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Line Management and Feedback

Carl Duncker Management Training

As a line manager, how do you motivate the individuals in your team?

Motivation and Feedback

For staff to become motivated, they require ongoing and consistent recognition and feedback. As a line manager, you are the representation of the working culture in your team. The environment in which team members work should be appreciative, welcoming and supportive. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

In this short blog on motivation through feedback, you’ll learn simple and effective quick wins that will help motivate your team. You’ll explore a actions you can take to deliver feedback to your team whilst avoiding the pitfalls of getting it wrong.

Effective line management understands that each and every touch point with their direct reports is a moment of engagement. An opportunity to build the motivation and development of each individual. However, too many times opportunities are missed, the interaction is indifferent or, at worse, damaging.

The effect of consistent feedback is often compared to an emotional bank account. We want to guarantee that our team has a positive balance by ensuring the amount of positive recognition outweighs the negative.

How To Give Positive Feedback

How to reinforce desired behaviours with positive feedback

  • Just say “thanks”. A brief thank you word or sticky note may be small but has a big impact.
  • Affirmations. Praise your team members for good work. The more specific the praise the more powerful and long-lasting the effect. Vague feedback can be received with scepticism but your feedback will resonate more positively when you praise a specific point For instance, saying “good meeting” is helpful but “Great meeting. The way you handled their objections right at the open was really clever. They knew we meant business and it set the tone for the meeting” is better.
  • Smile and praise: “What I like about you Andy is that you’re always positive. It makes working in this team really rewarding”.
  • Protect your team members. Organisations and offices can often be places of division and disharmony. Worse still, left unchecked, unsupportive cultures bring bullying and unwarranted criticism upon your team. As an effective team leader, it is your responsibility to protect your team from such behaviours. You’ll build goodwill and respect with your team members too by doing so.

Becoming a Line Manager

So here are some key things to avoid when line managing employees:

Your people skills are noted and appreciated when you are asked to become a line manager.  So you should have a sense of when your words and actions are inappropriate or demotivating. However, too often this isn’t the case.

  • Don’t unfairly exclude team members from meetings, important conversations or pertinent issues within the workplace. The key point here is when the exclusion can be seen as unwarranted, targeted or spiteful. Ask yourself, “would this person understand their exclusion to be unfair?” If your reasons are sound, it may be worth a quiet word to explain your perspective, offer your employee reassurance, and affirm that their skills are valued and will be appreciated on another occasion.
  • General indifference to a team member or their actions is likely to demotivate an individual and impact on the productivity of your team.
  • Worse than indifference is blame. Passive aggressive slights and comments or public negative feedback is unhelpful. If you have a development issue which is causing you resentment, it is your responsibility as the line manager to manage this appropriately using constructive feedback in an appropriate setting.

In short, the culture in which your team works should be appreciative, welcoming and supportive. Then your team will thrive.