Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Whether you’re calling it ”The Great Resignation” or “The Great Reprioritization” or “The Great Reset”, the reality is that the workplace is changing. And successful organizations find ways to change along with it.
A lot of the conversation so far has been focused on giving employees better pay and benefits. If your organization needs to address those things, then, you should.
I believe another area that needs attention is the role of management. Organizations place a lot of responsibilities on their managers. They have to. Which means that organizations can’t change if they don’t acknowledge that management needs to change. This could involve how managers are selected, trained, coached, or evaluated. It could involve all these activities.
As your organization is thinking about the role of managers and how the organization will support managers to take full advantage of the year ahead, here are some articles that might help.
Employees who want to be promoted into a manager position need to understand the skills they should demonstrate – and why they need to have them. The more open and transparent organizations are about skills, the more opportunities they can create for employees to develop them.
One of the biggest responsibilities that managers have is recruitment. Because if they don’t do it well, then the other functions of their job (planning, organizing, leading, and controlling) will not go well. Organizations need to give managers the skills they need not only to interview but understand the recruiting process. That translates into better hires who can help the company achieve its goals.
There are several reasons in-person management programs might not be feasible – budgets, staffing challenges, and yes, the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean training should stop. In fact, training becomes even more important. There’s no rule that says managers can’t build positive working relationships with other managers. And that manager groups can’t learn from each other, coach and mentor each other, and be supportive of each other. If organizations want their managers to be successful, giving them the tools and space to build their own support is essential.
One of the first rules of communication is understand your audience. That includes setting the right level of expectation with them. I don’t know that we’re going to be able to stop people from sending emails in the evening hours. But we can let others know that they don’t need to look at them. Or ask for their cooperation when we need them to read them outside of the norm. Employees (and managers!) should be able to close their laptops and enjoy their evening. That happens when effective communication take place.
Organizations and individuals care about performance which means that performance conversations are necessary. One of the keys to a successful performance discussion is consistency – in communicating performance expectations and discussing results. A forms library could offer the consistency that managers and employees are looking for to make their discussions more actionable and accountable. That’s a win for everyone.
When we regularly work in an office, it can be easier for managers to get feedback from employees. We simply walk up and ask someone. Managers might find it more challenging to get feedback when employees are working remotely. Feedback from employees is a great thing. With employees continue to work remotely, managers might want to consider a more formal approach to getting feedback. Let employees know that no matter where they are, their feedback is valued.
There’s an old saying that employees don’t leave organizations, they leave bad managers. On some level, that still holds true. An employee’s relationship with their manager can make or break their career experience. But that means managers and leaders in the organization need to be equipped to deliver a good employee experience.
Organizations that want to hire and retain the best employees need to give managers the skills they need to do that. Because not only will employees leave if they have a poor manager, but managers will also leave. If you want to keep your managers, they need to feel that they’re getting the tools to be successful. No different than any other employees.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby at the SHRM Annual Conference