People leave their bosses – not their jobs
This should be something every leader-manager should be acutely aware of. As of late I have come across quite a few folks who just cannot stand working for their bosses. Some are even considering leaving their organizations because of who they have as their boss. Being overloaded and under-appreciated does play a role, but most would still put up with that. It’s the boss situation that puts them over the edge.
So what are the things are leader manager should be looking out for such that good people do not leave the department or the organization?
- Not knowing what team members do. This is one issue I hear about all the time. Making sure knowing how tough each of your team member’s job is necessitates to work side by side sometimes to appreciate what your folks go through each day. Your street cred suffers significantly if you do not know how things are done.
- Not listening to your team members. Amazingly simple to get into this issue as it is to get out of it. When your people want to speak with you stop what you are doing and make eye contact. If the conversation may take a little longer you may ask for a formal meeting time discussing whatever the matter may be. When in a discussion ask questions and then zip your lips. Put your phone on do not disturb and turn your cell phone to silent. Listen!
- Not showing gratitude or appreciation. Some folks value being praised in private, some want to public praise, and then some would like financial “appreciation”. Be grateful for the talents your folks and departments have been blessed with.
- Being unfair and / or using unprofessional language. I should not have to point this out, but there are some leader-managers who just do not get this simple but omni important detail. Do your best.
- Asking them to do something unethical or unsafe. Nothing is a bigger trust buster and morale killer when a leader-manager asks an employee to do something that is questionable for so many reasons. This is particularly tricky in the medical and insurance professions. Would you want your name mentioned in any paperwork involving such situations?
- Asking employees to do something that they would not do themselves. That is a close cousin of the previous point and just as devastating to employee morale.
- Maintaining the status quo. Huh? That is typically seen as a good thing. Yet, when a job gets to be miserable and there is no attempt made to improve upon it, you may lose your best people eventually.
- Providing no challenge or chance of advancement. I have yet to find a career in which people are content working forever in the same way without any changes. People like progress and a state of flow for anything they are working on.
Remember that there is a direct connection between how much time you invest in trying to solve issues and how much of this you get done in with a win-win approach in mind. Only when everyone wins your department and all other stake holders may win as well. You snooze and you lose even the best of your people.