Welcoming an older member to your team or performance-managing an older report may seem challenging. But John provides a valuable progress tracking tool for you to use throughout the project. If it's true that “what gets measured gets managed,” this journal tracking practice will help you gauge your progress with your report.
- Getting to know your older report is going to be the best way to figure out how to manage them, right? But how do you identify and then overcome the issues they're having with their work or with team members? How do you even know where to start? I'm going to suggest what may seem like a strange way to do this. Keep a daily journal to write down and track what they do. Get to know them by observing their behavior. How do they interact with people? How do they work? This is how you'll begin to see their behavior patterns, whether they're having challenges, and where you'll want to start working with them.
Think of the journal as a personal free-form management research tool. It's completely confidential, you don't have to show it to anyone. This is your place to brainstorm your strategy based on your observations. If you do this every day, okay, maybe three times per week, and spend five or 10 minutes at the end of the day capturing what happened, after a few weeks, you'll get a pretty good idea of what's going on with them and a better idea of where you can help before you proceed to more one on one interactions. Here's how it works and how it will be helpful for you.
Set up a separate word processing file or use a note-taking app, whatever works for you, and start making regular entries that capture your thoughts and feelings about your report. Write openly and honestly about what you see and how you feel about it. Keep track of the positive things and the negative things. How do they resolve problems? How do they relate to others? How's their judgment? Are they struggling, are they disengaged? Don't feel like you've got to figure out all the answers. This is research. Just keep track of everything. After a few weeks, the most significant issues will become much clearer, and you'll be able to start thinking about ways you can prioritize and deal with them.
Perhaps you need to get them focused on a particular project because of a looming deadline. Perhaps they have a tense relationship with a coworker that is bugging the rest of the team. But don't act yet. You're still in research mode. Instead, focus on two things. First, rather than look at how you would criticize them for what they're doing wrong, think about positive and encouraging ways you could address the issues. Second, look for ways to understand why they're doing what they're doing. By looking at it more from their point of view, you'll tend to come up with a constructive approach that they'll be more open to.
Maybe they need more time management skills to complete their work. Maybe they're feeling insecure around this other team member. Whatever is standing in their way, your journal is the first step in identifying the issues and in tracking their progress. It will also help you track your own progress in helping them better integrate into the team, and serve as a reference point down the line to measure your success as their manager.
- Define “ageism.”
- Identify the emotion to avoid when working with older direct reports who may be feeling left out, unheard, or irrelevant.
- Explain how to help your multigenerational team members close the gap on the way they communicate with one another.
- Recognize the most common support strategy managers use for an older employee.
- List the steps to take when integrating an older worker into a multigenerational team.