You’ve heard it said again and again, and perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself: People don’t leave organizations—they leave bosses.
Bad bosses come in many varieties: abusive and toxic, lazy and incompetent. There are few things more miserable in the workplace, and an organization full of bad bosses will kill the culture.
It’s important for managers to be sure they are providing the best experience for their employees. It’s equally important for organizations to provide their employees with the best managers by hiring, promoting and training the right people for these supervisory roles.
Not everyone is cut out to be—or wants to be—a people manager. Many new managers are woefully unprepared and lack the hard and soft skills needed to manage other humans, and will need training and coaching to grow and be effective in their roles.
In the #SHRM18 blog post by Tamara Rasberry, “Everything You Need to Know About Managing People,” SHRM18 speaker, transformational coach and Zen Workplace organizational consultant Karlyn Borysenko says, “Being promoted into a manager role is not just a more powerful version of being an individual contributor. You are, in a very real way, responsible for people’s lives. Unfortunately, very few organizations ever teach people how to be a great boss on a psychological level. They may teach you how to administer an annual performance review [and] the process for hiring and firing, but that’s just process. To be a great manager, you need to know how to engage and motivate a team based on how [each person’s] brain works.”
Managers also need to learn the fundamental skills that encourage the intrinsic motivation of employees. “It’s the intrinsic motivation piece that trips a lot of people up,” says Borysenko. “Engagement is not about a paycheck or a raise or a promotion … No one is going to turn those things down, but it’s not the psychological driver of long-term high performance. [They] give a nice short-term boost, but that only lasts about two weeks. People need to feel listened to, they need to feel valued, they need to know that their manager sees the effort they are putting in and positively responds to it. And when they’re trying to improve areas of their performance, they need to hear from their manager that they see the effort and the improvement and to keep up their momentum.”
But bad bosses can lead to low morale—and more bad bosses. “So often, I hear from managers, especially at the midmanagement level, ‘My boss isn’t doing this stuff, so why do I have to?’ I’ll be blunt: You do it because it’s the right thing to do, not only from a work perspective but as a human being. Is it fair that your boss might not put the effort in for you but I’m asking you to do it for you team? No. But change has to start somewhere. You can choose to be the person who opts out and uses your boss as an excuse …. or you could be the person who says, ‘I’m doing this regardless, because I know it’s what’s best for my team.’ ”
Join @SHRMnextchat at 3:00 p.m. on April 18 for #Nextchat with special guest Karlyn Borysenko (@DrKarlynB). We’ll chat about what it takes to cultivate effective people managers and create an amazing work experience.
Q1. What makes a great boss a great boss?
Q2. What skills and competencies are most-needed to be an effective people manager, and why?
Q3. How do you train and coach its people managers to ensure they are competent and effective in their roles?
Q4. How can an organization maintain a system of checks and balances to root out poorly performing people managers who have too much power or fly under the radar?
Q5. If you ask 100 people, “What is the definition of employee engagement?” each person will give a different answer. How do YOU define employee engagement?
Q6. What are some examples of a service mindset, and what are some ways people managers can practice a service mindset with their teams?
Q7. What advice can you share for helping people managers drive productivity on a psychological level?
Q8. What are some tips you can share with new people managers to help them be successful— and happy—in their new roles?