Why employee-manager relations are so important and what should you do about it
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
We have all had this conversation. Whether with a friend, a spouse, or during a random discussion, we have all expressed our troubles with a manager. Not the CEO or other C-levels, but with our direct superior or team leader. Moreover, every time, the same thought crosses our minds: should I start looking for a new job?
Although we know how we would want our bosses to change, we do not feel it is appropriate to address our managers in that fashion and as such, either bite the bullet or resign.
But let’s not look at this as a subordinate, or even from the view of the company. Let’s approach this issue from the perspective of managers, who, like myself, want to give their employees more, want to keep them feeling happy, appreciated, and satisfied in hopes of raising motivation and lowering job-hopping.
So, I came across a fascinating book called Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink, that truly opened my eyes. In his book, Pink claims that although we are commonly under the misconception that the best motivator for employees is a financial reward, managers should not put this solution at the top of their list of increasing retention and motivation ideas. Pink declares that to motivate people and keep them satisfied, you need to tap to their natural human need, to take charge over their actions and trajectory, to always keep learning, creating new things and feeling as if they have a genuine impact on their workplace and others.
In Harvard Business School’s study on People Management, respondents shared that one of the most common traits of bad managers, for them, was “Doesn’t show concern for my career and professional development.” When you think about it, our workplace is the place where we spend most of our time during the week, and naturally, this means that our work- environment has a significant impact on our well-being. Managers do, above all. When you think about relationships and their role in our lives, it’s no wonder that we are so profoundly affected by our managers. As a career and personal development is such a top priority for so many, managers must begin to make this a top priority in their team leadership, management philosophy and execution.
So, how can managers give their employees more?
I’m a big tech-buff, especially when it comes to solutions in tech companies. I believe that what I lack in my abilities, I can find in tech solutions that can complete my skills and help me do more, with less work.
If you are looking to retain your talents, you should find a solution that allows your employees to develop themselves and their skills, in their way, whenever they want, in correlation with their career aspirations and your organizational needs.
Change of approach-
When it comes to learning and development, the worst thing you can do is approach your team with a “top-down” solution. The more “mandatory” your approach is, you are less likely to succeed. So make sure you find a solution that puts the steering wheel in your employees’ hands, allowing them to have a personalized experience, adaptive to their needs and aspirations. Alongside that, you should be able to mentor, review, and escort your employees in this process, giving it the stamp of approval, that their development process has value, in your eyes.
Look at this as an opportunity
If your employees have a better view of their skill gaps, their growth opportunities in your team or even in the organization, in the long run, they will give you top performance, work harder, learn more and stay with you for the long term. Think about your own decision-making process. What would motivate you to work harder- a place of work where you are developing in the flow of work, you have visibility of career development options and you know that the efforts you make to improve your skills are seen and valued, or a place of work that gives no credit to personal growth and shows you no professional horizon?
You know that your best talents thrive on gaining industry knowledge and developing specialized skills. As a leader, don’t fight these desires. Use them to your advantage and achieve a win-win solution for your team.