by David Radlo, best-selling author of “PRINCIPLES OF CARTEL DISRUPTION: Accelerate and Maximize Performance“
The workplace adage that employees leave managers, not companies, is supported by a survey, which reports that 84 percent of U.S. workers say poorly-trained managers create needless work and stress. And 57 percent of those workers queried by the Society for Human Resource Management think managers could use training on how to better manage people.
This dominant opinion among employees invites investigation by leadership teams as workers leave jobs in record numbers.
The numbers of people exiting jobs in this COVID era make it clear that employees are challenging organizations to manage and lead differently. Or, they will go where they can get the leadership and management they deserve in a very tight labor market. What can managers learn from this and lead in a way that compels their best employees to stay?
As a leadership team, managers and executives need to start by taking a collective look at themselves. I am a big believer in understanding blind spots of people in an organization. An organization can function better by everyone on the management team knowing each other’s blind spots and increasing people’s self-awareness level. Without understanding a blind spot, you won’t be able to reframe or transform your behavior.
Ineffective or toxic managers generate heightened tension and unhappiness in the workforce. That dysfunction continually disrupts a company’s culture, which is central to an organization’s growth and success.
There are three types of managers, and two of them aren’t effective for the long term. He describes the characteristics of those different kinds of managers:
Employees generally are not inspired by the neutralizer-type manager, who gets respect from some employees but contempt from others. The neutralizer has limited self-confidence and lacks personal power behind their title of authority.
The neutralizer delivers the status quo and maintains a neutral stance. Although they can laugh, cry, and display emotions, they typically don’t. Their performance is adequate to mediocre. You can anticipate what they will say and hope you do not have to listen to them.
This type of manager creates high employee turnover. A diminisher lacks self-confidence and respect and uses blame instead of accountability. They rely on the authority of the position through threats and pressure people through intimidation to reach organizational goals. They have a difficult time showing empathy, and they are a threat to work with because their personal gains are achieved by manipulating others.
This type will laugh at a superior’s joke even if it is not funny. Their excessive competitiveness creates distrust.
This type of manager as self-confident, accountable, and respected, and one who will influence the workforce to accomplish organizational goals.
This is an authentic person who will take action and make focused decisions. Those that work with the enhancer achieve results because they feel valued and important. The enhancer manages to turn crises into opportunities. They play to win with measurable results.
Leaders should understand and avoid management traps such as self-centeredness, an inflexible management style, micromanaging, and an inability to deal with an increasingly diverse and aging workforce.
David Radlo, best-selling author of “PRINCIPLES OF CARTEL DISRUPTION: Accelerate and Maximize Performance“, is an internationally-recognized expert in leadership, growth and innovation. He is a partner with RB Markets-Achievemost, a Masters professional outside director, a growth coach, and an International Fortune 500 speaker.