By Guest Blogger – Bruce Clarke, J.D.
How do employees get help at your company? Who does the employee go to with problems? Who is there to help keep your employees involved, engaged and committed to their work and the company?
Employees who lack regular communication with a good manager can disengage with their work or eventually join another company with stronger management. Office managers and HR pros can help employees with mechanical questions such as pay and benefits, but only a manager familiar with an employee’s day-to-day tasks can grow a productive two-way relationship promoting strong work engagement.
Skilled managers provide many benefits to the workers they supervise. They are the primary goal setters and the best place to create alignment between the employee and organizational aspirations. Good managers provide frequent feedback and have a genuine interest in their employees’ professional and personal aspirations. They also serve as problem solvers to help workers when obstacles arise.
The negative effects of no management or poor management include decreased productivity, lowered morale, absenteeism and lack of trust and commitment to the company. Employees need managers for guidance, growth and recognition.
Managers help employees understand their roles and how their actions affect business results. With proper goal setting and consistent feedback, both positive and corrective, managers help employees understand what success looks like and how to get there.
Every employee has key questions and quandaries they need answered, and managers who work with them on an ongoing basis are the most equipped to offer responses. Sufficient guidance and attention spent on employees will also help them feel essential and valued in the workplace.
People are rarely satisfied doing the same tasks for long periods of time, so failing to plan for employee challenge and growth opportunities can have dire consequences for your company—specifically, high turnover. Because good managers provide consistent feedback, they know the strengths and weaknesses of their employees. This not only helps managers assign projects, but it helps employees understand what they do well and where they can improve. Managers are also advocates for employee development opportunities, raises, promotions and recognition.
Data and personal experience show that good employees who do not feel valued by their employer will leave. Managers who communicate well and regularly with employees are in the best position to see and prevent unnecessary turnover. Private recognition of good work, really listening to employee opinions, and removing hurdles in the way of job satisfaction are important tools. Public recognition within the workplace when important milestones happen or key behaviors occur is also very powerful.
Whether your organization is large or small, the presence or absence of good one-to-one management is the best predictor of workplace health. All the flex-time, free cappuccino and blue-jeans-days you can muster are no substitute.
Good managers who demonstrate leadership qualities are critical for keeping company morale high. Please feel free to call CAI’s Advice and Counsel at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 for additional information about how to strengthen the skills of your company’s managers.
Bruce Clarke, J.D. is president and CEO of CAI, Inc., a human resource management firm with locations in Raleigh and Greensboro, N.C., that helps organizations maximize employee engagement while minimizing employer liability. For more information, visit http://www.capital.org.