Core responsibilities for effective managers

2013

Every employee has thoughts and feelings about his or her workplace, and those include what's needed for that employee to be successful. Not trying to understand those needs is a management mistake.

As you may or may not know, most people who quit their jobs don't quit their jobs, they quit their boss. In other words, the most common reason people quit is they're tired of dealing with someone who's not doing what's needed in the management role.

As an example of this, at a training session I recently conducted for a small management team, one of the participants (let's call him Bill) talked about how a worker on his shift claimed not to know how to perform a specific procedure. Bill's attitude was almost mocking as he told of the incident, and how he'd said to the worker, "If you don't know how to do that, go up to the office and read about it in the manual."

The worker quietly finished his shift, and the next day he quit.

Having known - and worked for - managers like Bill, I feel sorry for people who have to work under them. Hopefully, those unfortunate employees will strive to be successful, but managers like Bill are obstacles on the road to their success. Mocking employees and expecting them to learn skills without management guidance and support is a fast lane to the employee exit door.

As detailed in my book Creating Passion-Driven Teams, a core responsibility of managers is training employees to be more efficient in what they do. Here are a few "DO's" for your management practice:

1) Seek to understand the perspectives of each person on your team.

2) Listen with a genuine effort to understand. Even the slightest mock or insult will leave a long-term scar.

3) Mutually identify action steps for each employee to help them succeed. Mutual means that you both have input.

4) Check in / inquire on a regular basis for follow-up and to provide any friendly advice or additional help.

Let me say that the points just listed are not suggestions: they are core responsibilities for being an effective manager. Wouldn't it be nice if all managers like Bill did these things? If they did, it's guaranteed that not only would more people stay with their job, but they - and their companies - would be more successful along the way.

Some managers argue that they can't afford the time to do these things. I say poppycock. With the cost of replacing employees being, on average, equal to their annual wages, you can't afford not to.

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About The Author

Dan Bobinski
Dan Bobinski

Dan Bobinski is a training specialist, author, and an accomplished keynote speaker. He's been providing management and leadership training to Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller, regional concerns for more than 20 years.

Older Comments

Thank you for raising up the power of listening as a core competency. It is the cornerstone of all human behavior especially at work.

Rick Bommelje www.listeningpays.com