Have you ever tried to teach your grandma to use a computer? If so, then you know the challenges that come from training someone to do something new and out of their comfort zone. But what about when the role is reversed? What if you were the one being trained on a new technology by your younger employees?
While this is not out of the norm, it can still be awkward when you as the boss become the student to your own employee. Now, we like this and so should you. It allows you to grow in this area, and allows your employee an opportunity to lead. In the end, this experience will enable you to work more cohesively, which makes for a better working environment.
But one other challenge presents itself, how do you work with these employees? Here are 4 key things you need to know when working with your tech savvy (and super smart) employee.
Internal Communication Is Important
Internal communication is the key that keeps everything in a company working smoothly. Employees need to know what’s going on, what the company expects to achieve, and most importantly the values that drive the business. Everyone has a story about a manager who didn’t share what the expectations were and just gave orders. And we all know how those situations end up; not well for anyone. Everyone ends up doing what they think they should but never really knowing for sure. Tell your tech savvy employee exactly what you need of him/her. They may surprise you and offer to take the task a step further based on their knowledge. Go with it and let them lead a project and see how it goes with good communication. This in the end will allow employees to be informed and feel motivated.
Clearly State Your Objectives
This could fall under Internal Communication section, but is important enough to separate the two. Most tech savvy employees want to do a good job and meet all expectations, but that requires they know exactly what those are, which sometimes companies have a hard time clarifying. Regularly talk to each employee and define in clear terms the 4 or 5 things you expect each to accomplish over the next few months. Make the objectives reasonable but don’t be reluctant to assign a goal or two that requires good effort. Good employees want to push themselves so give them a clear reason to do so.
Understand Their Technical Needs
This is a big one when it comes to tech savvy employees. The workplace of today is more involved in technology than ever before, and your employees will use an assortment of tools to get the job done. The best managers understand the technology well enough to evaluate if the staff has what they need to meet objectives. However, you don’t have to be a know-it-all because this is where your tech savvy employee can help you. Most will understand the objectives and have a few options to share or be willing to research options to solve the problem getting in the way of meeting objectives. Take note of this and again, use it as an opportunity to let your employee shine. They will appreciate and understand you care about them because you are getting them the best tools for the job.
Are you around your employees on a regular basis? It’s hard to visualize a firm hand guiding things when your boss stays in his/her office all the time. Good managers make an effort to show the staff he/she is always around and on top of the operation, even if it means visiting each employee for a few minutes every day to see how things are going. You would be amazed at the information your employees will share if you are trusted and give advice to help them reach their goals. This also allows you to praise or coach your employees privately and drives motivation and loyalty.
In the end, go easy on yourself. There is no one-right-way to talk to your tech savvy employee, but these tips will allow you to arm yourself with ways to communicate effectively. And if grandma eventually figured it out, so will you.
Are you looking for a tech savvy employee? Contact us and we’ll help you during your search.