Magazine article Supervisory Management

Motivating a Technical Staff When You Don't Have Technical Savvy

Magazine article Supervisory Management

Motivating a Technical Staff When You Don't Have Technical Savvy

Article excerpt

You've been selected to head up information systems or statistical control or what have you, not because you are an expert in the field, but because you are an expert at supervising employees, funneling their work energy and efforts to a well-focused goal and getting results on schedule. But now here you are in foreign territory, and you don't know how to speak the language. How are you going to understand your staffers--and get them to understand you--let alone motivate them?

Learn the Lingo

For starters, familiarize yourself with the ABCs of the technology. Learn enough to get around--to let the technicians know that you know enough to prevent them from bamboozling you.

Initially, you may have to enlist a go-between--someone from the ranks who can explain in plain language what it is you need to know in order to be effective in your job and who can help you get your message across to your new staff. How quickly you make the breakthrough may be critical to your success. Botch it by procrastinating, and you'll lose time and confidence (yours as well as your workers').

Once you've mastered the basics, it will be easier for you to understand changes in the technology when they occur--and change is often the name of the game.

Earning Respect

Communicate with your staff on a personal as well as a professional level. Get to know who's who and how they work and how they play. Make acquaintance not only in meeting rooms but at the water cooler and at lunch. Don't try to hide the fact that you're still slightly wet behind the ears; your staffers could easily call your bluff if you come on like a know-it-all. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.