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A Word to the Wise: Give Your Managers the Support They Need or Else...

October 16, 2018
| ByJulia Pinzler

How important are your managers for the success of your organization, culture and business? A recent Gallup poll reveals that 75 percent of U.S. workers had voluntarily left a job because of a bad supervisor. In fact, 56% of employees would turn down a 10% raise to stay with a great boss. This means that companies need to invest heavily in their managers to make sure they are leading according to the values of the organization, connecting with employees, recognizing their teams and mentoring their direct reports.

So how do you make sure you don't lose 75 percent of your workforce due to bad managers? Identify ineffective managers and then invest the time and money to retrain and support them.

Identify Managers to Avoid

Managers vary in quality, but here are four types who you cannot afford to manage your employees:

  • Marionette: These managers simply follow orders. They don't question policies or directions. And, they don't stand up for their team. They make employees lose interest and passion in their jobs.
  • King Kong: Once they climb to the top, some managers talk down to their teams with lack of respect. This type of manager doesn't foster teamwork or trust.
  • Superman: These managers act like they own the company. They make unilateral decisions. Employee engagement dwindles when they don't feel included and appreciated.
  • Taskmaster: These managers micromanage employees and suffocate any creativity. Employees quickly become unhappy and will seek work elsewhere.
Train and Support Your Managers

Now that you know what to avoid, the next step is ensuring you have managers who won't drive your employees away.

Give your managers opportunities for growth. Mentoring and coaching should be part of your company's culture. Educate managers on the benefits of communication and collaboration, which creates trust among co-workers.

Ensure managers understand the difference between criticism and teaching. In a recent survey, 20 percent of managers admitted avoiding giving feedback, and 40 percent never gave positive feedback. Effective teaching requires praise to reinforce what employees are doing well.

Educate managers on recognition best practices. Recognition should be timely, specific and frequent, and it should help cultivate a strong and healthy relationship between employees and their managers, as well as the company at large. Managers should receive training on how to reward and recognize performance as part of performance management training as well as giving effective feedback. Recognizing employees for their extra contributions and efforts contributes to retention across the overall organization.

Finally, train managers to build a strong team with these features:

  • Set Goals and Objectives. Communicate the roles of each employee and make sure they align with the businesses’ objectives along with the personal and career development needs of your team members. It is important for managers to invest in their team’s talents and their strengths, along with understanding their career aspirations and helping them expand and grow their skill sets.
  • Communication. Communication is especially important in the employer/manager relationship. Great managers have ongoing conversations with employees; whether it is taking the time to check in regularly or giving frequent periodic feedback about performance and goals. Managers should make sure to communicate often, listen actively and with empathy.
  • Collaboration. Communication and collaboration go hand in hand. The strong and more frequent the communication, the better the team collaborates. Learn to trust the members of your team and give them the tools they need to help them collaborate better.
  • Conflict resolution. Encourage empathy among your team when making decisions and solving conflicts. Develop processes and standards and provide feedback instantly. Be respectful and address conflicts head-on.
  • Support. A study by the American Psychological Association shows that employees with supportive bosses were twice as likely to report feeling valued by their employer and feeling satisfied with their job. Supporting your employees is vital to your team’s professional and company success.

Minimizing turnover depends on effective managers. Smart management practices rely on training managers who then develop and maximize the skills and strengths of employees. To retain your employees and encourage them to be engaged, productive and happy, invest in your managers!

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