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The Manager-Miner Metaphor

Mike Carden

Vice President Small Business Operations

The most successful organizations have one thing in common; they’re able to inspire their employees, and they recognize achievements.

This may sound simple, but so many companies fail to reach higher levels of success because they just can’t do these two things.

It has to do with a haphazard means of recognizing and acknowledging the good work that employees are doing. It’s not that managers don’t want to recognize it - it’s just that they may not have the means to capture the behavior.

Digging Up Gold

Miners dig through the dirt and rock to find shiny precious things. Being a manager at review time is no different.

Managers won’t have full knowledge of every task or project employees have worked on, so it becomes their job to mine for this on. They’ll need to talk with internal or external clients, review any tions they’ve had, analyze project goals, etc to find something gold.

Once the manager has this wee nugget they can build coaching and feedback around it, and refine it further by finding challenging work opportunities to develop the raw gold into something truly awe-inspiring. But it doesn’t end here.

The Storytelling Component

However great it is to have a manager tell an employee how well they performed, or how awesome their latest work is, it’s even better when the manager tells other people.

As a manager, find creative ways to tell everyone what your team is doing. It’s by publicly acknowledging their contribution that you give them the non- monetary recognition that drives strong performance in the future.

So...

  1. Dig around and find that nugget for each employee

  1. Refine and develop it into something truly precious (ie, something your organization will really benefit from - maybe a nice necklace)

  1. Tell everyone about it, and make sure the employee gets the glory for their creation

  1. Everyone benefits!

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