Big organizational changes are happening all the time. Our employees are expected to flex and adapt, remaining productive in the process. But this is NOT easy. Instead of feeling supported by their managers, there are a good many people feeling frustrated, lost, and disengaged.
Disengagement permeates organizations at all levels and in all departments. At any given time, approximately two thirds of North American employees are open to opportunities to leave their current organizations. The biggest reason for this? Their managers. According to Gallup, 50% of people who quit their jobs did so to get away from their boss. This is happening already and could get even worse as Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to disrupt the way we work.
I tackle this subject in my upcoming book. In It’s Not Them, It’s You I address the need for developing managers, especially in the area of ‘soft skills’—those skills which aren’t soft at all but, rather, are crucial leadership skills. (I like to call them Power Skills!) With all the change happening and about to happen, employees will, more than ever, need the support of their managers, and that will take strong communication, coaching, and mentoring skills. Here is a quick excerpt from the book which highlights this concept of support:
Managers hold a position of power and influence, and we follow them because we want to. However, we don’t have to follow them if they’re not doing the job they should. When that happens, we leave them.
This isn’t really a surprise. People are looking to their work (and workplace) to fulfill four basic needs:
· Renewal (Physical)
· Value (Emotional)
· Focus (Mental)
· Purpose (Spiritual)
Let’s focus on only one of these our areas—Value. When an employee feels valued, appreciated, and supported at work, she’ll feel more secure and will have a deeper level of trust. As a result, she’ll feel far less like she has to defend her position and will have the freedom to create good work in that position.
To explore this way of thinking further, we can surmise that supported employees also have a feeling of higher purpose. They feel what they do matters and serves the company. This is a powerful source of motivation.
But what happens to performance when people don’t feel supported and respected? After being treated badly, employee performance plummets. Merely witnessing this bad treatment will cause others’ productivity to reduce by almost 50%. Uncivil behaviour on the part of managers nearly always has negative results. Employees are less creative, and many walk out. Approximately 50% will decrease their efforts or lower the quality of their work.
What do employees want from their managers?
· Help keeping them focused
· Knowing them
· Caring about them
· Hearing them
· Helping them to feel proud of what they’ve accomplished
· Helping them to see their value
· Giving them access the tools and resources they need to do good work
· Challenging them to do great work
· Helping them to see the importance of their contribution to the company, and to the team
In other words, giving them support.
In the book I highlight 7 real life stories that provide management lessons and important traits to own. Supporting those who report to them is one leadership trait employees really need to see in their managers.
This is not to say that everything a manager says has to be upbeat and rosy. On the contrary, employees also want to hear when things need to be fixed. They want feedback to become better at what they do. Providing constructive comments of this kind is part of the manager’s role in being supportive of their reports’ career growth.
I’ve learned so much in writing this book. My biggest take-away is that managers have the power to significantly impact employee engagement. Supporting their people, through good times and the times that need some work, is a key component in managers developing trust. Without trust, there is no engagement. It’s as simple as that.
So… what is the call to action? Well, a great first step is to buy my book. Subscribe to my website (www.cchangelearning.com) and you’ll be the first to know when it hits the market. Subscribers will get a nice incentive to buy the book too. Stay tuned for details on that. For now, though, review the list above for ways you can demonstrate support for those you lead.
And please feel free to reach out to me. I provide training and support for managers in their journeys to develop power skills.
C-Change Learning and Development is there for you. Our programs are all focused on soft-skills development, combining experiential learning with coaching and support. Our core programs develop managers, working with them in the areas of Building Relationships, Developing Understanding, Coaching, Team-Building and Empowerment, Delivering Feedback, Change Management, and Problem-Solving. We also offer training in Customer Service skills and Communication for anyone in the organization. Need a customized solution? C-Change can work with you to create programs to fit your needs. Email Laura today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Zaimful - Pixabay