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How managers impact your organization's future

  • Jul 11, 2019
  • Stephana Gaudin
Manager with employee Manager with employee
Those of us who have been in the workforce for 10+ years are starting to see a shift. Gone are the days of “taking what you can get” when it comes to work. Those who were once afraid to leave a steady job due to poor leadership are starting to jump ship. They know there is more out there; options that will fit their lifestyle and needs as a person, not just an employee.

Specifically, employees are looking for flexible workspaces (having the ability to move to different areas), flexible schedules and the ability to work remotely.  

We recently wrote about hiring and retaining talent in a low unemployment climate. Today, we’ll go over what managers need to do differently on the job and how those changes can help bring a company out of the past and become a workplace that will thrive into the future. 

What has changed?
In the past, employees were most focused on the paycheck they received and feeling satisfied at work. They were used to having a boss that would perform the dreaded annual review to point out their weaknesses, and having their job be just that: a job that they left at the office every day.

In contrast, today’s employees are more focused on having a sense of purpose at work and furthering their professional development. Instead of having a boss that points out their weaknesses once a year, they prefer having a coach that engages in ongoing conversations throughout the year to highlight their strengths. Personal and professional lives are now intertwined, and employees want their managers to recognize that.

Today’s managers need to think of themselves in a new way and learn how to be more human with employees. Today's workers no longer want to leave their personal lives at home. Checking in on a sick family member, asking how the kids are doing in school; all of these things are going to make your employees feel more comfortable with sharing about any issues going on in their lives that may affect their work. 

What do you have to lose? 
You may be thinking, so what if I have a manager that employees don’t like? They are reaching their quotas, and while you have heard the grumblings and complaints, no one has quit (yet). Here is the thing: if your employees are unhappy at work, it could very likely to affecting their health. If they’re miserable at work, they’re probably bringing that misery and stress home with them. You will probably see lower performance, lower quality work and higher absenteeism. If you invest in an employee wellness program, you are negating any of those benefits by keeping the bad manager around. 

On top of poor health, your employees are also not being motivated to do their best work. In Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, they found that only 21% of employees “strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.” Their research shows that there are three reasons for this: unclear expectations, ineffective and infrequent feedback, and unfair evaluation processes. If your employees aren’t doing their best work, your organization is not going to thrive. 

Also, if your current employees aren’t happy, you are not going to attract top new candidates. These potential new employees will see the reviews of your business (trust me, they are out there) that say, “do not work here!” Gallup has shown that 71% of candidates use a referral or a recommendation from current employees when they are looking for work. 

To expand this even further, you are missing out on the opportunity to promote how great your managers are at your company. If 1 in 2 employees have left a job due to a bad manager, being able to publicize how great your management team is to prospective employers is priceless. It might be the tipping point for someone to consider or accept a position with your organization. 

What makes a good manager?
If a majority of your management team has been promoted from within, you might need to take a look and confirm that you’ve equipped them with the skills necessary to manage others. Just because they were great at their previous role doesn’t mean they are inherently good at being a manager. In fact, Gallup has shown that only 1 in 10 people possess a high talent to manage. 

Good managers of people have a natural ability to engage and motivate others. They are also coaches who encourage their team and build trust by engaging with them on topics regarding work as well as what’s going on at home. They collaborate on goal setting and connect employee goals to the big picture so that employees can clearly see how their role contributes to the success of the organization. While the percentage of those who have these skills is low, they account for almost 50% higher profits for a businesses and 70% of the variance in employee engagement according to Gallup. 

Gallup’s State of the American Manager report states that, “companies fail to choose the [managerial] candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time.” A lot of these mistakes happen during the hiring process. Some of the “soft skills” such as relationship building and communication are overlooked. Companies may push to hear metrics and success stories from their previous roles but fail to address the more important skills for a manager such as decision making and employee engagement. 

While a lot of these skills are natural talents for some, don’t be dismayed if you currently have a manager that needs help or an internal candidate in mind that you want to promote that lacks in one of these areas. Thankfully, there are ways to develop these skills through training. 

But beware of traditional leadership training. Much of it fails to reach the mark. It’s time for a new approach. 

Studer Community Institute is passionate about helping leaders and businesses thrive in our community. We want you to succeed, and through our workshops, the Accelerate® roundtable program, and customized training solutions, we can help you build a stronger team for your organization.

Through our keynote speakers and breakout sessions at EntreCon®, we will help prepare you and your organization for the workplace of the future now. Get your tickets today

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