A bad boss is the number one reason employees quit their jobs.
No job title or benefit package can compensate for a bad manager. The Sunday night dread of starting another work week can only be tolerated for so long before something has to change.
The problem is: new leaders often feel overwhelmed with responsibility and don’t have the skillset to balance their new position. The pressure of the promotion and the desire to “prove” themselves can influence the way they manage in a negative way.
Learn more about improving manager performance in this new e-book: How to Help New Managers Communicate Like a Boss.
Whatever the reason for poor leadership, the strain of trying to please a bad boss leaves employees feeling overwhelmed, unconfident and unmotivated. The anxiety and frustration often bleed into home life, as well. No one wants to live this way, no matter what the compensation is or how many perks are offered.
Here’s the good news: if a manager can create a negative and demoralizing work environment, then they could instead create a positive environment. Managers can create and inspire exceptional performance if they are willing to put their team first. A manager who personally invests in the success of their team will create a positive and productive environment of mutual trust and respect – an environment where wins are recognized and celebrated and realignment requires only a simple conversation because employees know their manager has their back.
Here are 4 questions managers should ask to see how they stack up.
1. How well do I know my team members?
This means more than just their names and job titles. What are their strengths? What are their goals? Are they experiencing any difficult personal issues? Do they have hobbies? There are many factors that affect someone’s performance at work, but if their manager understands more clearly, they will be able to lead more effectively. Additionally, the employee feels valued, heard, and understood. When an employee trusts their manager to have their back and truly care about them, they will bring their best self to the team.
2. Do I communicate effectively?
People want to know what is expected of them and how their responsibilities contribute to the overall team. They want to be listened to and guided through obstacles. Leaders can’t be in tune with their employees if communication is one-way. Provide one-to-one opportunities to get clarity and honest feedback. Be direct and willing to have the hard conversations when improvement is needed. Most employees want to make a valuable contribution to their team and appreciate straight talk, especially when they know they have a manager that wants them to succeed.
3. Am I helping my employees succeed?
Effective managers focus on helping individuals be the best they can be so they look for ways to help employees achieve their goals. People want to improve their skills and develop new ones. Providing those opportunities makes employees feel valued and invested.
4. Do I lead by example?
Positivity is both inspiring and contagious. In a recent article, “The Impact of Positive Leadership,” Tom Rath discusses how positive leadership improves performance, enhances job satisfaction, and increases engagement. Managers set the tone for the people they lead, so make sure leaders in your organization are leading in a positive and productive manner.
Don’t let your managers (new or veteran) ruin your retention rate. Make sure they have the tools and skills to succeed. These four questions are a great place to start.
How do you managers stack up? Take the quiz page 16 of this e-book to see how well your managers communicate with their teams – and what to do about it.