The World Economic Forum recently published research from Gallup showing 70% of employees are disengaged at work.

70%!

The negative statistics about the workplace shocks me every time. It shouldn’t be like this.

If employers looked into this properly they would realise the amount of money they are wasting on re-recruitment could be better spent in retaining the great talent they already have.

One of the the biggest problems is managers. Most employees only leave their job when they dislike their manager. Managers are the biggest morale killer and that is when employees become demotivated and walk.

The WEF offers a list in their article (click here) of the worst critical behaviours that managers need to stop doing and I completely agree. I see this in my work often and is extremely difficult to change unless the manager is willing to listen. This is when the company needs to be setting an example and rather than concentrating on mission statements and values about ‘collaboration’ they need to actually be implementing and providing training for managers on it.

This list sadly is not exhaustive but gives a good insight and a chance for you to look at your own behaviours and that within your company to see how many you can relate to.

  1. Making a lot of stupid rules. These are the words from the WEF themselves. Rules are necessary in most cases but rules for the sake of it and when managers go on a power craze is another thing all together. In my career I have heard some of the most ludicrous ‘rules,’ from managers asking to be cc’ed into every email their team members send to one manager sending back a Christmas box of chocolates from a supplier because the company shouldn’t accept gifts.
  2. Letting accomplishments go unrecognised. This behaviour can be rectified so easily and yet many managers over look this. As a manager myself I can honestly say this is something I never did. I always acknowledged what my team were doing and because of it I never had an issue with team members wanting to leave. In fact even now when running my own business and having people work for me I always appreciate their work. Employment is a two way thing and good managers need to be aware that if their employee doesn’t feel valued there isn’t a shortage of jobs in the market for a good candidate. People will move on and not look back.
  3. Hiring and promoting the wrong people. How many people do we know in our career that have been promoted for reasons other than being the best candidate for the role? I know more than a handful of companies who promoted on who they knew rather than who was best for the job. What did that do to the workforce? It frustrated them and a lot of people left. Why? Because when people are promoted due to personal relationships (or other similar reasons) the integrity of the company is questioned. Good people are overlooked and not rewarded for working hard. The employees outside of that bubble also ask whether they actually want to be promoted in that company. Short term the business may do well. Long term word spreads and the reputation of the company is tarnished. Working with recruiters and within corporate companies as a coach I pick up the industry ‘gossip’ and there are companies that recruiters struggle to recruit for primarily because of hearsay and word spreading.
  4. Tolerating poor performance. Poor performance is usually linked to both lack of training and lack of motivation.The problem is that most managers ignore it and instead pass the work to the more able colleague. This doesn’t serve team members well. It causes friction in the workplace and is something managers need to pick up on early and work hard to give the ‘poor performance employee’ more support. I don’t believe that anybody chooses to go in everyday to a job they dislike or struggle to do. Everyone is capable if they have the right attitude. Managers are there to aid the employee with the right attitude.
  5. Going back on their commitments. I have lost count of the number of commitments I heard managers go back on. I have been offered jobs in the past (as have my clients) with promises of training, fantastic budgets and fabulous career opportunities, then they don’t deliver. It’s frustrating – yes but also counter productive. When managers promise the earth I truly believe they hope they can deliver and usually it is because they want to make their employee (or potential employee) happy. The issue is that once that trust is broken. Like any bad relationship it can never be rectified. I know people who have been hired into a job and left after 2 months without needing to give notice and that was purely because of the manager going back on their word – that situation leaves the company more in more trouble than if they were honest in the first instance and hired in the right person.

The World Economic Forum article also highlights the things managers can do to motivate employees but we won’t go into that here today. We will save that for a follow up.

I found this article extremely interesting and I do highly encourage you read it, print it out and leave in on your desk should your manager stroll past. It seems these behaviours are prominent regardless of country or industry. Also let me know in the comments below if you have any you would like to add to the list or share any experiences you have had with challenging managers.

Want to get a head start on the new year and putting together your goals for advancing your career? Then click here and download my 7 Week Planner – over 30 pages of tools, tips and strategies to aid you in putting together a 7 week plan to achieve your career goals.

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