If you manage staff in Real Life, or guild members in a virtual world like World of Warcraft, I strongly recommend that you read First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. In the largest study of its kind ever undertaken, the Gallup Organization studied employee performance. In spite of being based on statistics involving 80,000 managers and a million employees in 400 companies, the book is highly readable and enjoyable. It will make you more effective as a manager.
12 Simple Indicators of a High-Performing Raid Team
They came up with 12 core elements needed to attract, focus and keep the most talented employees. They also proved very clearly that an outstanding workplace, in terms of both performance and employee satisfaction, depends more than anything on the manager of the business unit. The organization and the direct manager must create an environment where these 12 questions, or at least most of them, are answered strongly in the positive.
So, here they are, slightly rewritten for our guilds and guild members:
- Do I know what is expected of me on the raiding team?
- Do I have the gear and knowledge and clear, appropriate assignment to do my job right?
- On raids, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
- In the last week, have I received recognition or praise for doing a good job?
- Does my Raid Leader, Guild Leader, or someone in my guild seem to care about me as a person?
- Is there someone in the guild who encourages my development?
- In my guild, do my opinions seem to count?
- Does the purpose of my guild make me feel that I contribute in a meaningful way?
- Are the other raiders on my team committed to performing well?
- Do I have a best friend in the guild?
- In the last six months, has someone in my guild talked to me about my performance?
- This last year, have I had opportunities in my guild to learn and grow?
Don’t Other Factors Matter?
I realize there’s nothing there about high pay, or benefits, or organizational structure, or job security. Those things just didn’t come to the top of the pile when it came to what employees really cared about. They weren’t significant indicators of what made a high-performing workplace stand out. The 12 questions above, were. It’s not that other factors don’t matter at all. They may be necessary to, as the authors say, “get you into the game, but they can’t help you win”.
Well, the Real Life version, anyhow. I’m fairly sure there have been no Gallup polls in World of Warcraft, at least not yet! The 12 questions identified in the book and paraphrased above were consistently able to discriminate between the most productive departments/workgroups, and those that weren’t. Simple as they appear, they are what matters most, and the book goes into a fair amount of detail to show how they link to four critical business outcomes: productivity, profitability, retention and customer satisfaction.
In the next installment of this article, we’ll talk more about what managers specifically do to “Break the Rules” and provide an environment that nurtures positive responses to these 12 questions.
Continued in Becoming a Great Manager – Part 2