5 things I am thinking about as your boss/manager

As an employee I was often so focused on my career progress and development. It wasn't until becoming a manager that I began to see things from a different perspective

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It is so easy to bash or at least poke-fun at how out of touch management is from the realities on the ground. Especially senior management. Well my career has made a few exponential leaps so I find myself as a part of management, and not just management but the executive team while I was just a short while ago a senior analyst/advisor. So I have perspective on both worlds and I wanted to share with you 5 things that I have in mind as I think about my team and those who work within my unit, and I hope it will shed light on what's going on with your boss or your manager.

1. How to keep team members engaged

Managing during a pandemic at 100% virtual workplace is tough - you don't really get to feel the mood or the vibe of the team. I am constantly thinking about each team member and how to make sure they are a part of the team goals and that they can see their part in the bigger vision.


2. How to balance the load on the team based on their unique talents and skills

Beyond engaging the team members, I am constantly thinking about what each person brings to the table but also how to stretch them without overloading each person. Sometimes I have ideas on who would be best placed to do something but then one of the managers suggests someone else and it makes total sense. As an employee you may feel passed up but sometimes its that there's other conversations going on behind the scenes that you are not privy to and that cannot be shared with you.


3. How each team member is doing personally

I think about this A LOT! We are all in a pandemic but I've heard the line before: we are all in the same storm but we are not all in the same boat. I am constantly worrying and thinking about the unique circumstances each team member is going through and how not to let that impact the work they are doing but how to also balance that with the realities of the team. I have been really working hard to lead with grace and empathy especially because everyone is dealing with sometime. Single people are often isolated. Parents are exhausted from virtual teaching and working, high performers tend to have a high workload because work begets work.

4. How to shield the team from pressure from Senior Management

I constantly think about messaging and how to keep the team high performing without overextending them during the pandemic. The thing about work is that it is exactly that: work and it has to be done. So I am constantly thinking about how to frame priorities so that the team looks at things as positives rather than negatives. But also push back as needed so that Senior Management is not asking more from the team than they can deliver at any given time.


5. How to make each team member feel valued

When you work with a team that has varied responsibilities, there is a tendency for the high profile projects to get all the accolades and all the praise. I am constantly thinking about how to ensure that regardless of what a team member's role is, that they feel and know that they are a valuable part of the whole. That's not always easy but it takes recognizing the unique skills and unique value that each team member brings to the table.

Management always gets a bad rep and often with reason: there are some crazy situations out there that people are going through. However, it is important to recognize that managers and senior management are employees too, they often have families too and are juggling the added responsibility while managing their own personal situation. An ideal manager will be thinking of you first and how to help you grow professionally and personally and it is indeed a work in progress.

Do you have a great manager? What do they do that helps you flourish?