Friday, May 14, 2010

Why They Change Jobs

Recent research conducted by Catalyst and reported in Harvard Business Review, March 2010, showed that almost 25% of women, and 16% of men left their first job due to experiencing a difficult manager.

This serves to underline the importance of those in frontline management roles and in line management. This is often a new employees first experience of working with a manager in a full time work environment. Your experiences here impact upon us and form our perceptions for a long time, maybe forever. It is feasible more talent is lost at this stage than at any other stage. Yet now more than than at any time in the past 30 years we need to focus on retention rather than recruitment.

The initial direct report relationship is critical. The development of frontline managers is critical and it is important those in such management roles develop the ability to build effective manager-employee relationships.

The traditional 'sink or swim' approach is a dinosaur, a rock around your organisation's neck. When you fail to develop the potential of your frontline management team you risk the future of your organisation.

What can managers do to build good workplace relationships? The first thing is to ask questions and listen. People want to feel they are valued for their experiences and their ideas, they want to contribute. Collectively those in your work group have a better understanding of any issue than you, alone will ever have. Tap into that collective knowledge. Your team will perform well, they will achieve their outcomes and you will get the brownie points because you have the title of 'leader'.

The second piece of advice I offer frontline managers is to 'shut up'. No one cares about your opinions, and rightly so. Your role is not to tell others what you think, it is to facilitate a process of collective decision making. That doesn't mean you abdicate responsibility for making a decision; it means you make an informed decision. How? By asking questions and listening to what others have offer.

Thank people for their input and provide them with feedback on progress. When it comes to the workplace, it is preferable to over-commmunicate than to under-communicate.

Take time to learn about the people on your team. What are their individual strengths and weaknesses? What does someone do well and where do they need development or support? Encourage people to use their initiative and support them through the learning process than comes with making mistakes.

Get out of their way and let them get on with the job. If you want to do something then remove or minimise the impact of organisational barriers that get in the way of actually doing stuff.

Lastly, celebrate every little win as if it were a landing on the moon, give credit to those that did the work and came up with ideas; then start the cycle all over again.

The benchmark has been set. The challenge is in place. What can you do to ensure you minimise the loss of new people and continue to build the experience in your team?

Let The Journey Continue
John Coxon

Taking You From Frontline Manager to CEO

1 comment:

Jay said...

Well-managed front line managers are more likely to go They are responsible for a work group to a higher level of management.

frontline management