Managing Your Managers

Despite the importance of pay, the overwhelming number one reason an employee will quit is because of his manager.There has always been a strong belief that the main reason an employee quits a job is because he was offered more pay elsewhere. Survey data from sources such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Management Association and the Society for Human Resource Management suggest that employees will leave for more pay, but the amount must be at least 10% more than they are making to even consider quitting.When we have conversations with employees, their satisfaction with the company is based directly on their satisfaction with their manager.As companies grow and owners get further away from running day-to-day operations, opportunities increase for a manager who does not adhere to the company culture or method for taking care of your employees.Layers of management create a greater risk that the culture will be compromised and that an employee could have an unfavorable experience with a subpar or even horrible manager.Well over 50% of all people in management roles have received little to no supervisor training. Many times they were the best ___________ (e.g., technician, programmer, nurse, accountant, cashier, etc.) when the management position needed to be filled.Managers often become managers because of what we call a “battlefield” promotion. A manager quits and the job needs to be filled as soon as possible. So the best “blank” is promoted without any training. Many times that promotion works out just fine but sometimes we unwittingly create the manager from hell.How do you spot a situation in which the manager is not managing the way you want him to manage?Don’t look only at results, as it is often the case that the some of the best performing groups or locations will have an Attila the Hun running the show. Your good employees will still perform in that situation because they are good employees.Sometimes employee turnover will tell the tale, although many times good employees will hang on for awhile, hoping that things will change or that the manager will just go away.Possible signs of problems can be picked up if your company conducts performance appraisals. Look at the wording used to describe employees’ performance or the ratings they receive. Also pay attention to increased used of write ups or unfavorable comments about individual employees.What do you do if you determine you have a bad manager?First, you need to decide if he is worth saving. That process is a difficult one but assuming you decide to keep him, you need to go back to the drawing board and get him the fundamental training that every supervisor needs.The manager needs to understand that managing is achieving success through the work of others and doing it in a way that leaves the employees satisfied with both the direction they receive and the results they accomplish.If you are going to leave that manager with the group or at the location in which he struggled to manage before training (usually not a good idea), you would need to create a reintroduction plan.The real lesson to be learned is to prepare for the growth and development of your management team before you actually have the need to promote someone to that team.(C) 2011 Jerry Ballard, Perfect People Solutions

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