One of the greatest tools a manager has is knowing about the employees that make up the team. This is not meant to seem like a manager should be friends with the employees and buddy around because really a manager should never do that. But it does mean that a manager needs to know what works for each employee.
Some employees learn from verbal communications very well, and others this will not work for in most cases. Some employees are very visual and have to read things for themselves. Other still relate to pictures or to being shown hoe to do something. So how does a manger know which is which?
Observation is a great tool. Asking employees if they understand in the different scenarios above is a terrific way to check. It is also great to take a moment and ask the employees how they learn best. But even when you have the answers use all types of communications at different times to make sure that everyone understands.
In any job there are aspects of the job that anyone enjoys more than other aspects. Notice the attitude of the employee when performing these different responsibilities. If someone really enjoys numbers than perhaps there is a project this person would be especially good for. If someone likes writing, perhaps this person is in charge of certain reporting. In finding what people enjoy helps to find the parts of the job where people can try new things. This is a great way to mentor.
Talk with employees but especially listen. An employee wants to do well and will offer up the things that get in the way as long as there is belief someone is listening. This is not about complaining. Have the employees come with a problem only if they also have a solution to try. Get everyone thinking and gets the manager to even know more about the employee.

Author's Bio: 

Liz Cosline
SongofOneUnexpectedLife - S.O.U.L.

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Liz Cosline, the Official Guide to Team Building