Skip to main content

Do employees really leave the manager, not the company?

It has become a cliche, and, like most cliches, there is a mix of truth and fallacy.

So what does the average employee look for at work?
  • High pay?
  • Constant access to social media?
  • Extensive leave?
  • Very flexible hours?
Well, yes, but research and empirical evidence also shows:
  • Fair treatment 
  • Growth
  • Pleasant colleagues
  • Pleasant working environment
A manager who is demotivating can undo any positive effects that great corporate policies can have, while a great manager can mitigate the effects of a less people sensitive business strategy.

Some ideas that work some of the time

  • Discuss your reason for being there
    • Sometimes we forget our business purpose or the difference we make to our clients, suppliers and various stakeholders.   Discuss it with your people, if you manufacture chocolate its easy to cover the "we make people feel good" side, but what if you do aluminium sidings?   Find the value in what you do, and share it with everybody.
    • At +Accsys (Pty) Ltd we have discussed that there are many reasons for doing what we do, and a significant reason for being is that we are responsible for ensuring that a significant portion of the population are paid.

  • Recognise successes
    • It can be money, but a thank you is sometimes all that is needed.  There are managers who ask why they should thank people for doing their jobs.  I know that being appreciated feels good.  When I cook a meal at home, it makes a difference if my family enjoys it, and says so.  It makes me want to do it again!   Its the same at work, positive reinforcement builds an environment where doing your job really well is the minimum standard.
    • At +Accsys (Pty) Ltd , we have an Employee of the Month award which has been going for over twelve years.   Everybody votes, and the peer recognition and comments have become a strong part of our culture.

  • Servant Leadership
    • While many managers also have operational jobs, a key function is to smooth the path for employees, enabling and empowering them.
    • Spend time with your employees, understanding their road blocks and difficulties, and try to fix them.  Its not always possible, but trying and being on their side, builds trust and opens up paths to more effective working conditions.
    • At +Accsys (Pty) Ltd, we have a monthly CEO breakfast and every staff member in our Head Office branch gets time each year with the CEO to discuss issues and strategies.  A different model is used for the distant offices

  • Mentorship, Coaching and Appraisals
    • Everybody needs somebody, ask Barbra Streisand
    • Mentorship is a skill set, but future leaders need to be mentored and coached, as do current ones
    • Coaching has become a critical part of managing effectively.
    • If a manager has no positive input to give, then how is the team being managed?
    • As a coach, you need to give positive and negative input as quickly as possible after the event, as well as direction on how to do it differently next time.   Both positive and negative should form part of coaching and growth
    • We all answer to somebody, so as managers we run the risk of promoting our own expertise at the expense of our staff - remember, a great team reflects well on their manager
    • At +Accsys (Pty) Ltd, we have moved from standardised appraisals, to an expectation model where manager and employer share their expectations of the role and a way forward

  • Fair Treatment
    • This is a difficult one, because it sometimes comes down to people perceiving that other staff members are "getting away" with not contributing, but managers are not always aware that the perception is out there 
    • I remember reading in one of Jack Welch's books that if you fire somebody, don't promise confidentiality because the rest of the staff should know what behaviour is acceptable and what isn't.  I also admire the late Jackie Onassis who clearly believed "Never explain yourself".   So which is it?   Sometimes, the employee body needs to know that management has made tough decisions, sometimes not.  Its a tough call.
  • Growth
    • Training and skills development are important to most working people
    • Managers need to spend the time to understand the ambitions of the individuals on the team
which leads to last, but not least

  • Pleasant Colleagues and Environment
    • Neither are always possible
    • Putting together people who work well together is an ideal, but not always practical
    • Management do need to stay on top of work place bullying and unsafe conditions, though.

In summary, managers can and should make the difference.  Not every manager has a cheer leader approach, but constantly working to ensure that the working environment is positive, that people can express their opinions constructively, and be heard, that better tools will be available when it is possible, that growth is an objective, will all go a long way to keeping everybody motivated, including the managers....

Links, References and Notes

email:      tschroenn@accsys.co.za
twitter:   @TerylSchroenn


Note

Thank you for reading Teryl@Work.   Should you wish to use any of the material, please acknowledge this blog as the source


Popular posts from this blog

Salespeople - Just Answer the Question.

How we love to elaborate…     Both in our personal and business lives.   It is rare to find somebody who simply answers the question.
In sales, it is becoming more and more critical to just say yes or no.   If you want to embroider afterwards, by all means, but tell the client you can or you can’t do it, first.

That’s what they remember, the yes or the no. Being married to an engineer, I have learnt that if I don’t answer the question, he simply repeats it, until he gets a definitive answer..
As the above is extremely bad for marital relationships, I try to say yes or no first and then give the details.

I thought it was just me, but I have been observing my friends and the people I work with, and it is fascinating how few one word answers are immediately available. When you are selling and a client asks you:
If the widget turns blue in the dark, say yes if it does, then ask if that is a key part of the decision making processIf they ask when you can deliver, give them a…

Hi, 22 year old me..

If I were 22 May is my birthday month, so a time for celebrations and introspection. In interviews, I often ask our applicants to pretend they are 60, and look back on their careers.   Their dreams range from leaving a legacy to being able to retire by the age of 45. At 22, I had taken my first steps on the career ladder.   I had been promoted from being a PA and Installation Secretary (setting up PoS installations for NCR’s large retailers) to becoming a full time programmer. I had made some extremely poor academic decisions, and realised I had to make some very good career choices.   Software development was a relatively new field when I was in my early 20s, and it became an exciting and fulfilling career. Based on my history what advice would I give myself or a new graduate? It doesn’t matter what you have studied, or what your first job is. Keep looking for your passion, find what makes you happy. If it’s money, and you don’t mind being a little unchallenged, as long as there is eno…

3 things to do BEFORE you resign

or sign a new contract…
1.Confirm your notice period ·A lot of companies allow 30 days from date of resignation, but many ask for a calendar month
2.Check your restraints ·If you are joining a competitor ·If you are joining a client
3.Find out when your last payment will be transferred ·Companies have been burned by paying over on the 25th, and people not returning, so they may delay payment transfer until the last official working day, or even the first day of the following month.  You may need to make special arrangements regarding debit orders ….
Both your current company and your new one deserve to be fairly treated.   Knowledge of the policies makes this possible.
Even if the policies don’t make sense to you, you agreed to them when you signed your contract.
HR managers will tell you how many great working relationships are damaged because people don’t follow policy when resigning. It’s worth taking the time for many good reasons.  Building a solid career can depend just as much on how you …