Been surprised lately by having one of your high performers quit? Have multiple people left one department and blamed the mass exodus on poor management? It’s stressful to lose talent and hard to think it’s your fault, as the manager. What can you do? Look in the mirror and ask the question, “I own this, so what could I have done differently?” Meet with your HR business partner to debrief the exit interviews. Put on your listening ears no matter how hard it is to hear! Change starts at the top with you, the manager.
More than 50% of the time when people leave their organizations it’s because of their manager: they feel undervalued, their role is ill-defined, they can’t get along with him/her or they don’t feel inspired. “Contact sport” company cultures, lousy pay and unbearable commutes are high on the lists too – but they don’t rise above the importance of the working relationship with the manager. You would be amazed what people endure when they have a good connection with their manager!
First, be self-aware. Be honest in your assessment of your management style. Do you engage people every day? Articulate staff roles and responsibilities clearly early on? Encourage staff to have “fun” or set a path forward so staff sees how their contributions align to the company’s mission? If the answer to these self-reflections is “No,” consider how to change your style and try on that new look this fall. Be confident in your new style! Second, change up how you communicate with your team! A fresh management approach in this new season may boost morale on your team.
Want to be included, like to be acknowledged and want to feel a connection with people. They like frequent communication to engender trust, build relationships and keep things in balance. Be polite, make good eye contact when you’re chatting and check-in throughout the day. Greetings are important. Say hello, good morning or good-bye. It’s not going to take hours out of your day! Include them in meetings and give them a meaningful role!
Are motivated by getting things done efficiently and early! Schedules, timelines, processes, and traditions are the Organizer’s bread and butter! They need to have things defined clearly, keep on a schedule and have solid plans. If something goes sideways, the Organizer is able to regroup quickly! They are reliable, so don’t hover or ask a lot of questions. The details are important, and the plan needs to be outlined from the start to the finish line!
Are flexible, live in the moment, see policies and procedures as impediments to getting things done. Action-oriented and gregarious, they are fun to be with, but it can be hard to corral that energy into a timely and measurable outcome! Don’t use “preambles” in your communication – give them some clues to get the ball rolling and leave the checklists and SOPs in your desk drawer! Let them put the team together, set the course and run as fast as they can!
Value education, intellect and competence. They are creative and could fill ballrooms with thousands of ideas that have meaning and purpose. They like to respond to management inquiries with complex answers and tell stories. Steamrollers like to offer advice and opinions; they believe they rarely make mistakes and like implementations to be flawless! Keep them in the forefront of your organization transformations. Give them something new to work on!
I know it’s all about making money and pumping out the work – but it’s more than that. The people matter too. I believe that managers’ self-awareness skills need a makeover from time to time. If your staff’s motivations and needs are not being met by you, the manager, they may quit for greener pastures. Safeguard yourself and your organization from those costly events and use the words and actions to keep your staff happy and productive at work.
Really assess your management style. The kind of interaction you prefer won’t work with every member of your team. As a manager, it’s on you to adapt your communication style to each individual. We know what motivates the Playground Personalities to feel connected at work. Use those motivations as a foundation, try on a new look and build that working relationship with your staff. They may think twice before they leave!