“People don’t leave a manager, they leave a job.”
I’m sure you’ve heard many different iterations of this message before.
Let’s pretend for a minute that this isn’t true.
Let’s pretend that people do in fact leave a job.
What do you think could be the main reason someone might leave? (other than due to external forces)
I’d guess it’s because they didn’t like their work.
Maybe they didn’t like it because they weren’t getting to utilise their strengths, maybe they didn’t feel that they were being coached or up-skilled, maybe they couldn’t see where they were heading or how they were going to get there.
And if someone doesn’t like their work, who’s responsible for what their work is like?
Now before you say it, yes, I know, there could be other factors and yes, I know, someone could have the best manager in the world and still not like their work. But let’s be honest, that argument is the exception, not the rule.
The more likely scenario is that all managers have the opportunity to help someone enjoy their work, but most don’t know how to make the most out of that opportunity (mostly because they don’t have the capability to do so).
Wondering how you can help your people enjoy their job?
There’s a lot a manager can do, but here’s 3 simple things you can do that will make a huge impact:
- Coach them! In my last article I shared that 70% of the variance between the highest engaged teams and persistently disengaged teams comes down to the manager. “Gallup has discovered — through studying what the best managers do differently — that great managing is an act of coaching, not one of directing and administrating.” If you take nothing else from this article, take this: Coach. Your. People! (teach me how to coach my people!)
- Find ways to tailor the role to their strengths. Gallup research shows that people who focus on strengths are 3x as likely to report having an excellent quality of life and are 6x more likely to be engaged in their job. They also found that if your manager focuses on your strengths, your chances of being actively disengaged at work are only 1 in 100. Now, I’m not suggesting you take away all parts of a job that someone dislikes and only leave them with the fun stuff, but I do encourage you to explore what it could look like to tailor a role (or even parts of a role) to a person instead of the other way around.
- Encourage their development. Research from Gallup’s Q12 Engagement Survey found that, of the approximately 6 in 10 people who don’t strongly agree that there is someone at work who encourages their development, less than 1% are able to achieve real engagement. For those who do have someone at work who encourages their development, nearly 90% are classified as “engaged” and less than 1% are “actively disengaged”. If you’re tailoring a role to someone’s strengths, encouraging development should be easy!
Regardless of if people leave a job or leave a manager, I think we can all agree that a managers role is pivotal to the success, engagement and retention of people within their roles.
The reality is, the cost of not taking action is always higher than the cost of implementing change.
Looking for a way to implement change and improve management capability? Check our our Effective Manager Program.