Be a Catalyst

Fostering Painless Performance Conversations

One person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer,” in any situation, in any organization.

—Stephen R. Covey

Employees initially come to work for a paycheck, but few stick around just for the money. In a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 53 percent of employees listed pay as a very important aspect of their job satisfaction. At the same time, more than half said relationships with an immediate supervisor were a critical factor in their job satisfaction. Studies have repeatedly shown that employee satisfaction is directly linked to employees' relationships with their immediate managers. As a manager, you have a direct impact on employee retention and engagement, workplace morale, and organizational culture.

An important part of your job as a manager is to tap into the passion that brings employees to work each day. When those passions are engaged and employees feel valued, they are likely to perform at higher levels. One reason employees stick with an employer, and with you as their manager, is the feeling of being valued. Employees are eager for your feedback, and your job as a manager is to provide them the reinforcement they crave.

But let's be realistic. You also have a really heavy workload. You are constantly juggling your focus between your own work and your employees' needs. As a result, it's easy to lose sight of one of the most critical roles that you play: a catalyst, someone ...

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