Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

The 4 Seasons of Employees

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

The 4 Seasons of Employees

Article excerpt

Recently I received a letter from a frustrated middle manager who had been heavily recruited by his new firm; however, after he finally joined the company, the attention given him dried up, and he suddenly felt a sense of rejection.

Senior executives should realize that when they put on a big recruiting effort to land a key team member, they had better continue the "sale" after the rookie joins the firm. But more on that later. Within any company, new employees tend to transition through four seasons (or stages). If you want to maximize employee satisfaction and productivity, your management style with each employee should change with each one's seasons. These styles offer varying degrees of direction and support.

* Season one -- the freshman stage. This is typically the stage at which people join your company. If new employees are totally inexperienced in your type of business, the duration of this stage will be longer than if they had prior experience with another similar company. Because these employees are new to your company's team, they don't yet know your goals, policies and the general way your company does business. Still, they are excited about the new opportunity with your company and anxious to make a good impression. For the most part, freshmen respond best to a directing management style from supervisors, wherein they are told what needs to be done, and they tackle it with zeal, enthusiasm and confidence. * Season two -- the sophomore stage. When employees enter this stage, usually it's because the initial excitement of the position with your company has worn off, and they have begun to come face to face with some of the barriers to progress within your organization. As they begin to gain experience working within your organization, they begin to realize how much they still have to learn about your company. Sophomores tend to respond best to a management style described as coaching, where you provide a lower level of direction, while simultaneously offering some support by encouraging them to ask questions and offer suggestions. In this manner, you are shoring up the downturn in motivation they have experienced. …

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