No one ever left an organisation, they leave Managers 

I was recently at a seminar where this was said in front of a room full of about 200 people manager s. I have heard it said many times in past and have, on occasion, said something similar myself. The room had a mixed reaction to the statement. Some people agreeing with gear heads nodding and some people rolling their eyes, maybe as if it was true. 

I do think this is true, in part, but it is not as black and white as it is often fadeout to be. Leaders and managers hold big responsibilities when it comes to how they manage and engage with everyone in the team and business. People leave jobs for many different reasons, the reason that comes up the most is bad management. Managers who don’t nurture their team are allowing the team to look elsewhere for what they need. 

Starting a new job…

About 15 years ago I started a new job in a new business. The interview process had been great, I was excited and ready to meet the new challenges this role offered. The role played well to my skill set whilst giving me enough to get my teeth in to and develop further. It was a field based role with lots of internal customers for me to get to know, quickly. 

Day one came along and I was introduced to the person who would be supervising my induction. I set about my action plan to get to know everyone and visit as many sites as possible. The start of this role was all about building relationships with the people I would be working closely with, and for. 

My supervisor thought very differently. I was called constantly, sometimes every hour, to check what I was doing. They demanded that I send updates on the hour if I had spoken to them. Then would call the people I had had appointments with to check if my report back was accurate.

Great, I was being micromanaged… 

That would have been ok if the focus was on the areas I may have needed closer supervision in, the things I didn’t know and needed to learn. Alas, the focus was on areas I was already competent in, and no focus at all in other areas. Often ignoring them and leaving me in the dark. 

Over the next few weeks it got worse. To the point where, for the first time in my life (and last time), I woke up one morning and didn’t want to go to work. I was now dis-engaged, not excited and dreading the day ahead. 

The situation was fixed itself at this point. My new senior manager entered the business who seemed to totally understand me, my skills, my skills gaps and more importantly knew exactly where they could add value with me. I had gotten off to such a rocky start I wasn’t even planning to stay, and had already started to look around. 

Best Boss, Worst Boss?

The difference between a “Best Boss” and a “Worst Boss” is very simple, yet hard to master. Managers have a huge responsibility around engagement with everyone in their team in order to drive performance.

Some fo the characteristics of a best boss are: 

  • Being aware of an individuals capabilities and assessing their needs against them.
  • Understands who the individual is and what they may be capable of, even if the individual  doesn’t see it themselves.
  • Knowing when work can be delegated, and when further support is needed. 
  • Knowing when to be directive or when to be supportive.
  • Working together to achieve more than what is expected. 

No one ever left an organisation, they leave Managers

Not everyone leaves an organisation because of their manager, but most people do. It is the manager who, with all good intentions, does the wrong thing at the wrong time. Making the individual look elsewhere. Once someone has looked elsewhere the grass becomes greener on the other side. 

Also, everyone who has a perceived “Bad Boss” will not be achieving the level of performance expected of them. The knock on effect of low performance is that the perceived “Bad Boss” gets worse. 

Do the managers in your business have the skill set to perform? Do they manage each individual in exactly the way they need and create high levels of engagement, in turn delivering a High Performance Culture? Do they get the feedback they need to be able to make changes in how they manage and drive performance?

Have you thought about how they can get access to the feedback they need? 

360 feedback is a great way for Managers to look at their current impact on the people around them, and make a plan for development.