Valuable Management Practices

Wioleta Patkowska (HR Manager): What management practices do you consider the most important?

Marlena Nakraszewicz (Architect Application Support): I will talk about three practices which are important to me:

  1. One-to-one meetings

I conduct regular meetings with employees. I focus on talking about work, challenges, development expectations and I also have some simple conversation. Currently, I see everyone every 2 weeks. For me it is an opportunity to build a deeper relationship, a time when I can get to know the members of my team and their interests.

  1. Team building

It is important to me to have a good team. That is why I suggest team building outings. After work we can get to know each other better. Thanks to this we may become friends, not only colleagues.

  1. I build trust

I try to create an atmosphere of trust in my team. It is easier for us to talk about the problems we encounter in our projects, and therefore also easier to ask for help. Everyone, including me, wants to work in a friendly, supportive environment. I know that it is my duty to create it.

Monika Wieszczeczyńska (Cloud Management Services Manager): I would add to what Marlena has said:

  1. Positive feedback

I always try to say what I value in my employees, with specific examples: what they have done, what they have learned, their approach, their impact on others. I do not think that you shouldn’t focus on praise, or that it is enough to keep it short: “Everything is great”. I use the possibility of awarding prizes. It doesn’t have to be a big deal: some headphones, a dinner voucher, etc.

  1. Negative feedback

When I get negative feedback about a person in my team, and it is quite vague, I always ask for more details and examples. I ask the employee what happened and what was the result of it. I don’t draw conclusions until I understand the perspectives of both parties and I find the gist of the problem. I don’t talk about such feedback with the employee if it is not precise or it is just wishful thinking. Feedback cannot demotivate.

  1. Development

I try not to impose development goals on my employees. Employees often have their own plans and there is no need for me to set them up. A bottom-up-driven goal is easier to achieve. I see my role in searching for tools that will help them to reach these goals together. It could be some training, some mentoring, maybe a book.

Wioleta: What feedback have you gotten from your people?

Marlena: I found out that they treated me like a team member, that I provided them with both technical and non-technical support. I am a technical person, just like them, so we can find a common language. It is easier for me to understand their needs and offer help.

Monika: I heard that I noticed when someone needed help, I identified problems by reacting to them and offering support. I ask simple questions: How can I help you? What you need? Why are we behind the schedule? They can reach me.

Wioleta: What areas would you like to change?

Monika: I should have more time for the team. When I am really busy working on the project, I neglect meeting people. I am aware that being a manager means I must devote some time to the team, regardless of the project, priorities or other issues. I definitely need to change that. I would also like to give better, more specific feedback. If I receive some vague information from someone, I should give try to get to the bottom of the problem.

Marlena: I’d like to give people feedback more often, not only at the end of the project or at the annual assessment. I want everyone in my team to know that I value them, I notice the task done, positive attitude, help given to others.

Wioleta: What kind of manager would you like to be?

Monika: A manager my people can rely on. I want to fight for my team. It is difficult because we have to reconcile the needs of various parties: employees, business, and clients. I would not like my team to treat me as an enemy who cares only for the good of the company. I always want to compromise, talk.

Marlena: Like Monika, I would like my team to feel that I am for them and with them. I want to be part of the team, not just a communicator, issuing instructions. I want us to understand each other and be able to talk at all times.

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Monika Wieszczeczyńska
SAP Cloud Management Services Manager
Marlena Nakraszewicz
Architect Application Support