Gallup tells us that one in two employees leave their jobs to get away from their manager. That’s right, 50% of the people who leave their jobs aren’t really leaving the job at all — they are leaving their managers.
Now let’s add in a scary statistic: 51% of managers have basically stopped caring about their job or the company they work for. (State of the American Manager, Gallup)
What’s going on? To be engaged, managers need from their bosses exactly what engaged workers need from their managers. Let’s look at three specific things that can reverse these statistics.
- Ongoing communication. For managers, that means ensuring that your employees feel you care about them personally and professionally. You can’t do that if the only way you connect with your employees is through the Annual Performance Review (which everyone dreads). It takes periodic and regular meetings individually and in small groups, to develop the kind of face-to-face communication that engages workers.Similarly, managers need ongoing communication from leadership to ensure that they remain connected to the company, and so that they can keep their employees connected. Open dialogue is important to both groups. However, if your managers are shut out of ongoing progress on the mission, goals, and objectives, they aren’t unable to honestly communicate with their teams.
- Ability to motivate. This is one of those “soft skills” that many task-oriented managers have difficulty with. But being a motivator doesn’t mean just being able to “rah rah” the troops. Instead, it is about understanding both the external and internal motivational forces of each employee. It’s about understanding the perspectives and values of team members so you can “see through their eyes.”
- Play to their strengths. Equally important as #1 and #2, teams, employees, and companies all benefit when the right person is in the right job, using their natural talents and skills. When managers coach and train and otherwise help employees to develop their strengths, those employees are twice as likely to be engaged team members.
So if you are a manager, take a moment to assess yourself. How are you doing with these three things?
If you have a manager, assess them. If you aren’t getting these things from them, perhaps it is time for a chat so you can share what’s missing for you. Don’t be afraid, just do it.