By: Kristin Clements-Effner, MSW Training Coordinator/Cofounder
This past week we had a dynamic training with a group of young professionals that are entering the world of nonprofits and have been serving around the city this year. The training topic was “Managing Up” and of course the training would not be complete without the drawing of pictures and lots of laughs. Our request to this eclectic and dynamic group of professionals was to draw us what their perfect employee/supervisor relationship would look like. Lets just say we had pictures from the Water Cycle, to Nicki Minaj, to a person on an island by themself with a life line to the office.
One thing was clear, young professionals know what they want in a supervisor and know when they have hit the supervisor jackpot. My observation from the presentations of their drawings was that if one of them had a supervisor meeting their needs, they spoke of their experience with enthusiasm and passion. There was a definite consensus among the group about what their ideal workplace situation would be. And the survey says….
1. Teamwork and Trust: Both the employee and supervisor are seen as equals in achieving success and completing projects.
2. No Micromanaging Please: Young professionals want a task with clear expectations, but then want the freedom to be creative and accomplish the task in their own way.
3. Communication…Communication…Communication: Open and positive communication is essential to a young employee feeling valued and knowing where they stand. Positive feedback is just as important as constructive feedback on performance.
4. Flexibility: Everyone has different work styles, times of productivity, and levels of efficiency in completing a task. Flexibility in scheduling and moving to a more task based workplace would allow young professionals to have life/work balance and not have to stare at their computer screen just because they have to stay til 5pm.
We joke about how much our training participants dig coloring and drawing, but every time it lends itself to great insight into how employees feel and how to make a thriving workplace that fully engages all employees.
If you are a young professional, stay tuned for our “Managing Up” Public Training this Spring so you can cultivate a great employee/supervisor relationship.