Goals That Make Employee-Centric Managers Out-Perform All Others

In the field of organizational psychology today, the dominant theory of employee motivation is goal-setting theory. It’s a powerful theory explaining what activates people to perform at increasingly higher levels. Research shows that those who set goals clearly outperform those who don’t. And further, that those who set specific, difficult goals outperform those who set general, easier-to-achieve goals

Most managers want to lead a winning team. But employee-centric managers balance a specific set of clear-cut goals to achieve genuine, lasting business success. Their goals are:

  1. To get along well with all members of their team. Employee-centric managers aim to foster good, respectful relationships with subordinates which helps smooth the way to higher personal satisfaction and productivity. Having difficult relationships with subordinates is no fun and a source of vexation for everyone involved.
  2. To achieve positive interpersonal team chemistry. Regularly needing to step in and resolve interpersonal conflict within a team is a clearly a drag on time and energy and makes everybody grumpy. Employee-centric managers step in to resolve conflicts quickly and well, keeping both co-worker cooperation and team output high.
  3. To oversee a highly engaged team. Employee-centric managers understand the drivers of engagement and act accordingly. They ensure a good employee-job demands match, they recognize and empower employees, earn their trust by walking the talk, and help employees develop new skills, keeping them excited about the work itself.
  4. To create a high-performance team. Maximizing the value of the resources entrusted to managers is what it’s all about. Managers of teams that consistently outperforms others adopt the employee-centric management style as the surest pathway to team success.
  5. To obtain highly favorable performance reviews. Being seen as competent in what we do is important to all of us. Employee-centric managers meet and exceed their personal performance targets and achieve favorable reviews from their managers by ensuring employees have what they need to get the job done.
  6. To maximize their rewards. Rewards for managers typically fall into one of two categories: higher incomes and better opportunities for career growth. Top-performing managers rely upon the employee-centric pathway to achieving their rewards, knowing it produces the best employee experience and the highest team performance.

The big question is: what specifically does an employee-centric manager do to accomplish these goals? My research reveals their eight attributes: 1) show support and understanding, 2) provide recognition, 3) treat employees with dignity and respect, 4) communicate clear performance expectations, 5) reward performance contributions, 6) demonstrate competence in problem-solving and decision-making, 7) be just and fair, and 8) be honest and trustworthy. This defines the employee-centric manager – one consistently performing at the highest level.