Employees Don’t Leave Businesses, They Leave Managers
Once I read in an HR Magazine, “Employees don’t leave businesses, they leave managers.” This bold statement caused me to consider what it takes to be a great manager. Here are some of my thoughts:
First, managing is a foreign responsibility to most business owners and executives. The majority of business owners/executives we work with at executive advantage didn’t initially intend a career in management, so they hadn’t received formal management training, whether in a college or otherwise. The majority of them trained (whether in college or otherwise) to learn a profession or technical skill.
Second, most of us started our careers by applying our profession or skill and didn’t think much about managing those around us. It might be reasonable to assume that 90% of our jobs revolved around our profession or skill with 10% focused on other responsibilities. As we became successful in our careers, we began to take on new roles and responsibilities.
Yes, we were still applying our professions or skills, but now there were also people to manage. Many college management texts would indicate managers spend about 60% to 70% of their time on people issues. This is a big shift in responsibilities which is difficult for most and nearly impossible for some.
Third, most of our professions (and skills) were basically straightforward and predictable. Accounting was accounting. Engineering was engineering. Construction was construction. People and their problems are messy and unpredictable. …And as soon as you think you understand them, they will prove you wrong.
A Possible Solution: Your Personal CoachThe transition from professional to manager can be a bumpy trip. Each day brings new issues to deal with and new lessons to learn. That is why many business owners/executives have turned to executive coaches to help with the transition. Some of you may ask, “Do I need a coach?” There is no hard and fast rule regarding this matter, but let me offer this thought.
Bob is a competitive swimmer. He is a very good competitive swimmer, and has qualified for the Senior Nationals the past six years in butterfly, backstroke and individual medley. Bob had reached a plateau in his swimming and could not seem to improve no matter how hard he trained. He received help from an expert coach and was able to correct minor flaws in his swimming and greatly improve his performance.
Seeking assistance from an executive coach is not an admittance of failure. Generally the business owners/executives that seek such help are already excellent managers who want to be great. Executive coaches are mentors who can watch you perform and detect those little flaws that, if not corrected, lead to a load of frustration on the part of the employees … and the business owners and executives.
What are some indicators an executive coach might be helpful?
* Poor performance.
* More mistakes than usual.
* Lack of harmony between employees and managers.
* Clients leaving your business and going to other businesses.
* Managers micro-managing.
* Turnover – especially among talented employees.
* People doing busy work.
* Increased overhead.
* Missed opportunities for growth.
* Money spent on low priority items.
* Burnout, either on your part or your employees.
* Grumpy employees.
Have you observed any of these indicators? Is it time for some coaching? How about spending an hour with one of our consultants and discussing the people issues you find the most frustrating? The hour will go by quickly, and you will receive some insights that will help in your transition from being a good manager to a great one.
Contact us today!