By: Don Tyler is Owner of Tyler & Associates (www.dontyler.com) and has been an Executive and Management Coach for Ag Clients for over 25 years.  He can be reached at 765-490-0353 or don@dontyler.com

Though there seems to be a little light appearing at the end of this tunnel that COVID-19 has put us in, getting completely back to regular operations will take time.  By now, your supervisors, foremen and managers have been in the trenches with you for a long time, doing all they can to “keep flying the airplane…” as has been mentioned in previous blogs.

You’ve probably done your best to show them your appreciation to this point, and yet it would be advisable to take a few minutes with each one and express your gratefulness for all their hard work, the disruptions they have managed through, assisting employees while at the same time taking care of their own families, and simply being there day in and day out.

Here are a few things to consider as you show your appreciation:

  1. Go to their department while all their employees are there, mention everyone’s hard work, and talk specifically about the things you have seen them do. The more specific your praise, the more they will remember what you said about them.
  2. Talk about how you have progressed to this point, what you think is coming next, and anything else that will give them a sense of what to expect and how to plan accordingly in their area of the business.
  3. Ask them questions to get their feedback on how they feel things have gone thus far, what they have learned, and any suggestions they have moving forward. In working with many seasoned managers, supervisors and foremen over the years I’ve noticed that one thing they really appreciate is an opportunity to share their personal insights and ideas with upper management.  For these individuals with 15, 20 or more years of experience, few things give them more sense of value to the company than to be asked their opinion.
  4. Ask for any problems or frustrations they are having with individuals, production issues or anything else and be sure to help them resolve that as quickly as possible. For the last few weeks they’ve been trying to deal with every issue on their own, not wanting to add more problems to your existing challenges.  By now they might have some things that they just can’t figure out—such as an employee who has not stepped up during this time or is otherwise being difficult.  Help them work through these issues.

Be sure to show your appreciation on a regular basis.  It’s one of the best investments you can make in your people.

Please let me help.  I’m here for you if you need to just talk, have some questions, need some assistance or anything at all.  No expectations.  No strings attached.