As a manager of an analytical team, your corporate competency framework can sometimes be a useful motivational tool to help clarify expectations when it comes to your analyst’s performance, allowing you to link it directly to how it will affect the organisation’s performance as a whole.
When creating a framework, it’s common practice to balance competency details with enough flexibility so as to not make it too over-prescriptive.
However, for people with a technical mind set, this flexibility can be a weakness in itself. Too many generic terms can lead to the entire framework being dismissed as irrelevant, so here are five ways to help the team make the connection between the work they do and the value it achieves – for themselves, for the team and for the company.
1. Be a matchmaker
A high performing analytical team is one where the each member has been assigned to the projects or tasks that suit their own skills.
One of your first jobs as a manager is to assess the mix of technical roles that you need to reach your goals and to familiarise yourself with the talents of each member of your team. It’s about finding the right chemistry: The more successfully you match the right people with the right work, the more efficient and effective your team will be. But for the chemistry to work, your team members should be fully aware and in agreement of what their respective roles are, they must have a clear idea of your objectives and be willing to work together to achieve them.
2. Give the work meaning
The Progress Principle recognises that one of the most fundamental aspects of maintaining motivation for any employee is making progress in meaningful work.
In other words, for your analysts to be fully engaged, the work has to matter to them and they need to see the value of what they do. A vague or wishy-washy competency framework can remove the connection that your team might have between their work and the impact it has on the organisation as a whole. If you can demonstrate the value of each task and match that work to the values that your analysts hold as individuals, you will ensure a more motivated and creatively productive team in the long run.
3. Make development personal
Progress comes in many forms and is just as important to your analyst’s professional development as it is to achieving the next project milestone.
By providing coaching or mentoring to your team that clearly links the work they do to their own personal development, you are enabling them to progress in both. It optimises individual performances and improves business performance, but just as importantly, it signals that you are prepared to support your analysts and that their work is both important and valuable.
4. Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room
Your job as a manager is to recognise the skills on offer and utilise them as effectively as possible. That should absolutely mean that you have analysts on your team that are far more skilled than you when it comes to the technical aspects of the job.
Respect the intelligence of your team members, allow them the autonomy to carry out the work in the way they feel is most effective and don’t try to dictate every move. Show your team that you value their ideas and be open about discussing alternative solutions to problems. You can’t be an expert in everything.
5. Learn to focus on people
It’s one of the toughest transitions that analysts have to make when moving into a management role. When you are no longer expected to deliver through your own technical expertise, but through the skills and talents of a group of people, the challenges can sometimes feel overwhelming.
This includes making sure you avoid the micromanagement trap while managing workloads effectively. If you are – or will soon be – in a role that involves managing people with a technical mind set, Demarq Academy’s Managing Analysts course offers a two-day workshop that leaves participants with a clear view of the role an effective manager can play.