How To Manage A Needy Team Member
Not all of your team have the same needs all of the time. We adore and value those who can always be relied upon to get stuck into the work allocated and who require little or no attention. Sadly, however, there are team members who just hoover up attention, time, resources and your patience!
There will always be such people around so you need to have a strategy to effectively deal with this unwanted challenge!
So, how to deal with this?
Why exactly are they needy? Make sure that you uncover this as soon as practically possible. Is this insecurity, lack of confidence, the working environment or what?
Talk to them? However frustrating this might be you really need to talk to them to unpick the issues, trying not to be dismissive or impatient, however frustrating you might find this to be. Try to improve their confidence and offer support to get things moving.
Listen: carefully assess their responses and use this as a means by which to probe further. The cause of the need may well be hidden deep o be prepared to do plenty of listening!
Connect: make sure that if you offer regular contact that you deliver this.
Praise and reassure: Make sure that your feedback and conversation incorporates positive feedback and that it allows the employee to move forward and become less demanding of your time and attention.
Offer support: provide tools and resources to help the individual if this is required.
Find out why their confidence is low: if there is a self-esteem problem this should be explored in a sensitive and supportive manner making sure that your approach is ad objective and fair as possible. Be collaborative and explore the reasons why self-confidence is low.
Set boundaries: This is important especially where your “open door” is in danger of being totally abused! The manager has a responsibility to all of the team and it involves far more than just guiding and shepherding employees! If you are too available this really prevents staff from personal growth and learning by doing things for themselves.
Prepare for a different (more difficult) conversation: always have in the back of your mind that this may well develop into a difficult conversation further down the line about performance. Needy employees can frequently turn out to be incompetent employees!
By having a range of approaches you are well-placed to deal with any issue that the needy team member may challenge you with!
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