The job of a front-line manager is to get other people to do their work. But sometimes, there is something to be gained by doing the work yourself. Here's when you should roll up your sleeves and get to work:
- To find out what a job or task is all about. The more hands-on work you do, the better you'll understand the work from your team's perspective, and the more appropriate your expectations will be.
- To demonstrate to your people that you're not above sharing the load. Which sends a better message about the value of your team: Telling them that you're too busy to help, or making time to help out even though you're busy?
- To show a new employee how the job should be done. But remember that the best trainer may be a co-worker who does the job every day. Talk with these in-house experts to devise on-the-job training procedures that work for everyone; don't just dump the responsibility for this training on your staff.
- When there just isn't any other way to get the job done. But while you are working, figure out a way to avoid getting into this predicament again.