In our previous blog, we tried to identify why 75% Americans are still not happy in their jobs. Is it because they choose jobs for money rather than a personal interest? Is it because they are not given proper recognition? It is because they are unhappy with their bosses?
We also explored the first good habit for a manager—giving clarity to expectations. We talked about how it means more than just a job description; an employee must know what is expected of them in relation to others and the changing environment.
So now, let’s talk about the remaining 2 habits managers need to adopt to get their employees to stay.
2. Build Strengths, Not Break Down Weaknesses
Another great habit of good managers—they focus on building their employee’s strengths, not breaking down their weaknesses.
Before I was here, I used to work for a shabby little publication that shall not be named. When I started as a young and eager graduate, they put me on Business Development (as as the cool kids call it, Biz Dev). Come the end of the first quarter, I had under my belt a total of zero accounts. So my manager came up to me and instead of breaking me down—or firing me—they sat me down and said, “Hey, you know, you’re just not right for this job. Maybe you’re not meant for sales. Do you wanna try your hand at writing for the Marketing team?” And bam. I found my calling because my boss recognized a strength in me and nourished it.
The number one thing that employers do wrong is focusing too much on their employee’s weaknesses. They call them out on what they did wrong and expect the person to improve upon it. When this happens, the employee’s strengths are overshadowed. What they did right is never acknowledged—what they did wrong is brought center stage. This is so counterproductive, it blows my mind. Can’t you see? This way, the employee won’t even perform good on their strengths. They’ll just be discouraged and eventually end up leaving for a better opportunity.
3. Open Door Communications
And finally, for Pete’s sake, managers. This is the year 2016. It is a proven fact that flatter organizations outperform those with hierarchal structures. Yeah, you feel like the man when you’ve got your own little cabin and you sit behind a desk and get to order around a few people but is this power trip really worth it if it is effecting the overall performance of your company? Stifle that ego and get in with the times. Encourage open door communication and have frequent talks with ALL your employees. Then step out of the office and sit with the employees for once. Get your hands dirty, and get to experience how your workers actually work. That is the new age style of working.
This is where I love the Silicon Valley. Sure they’ve got their own problems, but you cannot deny that they’re innovation hubs. But walk into any one of them and you’ll see long tables without a header or strict divisions. No cabins, no partitions. Just people working together, no matter what their job title. The boss, the intern, the guy from marketing all set camp on bean bags with their laptops and work on a project together. And they are way more productive than are places with strict hierarchies.
These are three simple habits, but for your employees, they could mean choosing to stay rather than looking for other opportunities.