Six Practices to Incorporate Into Your Management Routine

How do you build a strong team?

As a Manager, you are only as good as those you manage.  So what if the people you manage don’t feel respected or included in your team?  By taking the time to know your employees, listen to them and help them to feel included, you will not only build a stronger team, but you will drive better results.  It all sounds logical, but how do you do this?  Try to incorporate these practices into your management routine:

1) When you get into the office each day, go around and say hello to everyone on your team.  You don’t need to have lengthy conversations all the time, but a friendly acknowledgement goes a long way.

2) Once a week take the time to have lunch with one of your employees, rotating through them to include everyone before repeating any.  During these lunches ask them how they are doing, ask for specific updates on things they are working on, give them advice on ways to move things along, and ask if they need your help with anything.  Over time your employees will learn to be very prepared for these discussions and very productive prior to them.  If you are not in an environment where you can take them out to lunch, bring lunch into your office or go grab a cup of coffee with them in the lunchroom or cafeteria.  The key is to make the interaction a socially relaxed discussion.  Time that you share one-on-one with your employee, but incorporate work into the discussion.  Imagine yourself as their mentor during this interaction.

3) Give your employees attention when they speak to you.  In meetings, or when they come to see you, use eye contact, take notes, and ask questions.  Giving them your undivided attention will make them feel relevant, and in turn more conscious of their work and their results as part of your team.

4) Always have your employees fill out their own performance review…in addition to you filling it out for them.  Have a discussion with them about each point and hear them out if there is a discrepancy between your opinions.  Be open to modifying your rating if they can prove their point.  If a discrepancy remains, put clear actions in place for them to achieve and agree to review their progress every few months.  Don’t wait until the next year; make performance an ongoing discussion.

5) In passing, or in a more formal discussion, ask your employees for their opinions on your work.  If you have to make a decision on something, ask what they would do.  If you need to make a choice, give them options and ask their opinion.  You don’t necessarily need to follow what they suggest, but by including them in your thought process and sharing your responsibilities with them, it will make them feel empowered and important to you.  It will also improve their loyalty as they see themselves as your confidant.  Always make sure to ask for your employee’s opinion in a one-on-one setting.  They should have the opportunity to express themselves without the pressure of their peers.  If you don’t take their advice, explain your thought process to them as to why you chose something different and use it as a teaching tool for them to grow.

6) Give your employees credit in public.  Go out of your way to show your organization that you have a team.  Make sure you speak in terms of “We” and not “I” even when they are not around you.  By doing this your organization will respect your entire team and your employees will respect you for it.  They will also learn to take ownership over both good and bad results…working harder to succeed together.

These are just a few steps you can take to build your team.  Creating an environment where your employees feel listened to, respected and included will not only make you a better manager, but will enable your team to drive results, manage change and inspire creative growth.

I hope this perspective is helpful to you in your day-to-day life.  Test out these concepts and share your results with us.  Others can benefit from your experiences.  Good luck!


Written by Lisa Woods, President Lisa Woods Consulting & Founder of

Lisa is a dynamic business leader & author located in Western New York with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth in the corporate world. Today she partners with business leaders to understand their vision, identify internal and external roadblocks, define a practical strategic path forward and guide a successful transformation. This work includes strategy definition & goal setting, organizational design, facilitating team buy-in, establishing visual metrics, internal and external research studies, business feasibility assessments, and investor insight into organizational strength, weakness & strategic opportunity. She helps business leaders drive growth & increase profits.

Strategic Consulting ǀ Management Consulting: Strategy Realized

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