Quite often those that are in management positions sacrifice their own needs for the sake of the team. That might entail working long hours, taking accountability when performance is low or when objectives aren’t being met. Those in senior leadership positions might be looking for somebody to take the blame when something goes wrong, and I’ve both been witness to and been on the receiving end of those conversations.
In order for organizations to have strong, cohesive teams, it’s imperative that those in management positions receive the same support from their own leaders. It can be assumed that managers don’t need to be recognized, rewarded, or praised, but that is altogether not true. Employees at all hierarchical levels need to know that they are appreciated and supported. That requires more senior leaders to offer constructive feedback and coaching to their managers. It also means managers should be praised for successes.
Managers take on a lot of the accountability and stress associated with their role, and handling large, diverse teams successfully takes strong interpersonal skills, organization, sound decision-making, caring, and inner balance. For those in senior leadership positions, offering support and understanding, particularly through the tough times, can make all the difference. The old adage that “employees don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses” holds true at all levels.
Furthermore, each leader brings different strengths and weaknesses to their organization, and as a senior leader, acknowledging the strengths of your direct report will only strengthen the working relationship. If you show commitment to developing your managers by taking steps to close their skills, knowledge, and abilities gaps, will demonstrate the organization’s commitment to their career growth, and will in turn, mitigate the risk of turnover.
Challenge your managers in new ways, and draw on their strengths. If senior leaders refuse to develop their managers to help them move up, eventually the managers will move on to other opportunities. This only weakens the organization as knowledge and experience walk out the door. What’s more, when good managers leave, uncertainty and discontent can build within the team culture. This can be difficult to remedy, and other employees may decide to leave, causing a ripple effect that can have a deep impact on productivity.
If you would like more information on coaching, talent management, and team culture, please contact us to set-up an initial consultation.
Melissa Ketler (BA, MAL) is an Organizational Leadership Consulting at Fox & Owl Consulting, who published a Master’s thesis on organizational continuity and succession planning, and has over 20 years of organizational team leadership experience.