Have you ever reflected on the main reasons why people leave organisations? They are less likely to be down to simple financial motives – i.e. looking for more money – and are probably much more related to how individuals are being managed. People don’t leave jobs on a whim or in a fit of pique. Rather they leave when they feel frustrated or don’t see the prospect of things improving in their work environment. In essence they leave because they have lost faith in their managers to manage them properly.
The main reasons cited include poor morale, lack of communication, little or no appreciation of their contributions, a dearth of feedback on how they are doing, and a perception of limited opportunities for future progression. If you think about all of these reasons they have one thing in common: all are under the control of the managers in the organisation. What it boils down to is a realisation that they do not rate their managers. They are not leaving the organisation; they are leaving the managers in the organisation.
The skills people require to be effective in their individual roles are naturally different to those they require as managers, when they take on the responsibility of leading a team.
A lack of investment in the development of managers’ capability is at the heart of this issue. In many organisations people are promoted to positions of increased responsibility on the back of their performance in the technical aspects of their role or their individual contribution to the business. However this does not necessarily mean they will be good people managers. The skills they require to be effective in their individual role are naturally different to those they require once they take on the responsibility of leading a team.
Great organisations are full of people who possess these critical skills. They are effective decision makers, set clear goals for their people, have the ability to connect and communicate with their staff, create a positive atmosphere within their teams, manage conflict situations effectively and are skilled at using feedback to drive performance improvements among their people.
But there is a reason why great organisations possess a wealth of good managers. They invest heavily in their managers’ development centred around helping them master these critical skills. They understand that like any core skill, one can only improve by focused training, purposeful practice and the practical application of that training on the job.