How do managers know if they’re truly getting the most from their team?

The right team dynamic impacts the success of projects, employee performance, and company culture. The issue is most team dynamics are based on CV experience, traditional skillset, and seniority level.

In truth, a myriad of data points cultivate prosperous team dynamics, and nurturing these ‘unseen’ skills is key to success. At Candor, we’ve been assessing and analyzing unseen skills across thousands of real-world employees. We’ve noticed that desired working environment, core principles, learning styles, weaknesses, strengths, personality types, and more inform who should work with who.

75% of employees who quit their jobs, quit because of their boss. [Gallup Survey, 2020]
 For a manager, it’s important to get ahead of this and recognize the working world is changing. Companies who embrace their teams ‘whole person’ are reaping the rewards in terms of job satisfaction, retention, and attracting the best talent.

Managers of the world, it’s time to start rethinking the way you build relationships with your direct reports. To help, we’ve pulled together this complete guide. We recommend bookmarking it, so you can make use of it time and time again. Let’s dive in! 👇

What’s in this guide:

  • A CV doesn’t show burnout
  • With remote teams, activity is unseen and unspoken
  • Seeing the unseen skills:
  • Learning styles
  • Feedback format
  • Important principles
  • Communication style
  • Scheduling
  • Stress indicators
  • Development desires
  • Praise
  • Candor’s readmes

A CV doesn’t show burnout

The data is in. Leading US coaching platform BetterUp surveyed 170k real-world employees and discovered well-being, burnout, social connection, and life satisfaction have taken a big hit globally and have yet to recover to 2019 levels. Work-related factors impact over 40% of the fluctuations in life satisfaction—with job satisfaction landing in the number one spot. Basically, work is really important for people's well-being [BetterUp 2022].

To compound this, 75% of people quit their job because of their manager. So, managers out there, there’s a huge responsibility on your shoulders to construct teams in the right way. The first step is recognizing we need to go beyond the CV. Building teams based on a CV alone is outdated; it only reflects a polished list of past employers and titles. A CV doesn’t show the wealth of unseen skills and traits that make an individual tick. It doesn’t show their limitations, desires, or personality.

If the ‘whole person’ is overlooked, your team dynamics might be sub-optimal and your talent might not be performing to the best of their ability. This will have a damaging effect on performance and retention. It’s just bad business practice all round.

Building the right team starts by writing a great job description that will attract the best candidate for the job and asking the right questions in the interview process that will help you actually get to know your candidates. From there, it's all about keeping culture front and center through onboarding and beyond.

‘Quiet quitting’ is rife among remote teams

The rise in remote and hybrid teams has led to many positive ways of working. But there are new challenges for managers to tackle. The rise in quiet quitting is having an adverse effect on team engagement and workplace culture.

A new survey by looked at the most annoying coworker habits and found that quiet quitting was among the most irritating. More than six-in-ten (62%) find the trend incredibly annoying, with more than half (57%) saying they've recently noticed a colleague who has quiet quit. Of those, 57% say they've had to take on more work because their colleague decided to do less.

The root of quiet quitting is remote teams not understanding how best to work together. They’ve been paired up and cast on projects based on their ‘seen’ skillset, experience, and seniority, but this doesn’t foster healthy team dynamics. The data shows it.

Seeing the ‘Unseen’ Skills

Ultimately, being a great manager boils down to a single thing: getting the best from your team. Forget the titles, the authority, the ‘power’. It’s all about getting those that work around you flying on all cylinders.

We don’t want to oversimplify the role. It’s littered with challenges and complexities, but a new age of management is dawning—one that prioritizes the unseen skills. At Candor, we’ve analyzed thousands of real-world employee readmes and discovered that these unseen skills are the ones managers should be focusing on to level up their teams:

1- Learning Styles

Team members may never have reflected on how they learn best, but as a manager, you should help them understand this. Getting an accurate read on your team's varying learning styles will help you accelerate their development.

Types of learning styles we see on personal readmes range from: writing it down, verbal lessons, taking a course, buddying up, and blocking out time to do it.

Why it's useful for managers: Build up your team's personal development and help them upskill to take on more responsibility. This unlocks pay rises and promotions, which contribute to job satisfaction.

2- Feedback format

A feedback loop keeps a team ticking, and having the right channels and methods to share feedback is really important for managers. Feedback doesn’t have to be a one-way street. Team members can use it as a platform for self-reflection and goal setting.

Types of feedback styles we see on personal readmes range from: FORMAT: 1:1, face-to-face, video (compliments remote and hybrid teams), group; TONE: kindness, directness, with examples; and FREQUENCY: monthly, quarterly, weekly, annually.

Why it's useful for managers: nurturing feedback skills fosters greater dialogue between team members and management, which encourages self-reflection and opens the door for goal setting.

3- Important principles

The principles and values of a company are talked about, but what goes unseen is a team member's personal principles. Understanding their morals, values, and the pillars of what guides them is a manager's secret sauce in building complementary team dynamics.

