You’ve got that nagging feeling.

Hey, you supervisors and managers out there: Tell me, do any of these situations strike a chord with you?

  1. He always leaves work at 4:30PM but his car is rarely in the parking lot when I pull in at 8:00AM.
  2. She’s making a lot of mistakes and doesn’t seem aware of it. And, several project deadlines are slipping.
  3. She accomplishes whatever I send her way and the work is consistently exceptional; still, she seems rattled and tense.

If any of the above sound familiar, you might already understand what I mean by that nagging feeling. It’s the feeling you get when you casually observe the behavior of someone on your team but you push the concern aside because it’s hard to deal with or you’re not sure you’re assessing a situation accurately. What should you do when you get that nagging feeling? Don’t ignore it – trust it.

Supervising people is about relationships. Over time, you develop instincts about the individuals on your team, and that makes you are a better manager. If you notice someone on your team is stressed, talk about it. If you observe something negative, approach the person and ask. It is better to check in on a performance problem when it is small and still easily modified than when months have gone by and the stakes are much higher. You can’t have a relationship with someone if you don’t care about their circumstances. And, team members will rise to the expectations you set for them.

This post, Three Signs Your Company Culture is Going Down the Tubes, references two results you’ll likely get if you ignore small problems. Allowing performance to slip and taking on the “that’s not my responsibility” attitude will put you on the path toward an organization that is unhealthy. Observe the early warning signs, recognize that nagging feeling, and act on it. If you are a manager, it’s your job. Enough said.

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Author: susantevans

Susan T. Evans is director of corporate and foundations relations at the College of William & Mary. She is a proven strategic leader with deep expertise in advancement, communications, brand management, marketing, digital strategy, technology, administration and organizational development. She is known for creative and strategic approaches to challenges within higher education, nonprofits and business.

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