables that display the main points such that the key details are voiced-over. Some are intense. Some are more laid back, etc.

At the same time, I can see the risk of being assigned to one manager -- what if you just don't click on a fundamental level?

Anyway, I'm kind of rambling at this point, but just some thoughts and immediate reactions I had to the posts above.
post #7 of 9
Earn your keep or better, don't complain, actually show up and do your work efficiently, don't make more work for those above you and treat all co-workers well.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenFrog View Post

I understand the basic philosophy that making your boss' job easier makes you a better employee, but what are some specific, recurring things that your employees do that make you think, "wow, I really value this guy,' and similarly, things that make you think the opposite.

Specific examples would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

 

What helps:

 

1a) letting me know about a problem when it's still a tiny problem rather than waiting until it's too big for them to handle.

1b) having possible solutions to the problems that they bring to me. I may not use the solutions, but it's good to know that people are thinking like problem-solvers.

 

What doesn't help:

 

1) see 1a

2) Pawning off their responsibilities on their subordinates OR flat out not doing the little things that they think that no one pays attention to.

post #9 of 9
Good:
  1. Overcommunication on things that matter - verification that they're doing the right thing, concerns, ideas, etc. Checking that documents are the most up to date versions. Checking that it's OK to delete certain things.
  2. Providing solutions, not just problems - "This is broken, but here's how to fix it"
  3. Asking for help/direction - even if it's "basic" stuff, good to talk it out. No stupid questions.
  4. Attention to detail - not gold-plating and over engineering things, but just making sure that everything is done correctly and competently, taking a bit of extra time to review your own work and make sure it is polished.

Bad:
  1. Overcommunication on things that are only important to them getting the task done and not the output - don't need to hear a 10 minute rant on how you worked around some obscure Internet Explorer bug, just that it's fixed and approximately why it was broken.
  2. Bullshitting / covering up - much better to admit a fuckup so we can both figure out how to fix it or frame it when admitting it to the client, than cover it up and pretend nothing happened. Much easier to fix things quickly even if it means admitting you fucked up than waiting for it to go up and down the chain. Similarly, it's obvious when people are making things up to appear smart. "I don't know, but will find out" is a far better answer.
  3. Blowing through deadlines - communication up-front can usually resolve this and make sure time is allocated properly. Ignoring a deadline and then needing follow-up causes hassle for everyone. This is a huge deal and will get you fired or black-listed.
  4. Talking shit about other people - small world, word gets around, assume you're talking shit about me to other people too.


Basically, keeping the flow of information running smoothly - work gets done and flows through the organization like a stream - if you block up or pollute the stream, things get ten times harder for everyone.
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Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Business, Careers & Education › Managers / People w/ direct reports -- What are the things your direct reports do that make you value / appreciate them and vice versa?