Yesterday, I was working with two managers of a sandwich shop. We have been working together for the past six months to work around the various issues they have been experiencing as managers. I have provided them with an assortment of management coaching tips to use as they run the sandwich shop, but yesterday I gave them the dreaded advice.
“I think you need to look for another job.”
You see, their boss doesn’t speak to them. She walks in the shop, looks around, takes some notes, and then leaves. She communicates through email (if they’re lucky) and returns phone calls at a snail’s pace. When it comes to discussing their performance, she uses their assigned mentors to have those “hard” conversations instead of doing so herself. How can someone have performance conversations when they ignore their employees?
A recent study by Gallup revealed the top reason people leave companies. They don’t leave for better benefits, higher pay or better work hours. They leave to get away from their managers. A mind boggling 70% of an employee’s motivation is influenced by his or her manager. While companies tend to promote top performers, it’s important to recognize that not all hard workers make good managers.
Over the course of the last 15 years, we have found 8 “MUST DO’S” that hold true when managing people:
- Make sure they rest well. Nothing burns out a great employee faster than overworking them. Research from Stanford University shows that productivity declines when a worker exceeds 50 hours in one work week.
- Pay them attention. Ignoring your employees is one of the deadly sins as a manager. Gallup’s research also states that employees need positive feedback from their managers at least once a week.
- Help them develop. Great bosses challenge their employees to read books, articles, and attend classes that interest them and that help drive both their personal and professional development.
- Ask for their input. Ask for your employee’s feedback. Invite them to brainstorm with you. Not only will you refine your ideas, but you will make them feel valued and heard. This results in them being more creative and collaborative.
- Make quality hiring decisions. Quality employees want to be surrounded by other quality employees. Hiring the bottom of the barrel is a demotivator to your quality employees. Promoting the wrong people is even worse. When someone has worked their butt off but gets passed over for someone more popular, you can bet that the employee will walk.
- Develop and maintain trust. Overpromising and under delivering is a real problem. When you keep your word, you grow in the eyes of your employees because you prove yourself trustworthy and reliable.
- Celebrate hard work and contributions. Rewarding employees with a “good job,” a letter of encouragement, or a public praise is important. It is a real downer to have gone above and beyond, and your boss never notices or mentions your efforts.
- Respect them. Smart managers understand that their employees are like tomato plants. Some need a little more watering, soil, fertilizer, and time in the green house than others. An individualized approach is important to recognize success, understand hard times, and even give feedback in appropriate ways.
If you manage people and want to get the best out of them, then you must think carefully about how to treat them. Make them WANT to work for you.
If you need help with your management style, let us show you some personality assessments that can help you.