Themes we see in personal readmes range from: achievement, authenticity, adventure, autonomy, balance, beauty, fun, community, challenge, creativity, faith, fairness, honesty, humor, harmony, and learning.

Why it’s useful for managers: You’ll understand what part of the team’s process matters most and which ones should be dialed down. You’ll also be able to pair up individuals by assessing their values e.g. a team of 3 where they all have autonomy as a key principle might present challenges if frequent collaboration is required.

4- Communication style

How do they respond to different types of communication, especially when working remotely? Do they excel on the phone or a video call, or a private Slack channel, or a hybrid system that involves in-person meets.

Personal readmes unearth these commonalities in communication styles: phone calls, in-person meetings, video calls, morning meetings only, evening meetings only, and more. Having an HD intranet set up also helps promote stronger communication across the team and company.

Why it’s useful for managers: Communication is key. Understanding how the team best communicates will not only reinforce team dynamics but give managers an understanding of where teams can develop and excel e.g. getting on the phone with a client is a great skill to nurture.

5 - Scheduling

Hybrid working has driven a massive rise in asynchronous work. It’s now proven that teams can be productive with a non-typical schedule. Allowing team members to accommodate the work around their life will boost job and life satisfaction.

Personal readmes are an effective way of learning how team members work best. The self-takes include: time for deep work in the AM, space for deep work in the AM, less than two meetings a day, back-to-back meetings, zero meetings, no swiss cheese calendar, late-night stints for creative work streams, and more.

Why it’s useful for managers: some team members might excel on projects with awkward time zones, whereas others will wither. This is another step in understanding your team’s ‘whole person’; invest in what's going on outside of their work and what drives their scheduling.

6 - Stress indicators

Stress is unavoidable at work. We all have deadlines to hit and expectations to meet. A small dose of stress is healthy for maintaining motivation and drive. When stress becomes overwhelming and leads to burnout, this is when it has a negative effect. These states can be avoided if managers take the time upfront to understand what triggers a team member's stress.

Personal readmes show that dealing with stress ranges from person to person: some need their own space; for others, a team huddle; others need to confide in select individuals in 1:1 environments over video or in person.

Why it’s useful for managers: not only will it give managers a better understanding of how to monitor team mental well-being, it can also be reverse-engineered to understand which situations individuals thrive in.

7 - Development desires

A serious unseen skill that managers should coach out of their team is the ability to goal-set and give their take on their development desires.

Personal Readme data shows development themes such as: mentoring and developing others, managing situations of conflict, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, making a positive impact on the planet and community, and more.

Why it’s useful for managers: With an understanding of the team's individual development targets, managers can pair up complementing roadmaps and think about 30-60-90 plans and 360 reviews accordingly. Team dynamics can be formed by shared goals. Pairing junior and senior individuals who have complementary goals and skills will unlock powerful growth.

8 - Praise

Have you ever considered how team members want to receive praise? It’s not usually top of the list, but nurturing team members with the right praise, delivered in the right way, can boost team performance.

Do they prefer a shout-out to the whole team, a direct message, a gift in the post, a morning 1:1 coffee, or a Thursday night beer? Candor readmes show that teams prefer to receive praise in a wide range of formats.

Why it’s useful for managers: Admit it, we all like to be praised. A positive feedback loop helps keep team members motivated. Methodology around praise also informs dynamics across the team and how middle managers should share praise with junior execs.

Use Candor readmes to nurture the unseen skills

Managers shouldn’t default back to building teams purely on CVs and experience level. We’ve seen the rising tides of burnout and the negative impact work can have on life satisfaction. The unseen skills are the internal mechanics of a team, and keeping them well-oiled and maintained will keep the company engine turning over.

Collecting this data manually through 1:1 chats with the full team is going to be time-draining on yours and their resources—plus it will only add stress to already busy workloads. Candor’s personal readmes are totally free to use and give your team a central place to log and optimize their unseen skills over time. It also looks beautiful (if we do say so ourselves).

Read more:

Our Mission at CandorHow to level up your team by running towards constructive conflict

You’ll be a better leader and teammate when you get into the weeds of your team's unseen skills. Understanding what makes them tick, beyond their qualifications and experience, will result in more fulfilling relationships and higher performance.

Key Takeaway

Well-being, burnout, social connection, and life satisfaction have taken a big hit globally and yet to recover to 2019 levels [BetterUp 2022]. 75% of employees quit their jobs because of their manager.

This means managers have a critical role in driving change for a more positive working future. This working environment should encourage team members to bring their ‘whole self’ to work and be engineered around the unseen skills that make them connect with others effectively.

Increase your team's trust and performance with shareable personal readmes that express each other's needs. 100% free to join.

Claim your free profile today.

Connect and engage with your teammates

Candor makes it easy to connect and have fun with your teammates, even while you’re remote. Use Candor to do feedback, shoutouts, check-ins, and more, all in one place.

know your work
Connect with your teammates using shoutouts, check-ins, feedback and more.
Start using Candor for free
Sign up with Google
Already have an account? Login