Did you know that one of the top three reasons people leave their jobs is because they don't like their supervisors? When you think about it, most of us have experienced horrible bosses at some point. You think about going to work and your stomach churns and you're stressed before you enter the building. Think Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada and you get the idea.
Who are these horrible bosses and what do they look like? They're the people that expect you to read their minds because they are unable to communicate effectively, and when you can't, they take it out on you. In other words, they're setting you up for failure. Or they are the bosses whose communication skills are so abrasive that you take for granted you will be screamed at or berated at least once a day. Then there are the bosses with no planning skills, so everything is a crisis which means you have no life because you're always playing catch up. The list goes on and on.
If any of those descriptions feel familiar, you may be the reason your employees, good employees in particular, leave.
Being a bad boss or morphing into being a bad boss can have a huge economic impact on your company. According to Salary.com, it costs a company from 120 percent to 150 percent of the person's salary if they leave within three months. So, you want to create an environment where employees want to stay.
Unfortunately managing people does not come naturally to most people and too many companies promote people from within without providing any training. In effect, you too are being set up for failure. But it doesn't have to be that way. With a little self-reflection and a lot of self-discipline, you may be able to turn it around by following some simple rules.
How to Be a Better Manager
- Check the ego at the door. If you weren't smart or competent you wouldn't have gotten where you are today. But if you need to be the smartest person in the room all the time, you're going to alienate your employees and probably a few colleagues along the way. Steve Jobs had a reputation for being really arrogant and dismissive of people. Let's assume he was one of a kind and everyone wants to work at Apple. You're not him and your company is not Apple. Give your employees room to share ideas and make them feel comfortable disagreeing with you - you will breed loyalty not contempt.
- Delegate. There is nothing that an employee hates more than having to ask their boss permission for everything and having no autonomy to make any decisions. No one is saying to let employees run amuck and pick and choose assignments, but people want some autonomy. Good bosses allow employees a voice in controlling their environment and taking on new assignments. Also, everyone makes mistakes and that is ultimately how we learn and grow. The same is true at work. Give your employees the room to take on new projects and, if they stumble, help them up and make it a teachable moment, not a career ending blunder.
- Tonality is Critical. Yelling is NEVER acceptable in the workplace. Your tone of voice and the volume of your voice need to measured, thoughtful and even. Employees are not children, they are adults and berating them like they are children will leave them feeling completely disengaged. If they feel like it's your way or the highway, you will never get more out of them other than "just showing up". And, what you can expect is that they will be searching for another job on your dime. So remember, positive feedback when appropriate makes everyone feel better.
As you think about your management style, think back on all the bosses you had that made your life miserable. What can you do differently so your employees come to value you, give you more than expected and ultimately in the end, make you shine.
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