Managers Have High Impact Results in Your Organization

If you have highly skilled and emotionally intelligent managers in your organization, congratulations!  The latest research suggests they have the largest reach in your organizational success. On the other hand, if your managers lack people or problem-solving skills, coaching capabilities and or logical reasoning, they too will have an impact felt throughout the organization.

I’m a human sponge for information that can help me develop. As a result, I read as much as I can, trying to expose myself to different ideas and perspectives that may assist me in growing.

Through this, I have found that everywhere I look these days there are stories about the importance of front-line supervisors and managers.

Managers Are Key Factors in Your Success

In fact, in the cover story of this month’s SHRM’s HR Magazine, “Building a Better Boss,” Dori Meinert talks about how bad managers can make or break your organization’s ability to achieve its goals.

Likewise, next on “Phil’s reading list” this summer is It’s The Manager. This book talks to recent Gallup findings regarding the quality of managers and team leaders. Apparently, they are the single biggest factor in your organization’s long-term success. Go figure.

Who was that supervisor or manager who helped you grow into the person that you are today? Although some of their success was connected to their technical skills and abilities, much of it was due to their ability to treat you as a human.

Gallup’s 2017 Survey of Workers

Now consider this: according to the results of Gallup’s 2017 State of the Workplace survey, half of the workers who quit their jobs say they left because of their managers.

Your organization cannot achieve its goals without employees who are engaged and productive. And your managers are the critical touchpoint.

Only one-third of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs, and, globally a mere 15 percent are engaged.  According to Gallup, managers alone account for 70 percent of the variance in team-level engagement!

So, What is Going on with our Managers?

In our Leadership Accelerator Program designed for supervisors and managers, participants often discuss that they feel overloaded and swamped with day-to-day responsibilities.

They certainly aren’t alone in feeling that way. Today, managers are juggling workloads that have increased over the past decade.

The average middle manager has 50 percent more direct reports than a decade ago and spends about 15 percent less time with each of them.

Many of our student managers tell us that this is due to their changing work environment. They feel that their organizations are demanding everyone to do more. Furthermore, the technology they use is changing and they are flooded with data, requiring ongoing analysis and quick decisions.

They find it difficult to manage the performance of others while developing the right culture for effective performance in the first place.

In order to create a more engaged workforce, there are some very basic things that managers need to do. And, some things they must stop doing.

1,043 Employees Polled by The Harris Polling Company

Employees had a lot to say.  This is the top 10 problems they have with management:

  • Managers show disrespect for employees in lesser positions: 53%
  • They break promises: 46%
  • Overwork employees: 42%
  • Have unrealistic expectations: 42%
  • Play favorites: 40%
  • Gossip about other employees: 39%
  • Are overly critical: 37%
  • Micromanage their employees: 35%
  • Don’t listen when employees voice their opinions: 34%

After seeing this list, doesn’t it seem simple to avoid these bad behaviors?  Not so easy.  It takes practice and an understanding of the triggers that drive the behavior.

What Traits Are Most Valued by the Employees in their Managers?

  • Open-minded
  • Respectful
  • Honest
  • Considerate
  • Gentle and kind
  • Listen to me
  • Empathetic
  • Compassionate
  • Approachable
  • Trustworthy
  • Transparent
  • Honest at work
  • Encourage me to learn all the time
  • Never gave up on me
  • Respected others and their ideas

Not rocket science is it?

Great managers understand the impact they have on their team members’ work environment.

Good Managers Practice Skill Development

Good managers consciously and deliberately choose to create an environment for individuals and teams where they can thrive.

A great manager will figure out what each individual can and should contribute.

The best managers are asking: How do people need my help? What fosters growth for my team? By encouraging their employees’ growth they give them something to work for; purposeful employment. Purposeful employment means productive outcomes.

One of the most important elements of being a great manager is providing constructive feedback to your team members.

Managers Give Feedback that Fosters Growth or Ignite “Stories”

This reminds me of my own growth as a police officer when feedback was only ever heard in the form of negatively slanted criticism (if it was given at all).

Remember, when we don’t get feedback from our managers, we tend to make up the stories on our own.

Those ‘stories’ ware likely going to be one of the following:

  • 1: “As long as I’m not creating trouble for my manager, I’m doing fine.”
  • 2: “My manager doesn’t think I can take feedback well.”
  •  3: “My manager doesn’t think I can change.”

Which of these stories did you tell yourself when your manager remained mute about your performance?

In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be sharing more ideas with you about the importance of providing feedback to your team members.