"Act in such a way that you always
treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other,
never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end."
you know of someone looking to change companies? It may come as no surprise
to many of you that as I write this column, I have received no less than
five inquiries from competent individuals looking to change jobs. What may
come as a surprise is that three of the individuals work for firms that are
regularly listed in the annual best 100 companies to work for and one of the
individual's works for a firm included among the top 20. Why would they
want to leave companies that many would do just about anything to work for?
Why leave a company nationally recognized as an outstanding workplace that
provide above average perks, including excellent compensation and benefits
not to mention prestige? The answer is relatively easy and usually escapes
many of us especially if we reside within the management ranks. They are not
leaving the company, they are leaving their manager.
PEOPLE DON'T LEAVE COMPANIES, THEY
is often repeated by those who study and write about management that
organizations would work better, be more productive, and inspire customer
loyalty if 90% of all management positions were eliminated. The reason being
that so many who carry the title "manager" lack the training, skills,
and natural talent to be really good managers. All too often new managers
carry forward the bad habits of the managers they learned from, without any
realization how much damage they inflict upon themselves, subordinates,
customers and their organization.
to research conducted by the Gallup organization, "employees do not leave their jobs due to company performance; they
leave because of their bosses".
WHERE DO MANAGERS COME FROM?
managers are promoted from the rank and file with little, if any,
preparation and often even less confidence in their abilities. In many cases
the "manager" is the person who was most proficient performing a
particular job function with little or no attention given to their ability
to communicate, lead or think outside of their particular area of expertise.
Professional management requires the ability to plan, direct, and control
the activities of a particular function while motivating the staff assigned
to achieve the desired results of that function. Management requires a
combination of skills along with natural ability. One who is given the title
of "manager" based solely on job performance might as well say to
subordinates "Hey I'm not sure what I'm doing here so help me learn
how to be a manager". However, that would not be practical and a sure sign
of weakness, so to cover that weakness they usually try to exert control or
follow someone else's rules for success that may include the very things
that make for bad managers.
good manager constantly works to improve their skills and further develop
their natural ability while at the same time maintaining a quality
workplace. Quality workplace is often defined as one with a high level of
employee retention and productivity and consistent customer satisfaction.
SOME OF THE QUALITIES OF A GOOD MANAGER INCLUDE:
to see employees grow and succeed;
Matching the right people with the right job;
Defining desired outcome while giving subordinates the latitude
accomplish them in their own ways;
Focusing on what's best in people not the worst.
excellent manager does all this and also brings people together by
displaying and demanding respect in the workplace.
WHAT IS RESPECT IN THE WORKPLACE?
can be defined as consideration for self and of others.
includes consideration for other people's privacy, their physical space
and belongings; and respect for different viewpoints, philosophies, physical
ability, beliefs and personality.
order to earn the respect of others, one must first have respect for
themselves. One must recognize they are a person worthy of respect. They
refrain from making jokes or negative remarks that demean their abilities,
skills or other aspects of them. They don't make jokes or negative
comments about the ability, skills or other attributes of others. One
earns respect by giving respect to ones self and to others.
a manager criticizes the work of employees using negative or derogatory
comments about everything they do, should they receive respect because they
are the boss? If the employee silently
accepts criticism the employee is saying that the boss is better than they
are because they are the boss and the employee thus shows a lack of respect
for them self. Everyone deserves to be treated without abuse regardless of
the quality of their work. If the employees work is good and is still being
criticized, they are permitting themselves to be demeaned unnecessarily. If
their work is of lower quality than expected, this should indicate to the
manager they may need help in learning how to do the job better. Regardless,
the employee still deserves respect.
are employees who not only love the company but also the work they do and
yet they will still leave. This often occurs due to an individual, usually
not a manager, in the workplace who is critical, disruptive and disagreeable
about everything and everyone. This person usually does not perform as well
as their peers and has a poor attendance record. One
person with a poor attitude can contaminate the workplace. Although, not a
manager, their influence, especially on new employees, although less
powerful is still unhealthy.
manager should have a very blunt talk with this individual about their
ability to perform and fit into the company's culture. Specific training
may be required and if so the training must be reviewed and the person's
behavior monitored to make certain they change in appropriate ways. If the
employee cannot adapt they must be released from employment so they do not
continue to disrupt the rest of the workplace. Terminating a disruptive
employee shows respect not only for the people who are meeting the company
standards but also the person who does not fit in. The terminated employee
is not wrong for being who they are; they simply must be shown that their
attitude and work style is not appropriate in the organization.
who ignore and fail to follow through in dealing with undisciplined
employees will eventually lose the respect of everyone.
need to be attentive to actions that may be disrespectful to co-workers and
customers and take timely steps to either correct the offensive behavior or
terminate the offender. Some of these offenses may include:
Loud telephone conversations
Showing up late for work or meetings
Scheduling excessive personal appointments (medical, etc) during work hours
Wearing too much perfume or cologne
Blaming someone else when they are at fault
Taking credit for someone else's work
Sending unwanted email
Searching for non work related information on the Internet
Having a condescending or rude attitude towards others
Talking behind someone's back
Not communicating important information to co-workers
Telling offensive jokes and stories
Not pulling their own weight
Providing false or incorrect information to customers or co-workers
Playing personal radios or recorders loudly
immediate manager should not only define but also spread throughout the
organization the expectations of their workplace and that they know and
trust their subordinates. If the employee knows their manager not only
trusts them but also invests in them then that alone will often compensate
for the company's small benefits package. Many excellent companies have
dynamic leaders such as Bill Klesse, Gordon Buthune and Jack Welch but these
individuals seldom come in daily contact with their employees. For the
majority of employees there are only managers: great ones, mediocre ones and
the R.O.A.D. warriors. If the employee-manager relationship is
fractured, in any way, than no amount of company dog-walking or on site
health facilities will persuade the employee to stay and perform. For many
it is better to work for a great manager in an old fashioned company, than a
terrible manager in a company offering an enlightened, employee benefit
makes no difference today whether a company has excellent, good or mediocre
benefits. Great benefits and
dynamic CEO's may attract but generally do not retain the most productive
employees. Too often the employee ranks are populated with R.O.A.D. warriors those folks who are content to RETIRE ON
ACTIVE DUTY and too often many are managers.
the first question is what type of management team leads my organization?
answer to that question can only come from the employees and the questions
have to be asked of them in a manner that provides management with answers
beyond the typical "I agree" or "I don't agree" that the majority
of questionnaires subscribe to.
here are some suggested questions:
Do I know what is expected of me at work?
At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday?
In the last seven days have I received recognition or praise for the good
work I have done?
Does my manager care about me as a person?
Is there someone, at work, who encourages my development?
At work, are my opinions asked for and considered?
Am I encouraged to produce quality work?
Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
In the last six months has a manager discussed my progress with me?
In the last twelve months have I been given opportunities to learn and grow?
one does with the responses will ultimately determine what type of manager
they are going to become.
The information provided above is for
educational purposes only and not provided as legal advice. Legal advice
should be obtained from a licensed attorney in good standing with the Bar
Association and preferably Board Certified in either Creditor Rights or