12 – The Elements of Great Managing – book review and actionable insights from WPRiders part 1 of 4

Marius Vetrici
CEO wpriders
February 1, 2017

It took me around 12 months to read and internalize the ideas from the book 12: The Elements of Great Managing” by Rodd Wagner and James Harter.

I will only say that the authors wrote the book after interviewing 10.000 people on their work job. Full stop. You just need to read the book.

The book helped us a lot in shaping our organizational culture, therefore I would like to share with you some of our insights and actions that we are trying to do on a regular basis.

Today I’ll tell you about the first 3 elements of great managing out of this wonderful book as well as some personally actionable insights.

Why Employee Engagement is Important

Highly engaged employees translate into:
– higher individual productivity (18% higher)
– higher customer satisfaction
– fewer sick leave days (27% lower)
– fewer work accidents (62% more accidents happen in companies with low employee engagement)
– lower employee turnover (turnover is 51% higher in companies with low employee engagement)
– lower stock theft rates (51% theft rate higher in companies with low employee engagement)
– higher profitability (12% higher)

If you [the company] care, we[the employees] do care as well!

1. Making sure employees know what’s expected of them

This is is the foundation of management.
Clearly define the roles in the company as well as what every role has to do.

How are we doing it

Write a detailed Job Description. A real Job Description, not just an administrative yada-yada.

Talk with your employee about every sentence from that Job Description and make sure they understand what’s expected of them.

On a daily basis, define as clearly as possible the scope of each web development task.

Take time to understand what customer wants and needs, then write down the necessary functional specifications + draw up some mockups for the visual interface if needed.

2. Materials and Equipment

Productivity can’t get off the ground if employees don’t have the right materials and equipment

How are we doing it

  • We work on the best in class Mac Book Pro Retina with 15”.
  • Every employee has 1-2 external monitors (apart from the laptop).
  • We are using the best Logitech mouse out there and it’s worth the money 🙂
  • We buy all the necessary furniture (high quality chairs, etc.)
  • We buy all the software licenses they need to be productive
  • On a regular basis, I ask my colleagues what else they need to do a better job.
  • On a regular basis I ask ask my colleagues how we can do our job better/faster/more efficient.

3. The Opportunity to Do What I Do Best

You are one of a kind. Genetically you are different than all the other fellows and this makes you good at some things and completely unfit for doing other things.

Just as some are born tall and are good at basketball, others are born with neurons for math, or for music, or for cooking and so on.

It is difficult to do something that you are not.

As a manager, do you best to match the right person with the right job.

My role as a manager is to help my employees discover their unique abilities, to create the right environment for them to grow those abilities, to foster them and to make people thrive at work.

How are we doing it

Ask employee candidates during job interviews: “What are you really good at?”

Then I make sure I allign these unique skills with the tasks and projects that we have. Moreover, I do my best to contract those projects that we have people that are “really good at”, so as to deliver maximum value and quality!

I try to take every employee on a one-on-one lunch once every 1-2 months. I ask him/her how does she feel about the job, what do they like and dislike about the job.

I try to just listen and do my best to understand and get to know them as much as they are allowing me to.

That’s it for today. See you next time 🙂

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