Part of being a manager involves asking employees to develop ideas or perform research which you will later present to your bosses or clients. It is understood that you did not obtain all of this information yourself and your staff understands that every fact you present will not include a footnote pointing to the employee who uncovered it. As a manager it is critical to find right balance between performing this aspect of your job and making sure that your employees feel valued and appreciated.
Managers who fail to find this balance can create extremely toxic work environment. The key is to make people feel like they are part of a team that is working together to accomplish a common goal instead of a dispensable tool.
Tips for finding the right balance:
- Thank your employees for their help!
- Explain how you plan to use your employees’ work – seeing where their contribution fits into the bigger picture helps your employees to buy into the idea that they are really working toward a
- Acknowledge your employees’ contributions in front of your bosses/clients– this does not need to be done at every turn but when you are praised for your project, be sure to note that it was made possible because of the commitment and talent of your staff.
- Be truthful with yourself and others – it is expected that many of your ideas will be based on collaboration with people who work alongside or below you, however, you cross the line when you directly take credit for something that was actually conceived by somebody else.