Sadly, the workplace of today has very little in the way of career opportunities for staff. We have flattened the hierarchy to a degree where promotion is almost like winning lotto. And sadly, even when a management position does open up most organisations prefer to look outside for their new managers. Yes, new blood is necessary occasionally, but if an organisation never promotes internally, a pretty clear message is sent – our employees are not worth developing or promoting!
I work with teams and a question I always ask employees is how they rate their jobs on a scale of 0 to 100 (0 = bored-out-of-my-brain, 100 = all the stimulation and career prospects I could ever wish for), a staggering amount of employees admit to being nearer the 0 than the 100. What a waste.
I believe a manager has four responsibilities:
1.To reduce costs and find efficiencies
2.To increase profits and productivity
3.To grow people
4.To do themselves out of a job every 4 – 5 years
How many managers actually do all four? How many managers actually realise that part of their role is to grow people?
There are three recognized leaderships styles:
Autocratic – this type of manager tells people what to do, when to do it, and more particularly - how to do it, because there is only one way to do things and that is their way! These managers are not known for growing their people – after all, how could anyone ever do anything to their high standards?
Laissez-faire – these managers tend to hide away in their offices, avoiding people, avoiding decisions, giving few instructions and little guidance. These managers are similarly not known for encouraging their employees to develop – in fact this type of manager is often quite terrified of his/her people. Terrified that their people may actually be smarter than them, or more dynamic than them or could run the team better than them.
Democratic – these are the rare and wonderful managers who involve people in decisions, ask for their ideas and input. They make themselves available, are supportive, will coach and develop and even mentor their people. They actually care about ensuring their staff advance. In fact these managers are so at ease with themselves that they often recruit or promote people smarter than them!
Q: What kind of manager are you naturally (and we all have a natural style)?
Q: What style do you think your employees would say you display?
Q: What do you need to do differently to start developing your people?
Q: What’s in it for you to develop your people (less hours at the office is often a good incentive!)
Zig Ziglar once said that there was only one thing worse than training (or growing) your staff and having them leave, and that is not training or developing them and having them stay.
Food for thought! If you are a manager and are serious about bottom line results, and your own promotional prospects, then please be courageous enough to answer the four questions above.