Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Do your employees like your company or do they dream of moving on? A Review of “Lead Employees to Success, Not Out the Door”

Businesswoman and employee satisfaction researcher Wendy Duncan has written a book for everyone that has been touched by poor management in the workplace: supervisors, leaders, managers, and subordinates (employees). According to Duncan, studies show that the number one reason that employees leave companies is “the failure to connect with their boss or leader. People leave managers not companies.” That statement proves that too many people in supervisory roles just don’t understand the power they wield.

The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we;” they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit.” ~ Peter Drucker

In her book, Duncan adds names and descriptions to familiar workplace characters. Supervisors, leaders, and managers who embody these characteristics are the reason that employees don’t give 110%, aren’t totally engaged, and dream of moving on. You may recognize some or all of these characters in your workplace:

  • The bull (aka, bull in a China shop)
  • The intimidator/bully
  • Every man for himself
  • The credit taker
  • The assumer
  • See employee as a customer
  • Bad mouth, loud mouth
  • Discriminating Dick
  • Introvert Ernie
  • Promising Pete
  • Lack of interpersonal skills
  • Condescending Curt
  • Micro-Mary
  • Moody Marge
  • The extreme macro-Mac/ghost manager
  • Brown nose Betty
  • The corporate climber
  • Chatty Patty
  • Executive Romeo
  • The corporate sniper (aka, the black widow)

So, how can employees change their perspectives from dreaming of leaving to, instead, remaining and re-engaging? According to Duncan’s research, studies show that employees need trust in and respect for their direct supervisor as well as for their company’s leadership team. So, in order to create an environment where trust and respect can exist, Duncan provides 24 excellent questions that leaders and managers can ask themselves. While all provide areas where a leader or manager can improve his or her supervisory style, the following are my favorites:

  • Do you bring value to your employees? If yes, what?
  • Do you support your employees whether it is for completing daily job responsibilities or furthering their knowledge or career?
  • Do you give credit where (and when) credit is due?

So, the next time an employee gives notice, consider what you, as the supervisor, could have done differently to make that employee feel more empowered, work harder, or be more motivated. Duncan’s book is a great tool to assist you with your evaluation.

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