My Best Management Tip

  1. Why should you care about people on your team?
  2. What does “caring” actually mean?
  3. The tool to turn caring into happier, healthier, teams.

1. Why Should You Care?

2. What Does Caring Mean?

3. The Tool

Pre-work for the person on your team.

  1. (First time only) choose 4–6 personal drivers and define the success criteria for each. Write them down! Why do you show up to work? Examples include impact/scope, compensation, title, recognition, work-life balance (e.g. work for lifestyle), and learning, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.
  2. Prioritize the drivers. Of course most, if not all, of these things matter to most people. The key is to cut the list down to 4–6 and then prioritize so that they communicate what is the most important driver to them at any given time. This prioritization can change month/month; whatever reflects the current prioritization.
  3. Stoplight code (red/yellow/green) each driver for the past month. This is why the monthly cadence is so important: anything longer is tough to categorize, anything shorter can become too much overhead.
  4. Describe why each driver got that color for the month in 2–3 sentences.

The Discussion

  1. Is one of the top priorities not being green an issue? Here, the employee states they think the work-life balance issue was a one-off, so I wouldn’t be worried. But I would watch the trend the next couple months: 3 yellow/reds in a row for a top priority often signals something is wrong with either role-employee fit.
  2. Understand why the person has these responses (for both Green AND Red). It’s one thing to know that they don’t feel recognized, but it’s more important to understand why they don’t feel recognized so that you can help them in the future. Similarly, it’s great that this person feels like they’re driving impact, but how do you know to tee them up for similar projects in the future if you don’t understand why they think it’s impactful?
  3. Are internal or external factors driving the rating? Lastly, I’ll want to understand how much control the employee feels over these areas. If there are internal factors affecting the ratings, what can we do to change that in the future?

Post-meeting work (for the manager)

  1. Resources: Are there resources that would help the employee turn things around in a key driver area? I look towards books, classes, and mentor connections to specifically address an area.
  2. Role fit: If I see lots of reds pop up due to things I can’t change about the role or help the person improve upon, I start the conversation of whether or not this specific role is right for the person. This can lead to finding a new opportunity, or sometimes just a better expectation from the employee of what they can get out of this role and what timeline before that would change (e.g. a new role on the team, switching teams, etc).




I'm a Product Manager who loves to solve problems at the intersection of how to help people get value out of complex ecosystems and how people make decisions.

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Chris Hatfield

Chris Hatfield

I'm a Product Manager who loves to solve problems at the intersection of how to help people get value out of complex ecosystems and how people make decisions.

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