As we move from the pandemic and the changes it has wrought in the workplace and work in general to a “new normal”, we are being challenged in new ways.
You need to figure out practical and logistical things, like do your employees stay remote or come back to the office (if you still have one!). You also need to determine how to retain the employees you have.
Many employers’ response to the “big quit” has been to throw money at the problem… “Here’s a bonus, here’s a freebie, here’s a day off (but be sure to check your email!) “.
An article published by McKinsey & Company in 2021 reported that due to the isolation, uncertainty, and change brought on by the pandemic, employees crave human investment in the workplace. Specifically, employees want to feel valued by their managers, but this need seems to be ignored by employers.
Employees ranked “estimated by my manager” as the second most important factor, just behind “estimated by my organization”. Yet employers placed it significantly lower, behind more transactional aspects of the job like compensation and the ability to work remotely. This stark difference between what employees want and what employers think they want is a problem.
As organizations debate whether they will stay away or force their employees back into the office, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my clients express concern that if they force their employees back, they will all quit and find jobs elsewhere where they have more flexibility. For some this may be true and yet the employer may need to focus on something different.
It’s interesting to think about what “appreciated by my manager and the organization” means to employees. (I sense an employee survey is coming!) Kidding aside, you don’t have to guess what that means, you can just ask. Once you get the answer, the real work begins.
Most managers are promoted because they are technical experts. You’re doing a great accounting job, so we’re going to appoint you accounting manager. If you happen to be good at managing people, that’s incidental. You can successfully manage people on your team who think like you or have a similar working style. What happens when you have someone on your team who has a different way of thinking, doing or communicating than yours? This is often synonymous with disaster.
The good news is that good management and leadership skills can be taught. It doesn’t have to be as it was likely for you – you were promoted to personnel manager because it was the only career path available for professional advancement and you figured it out on your own. Where would you be if you had an education? How much smoother would it have been for you? How much faster could you have gotten ahead?
It makes sense to train managers and leaders and it also pays pennies. By making managers accountable and accountable for the effective management of people, it gives senior managers more time to perform higher-level activities. It shows employees that you’re ready to invest in them and their future, and it increases productivity, efficiency, and ultimately revenue.
Manager training and coaching increases employee retention and satisfaction. It’s good for you and it’s good for business. As Henry Ford said, “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”
For more than 30 years, Your People Professionals has provided business owners across California with human resources outsourcing and consulting services, including coaching practice and leadership development. Kim Miller-Hershon is YPP’s Coaching and Development Consultant.