First lesson:

If chicken fingers are chicken fingers, does it really matter where we go to dinner?

Yes, because it's about the experience.

Kids enjoy experiences just like adults do. They notice the chairs, tables, types of glasses, service of the staff, and of course if there are televisions just to name a few. They also watch your expressions and if you liked what you ordered. It's about the experience.

It's the same with your staff. Meetings are meetings. But if you have them in different locations it adds a different dimension. Different location. Different format. Even if you do it on casual Friday versus formal Monday through Friday, it makes a difference. Don't assume it's all the same just because that's how you see it. 

Second lesson:

No matter how many times you ask, kids will forget to go to the bathroom. How do you forget you have to go to the bathroom? Not only is it the feeling of pressure on your body, but don't you know the consequences if you don't go?

When your staff forgets to do things and you think they should have remembered, keep in mind, they are human. "But, they are paid adults...they should remember!" And kids should remember to go to the bathroom. It's just the way it is. Realize they are human and people need to be reminded and have checks and balances.  

Third lesson:

You post your kids' accomplishments on social media (first place or last) with pictures and a comment. You love your kid! And if you aren't a Facebook addict, you're still talking about it with your coworkers, friends, etc.

How often do you heap praise about your staff and your team? It doesn't have to be on social media. It can be internal. Company email blasts. Town hall meetings. Quarterly kick-off meetings. Company awards.  

Praise your staff like they're your children, they want it and need it.  

Fourth lesson:

Develop them. 

You get your kids tutors when they aren't great at math or English. If they play a sport you get them private lessons. Baseball, soccer, golf, lacrosse. They won't ever play beyond high school for most, but you still spend the money. 

Is it for them to feel better about themselves? Is it for you to release the stress that they may not be good and then be sad? Is it for them to be more competitive and then feel better about themselves?  

You should invest in your staff.  It may be a simple software class, like Microsoft Office (excel or PowerPoint), public speaking or a professional development coach. No matter the issue, it shows them that you care. It shows them that you are willing to invest your money to help them get better; that you are willing to invest company time for them to grow as people and professionals. It shows you're committed to them.  

I'm not saying staff are like children. I'm not saying you have to be a parent to be a good manager. Neither are true. What I am stating is that we can learn from every part of our life and utilize it in other areas. Life is work. Work is life. Learn from each part, and let's make ourselves better overall. 

 

 

Published on: Jun 17, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.