People don’t leave jobs or businesses, they leave managers.
Maybe this is uncomfortable reading if you are a manager and one of your valuable employees has quit!
Perhaps this is a wake up call if you are learning to manage. Even if you have been managing for decades, it can be devastating when someone quits. Management isn’t easy. Its really, really hard to do it right.
There’s an epidemic of disengagement in the UK workforce today
In the workplace today, there is significant evidence that workers aren’t engaged with their organisations. This means they aren’t working as hard as they could be. Which makes somewhat depressing reading, especially for those of us paying the salary bills!
There is compelling evidence from Investors in People in the UK who found that bad management will cost us £84 billion in 2016. What this looks like in practise is up to half of all workers looking to change job. Not because of their pay, as this is largely keeping pace with inflation now, but because of their bad boss.
Why are we looking at disengagement on this scale? The critical factor is the relationship between the employee and their manager. In a small business, this could be the business founder or owner and their team. In a large company, it could be the team leader or department head.
Often, the root cause is simply the failure to develop management as a skill.
Bad management is everywhere
Bad management seems endemic in the UK. Even the government acknowledges that as a nation we lag behind other developed countries. All too often, people who are good at what they do are put in charge of a team of people, not because they have any skill in managing people but simply because they have been there the longest, have the best level of technical expertise or are friends with the boss. We’ve seen this in large numbers of organisations and it doesn’t end well. Its a sure fire route to poor engagement, a toxic culture and low productivity.
One of the classic traps poor managers fall into is doing little or no performance management, or, doing it very badly. Don’t fall into this trap – find out more about good performance management here.
How can you avoid being a bad manager, and more importantly, as you grow your business, how can you ensure that you develop the management skills of those who’re managing their own teams?
The basic elements of good management
A good start is to look the key things employees say they want from their boss:
- Managers who show care, interest and concern for their staff
- To know what is expected of them
- A role which fits their abilities
- Positive feedback and recognition regularly for work well done.
How well you are doing on these?
To find out how well you are doing, consider these questions too:
- Do I demonstrate care, concern and interest?
- Am I clear in talking through what’s expected of my staff?
- Are people working to their strengths? Do I provide support where staff are stretched? Am I proactive in this?
- How often do I provide positive feedback and encouragement? It’s far too easy to notice the negative and feedback on this.
- Am I creating the conditions where people want to work with me?
- Am I investing in developing the skills and talents of our people, to enable them to progress and develop?
If you find you need help in some areas of management, and most of us will at some point in our careers, fortunately there are tools that can support your journey. Air has a suite of useful features to help you align your team’s objectives, provide feedback, and create clear goals and objectives.
Ultimately, remember, that talented employees may join your business for the opportunities and the rewards. But if they aren’t well managed, there is a risk they will leave. Don’t take that risk.