If you poll everyone you know in the workforce you will find that all managers aren’t good managers. Whether you’re a front line manager, mid-level manager, or in upper management the people you manage expect you to lead. I’m not talking about mentoring or coaching I’m talking about being the decision maker. The line “I’m not a leader, the only way I could get a promotion was to take a management position” is outdated.
I agree, in many organizations the only way to move up is to become a manager. The flip side of that coin is everyone doesn’t want to be a manager and everyone isn’t built to be one. By default people end up in management positions where they do not want to be, or are not built for. This post isn’t about analyzing the structure of companies, it is to highlight many managers leave their employees in limbo.
Regardless of how managers got to their positions, employees expect managers to lead. Employees need leadership when things are good and when things are bad. Leadership qualities shine in the midst of a bad situation. If a manager can lead their employees out of a bad situation they will be an instant hit. If a manager doesn’t lead when things are good or bad they create a leadership vacuum.
Leadership vacuums not only occur when a manager isn’t leading they also occur when a management position is left open too long or there is a leadership merry-go-round. A leadership merry-go-round is when a management position is occupied by several people in a short period of time. When employees have more than one manager in a short period of time it’s difficult for them to get their bearings. When a leadership vacuum occurs employees are left in limbo. They don’t know what to expect on a day-to-day basis and are left in a state of confusion.
When employees experience a leadership vacuum morale can go down. Morale goes down because the employees don’t trust the current decision maker(s). Employees will blame the current decision maker(s) for everything that is going on. Low morale can lead to a decrease in production, a decrease in the quality of work, and could ultimately lead to employees leaving the company/organization. If managers lead they will not leave employees in limbo.
I intended to write one post about health issues but I realized I was trying to squeeze too much information into one post. However, self-care is an important issue and desirous of two posts. As human beings we don’t take care of ourselves the way we should. Overall those of us that live in first-world countries have better health than those that live in third-world countries. That being said those of us that live in first-world countries can take better care of ourselves than we currently do.
Are you healthy? Whether it’s personal or professional your productivity or lack thereof is dependent upon your health. As a Human Resources (HR) professional my concern is for you, the employee. Every HR professional knows their organization can’t function at a high level if the well-being of their employees is neglected. A healthy employee is a productive employee.
In the United States (U.S.) many times when people talk about overall health they don’t always include mental, spiritual, and emotional health. In this post I’m going to address the mental and spiritual aspects of one’s health. In the next post I’ll address the emotional and physical aspects of one’s health.
Twenty to thirty years ago mental health was not as big of an issue in the U.S. as it is today. With the increase in mass shootings and other societal issues mental health has become the topic of many conversations. These conversations have and are taking place in a broad range of places, from HR departments to state legislatures to Capitol Hill.
It is important for employers to pay attention to the mental health of their employees. As a general health concern you and I should also pay attention to our mental health. The American Psychological Association says depression is the most common mental disorder.
In the workplace we shy away from conversations about religion or a person’s spiritual health. When talking about spiritual health we don’t necessarily have to talk about organized religion. I’m aware that everyone doesn’t believe in organized religion and as an HR professional it’s not by responsibility to suggest or recommend that anyone believe in organized religion. As an HR professional I’m suggesting that you be cognizant about the spiritual aspect of your being. There are many ways to take care of the spiritual aspect of your being. Choose which way best suites you. We should pay as much attention to our spiritual health as we do our physical health.
Your mental and spiritual health is just as important as your physical health. Self-care is the most important care anyone can receive. If you don’t take care of yourself who will?
Chris hit two homeruns yesterday and today. Yesterday’s post was about your professional development and today’s post is about your personal development. These are two things all of us need to pay attention to all the time. Without a healthy personal life your professional life is irrelevant. Take the advice Chris offered today and yesterday.
Yesterday I spoke of the need for professional development. While this is important it’s only half the picture. What we really need beyond just that is personal development.
Some professions – health care, managing people, teaching – take a lot out of us. These are fields requiring a great deal of giving, time, compassion and nurturing. The very nature of these disciplines is one in which, to be any good at them, we have to give and give. And at times we run the risk of emptying ourselves out.
The fact is most of our institutions and organizations are not designed to notice this emptying out before the fact. We always say we know following some critical incident that something wasn’t right, that so and so was tired and so on. But most of us are so busy responding to our own demands we don’t notice other’s needs…
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The HR field exists for a reason. Let us do our job. One of our specialties is recruiting. When you take HR duties and give them to someone else chaos or least inefficiency ensues.
Looking for perfection in an imperfect world sounds challenging if not impossible. I know someone that is experiencing not being perfect. Since there is no perfect person employers need to take advantage of the transferable skills applicants come with. I was sharing with this person that employers are lazy. They don’t want to take the time to study a resume. The laziness of employers leads to the frustration of job seekers.
What price perfect?
A mark of the modern employment market is the seeming inability to find skilled, competent employees. Companies continually complain about the lack of fundamental skills in recent graduates while government clamors for increased STEM education.
But this mistates the situation.
Even as communities continue to recover from massive outsourcing and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression the truth about the job market is less complex and therefore even more shocking.
Companies are looking for perfect.
Somewhere along the way with the HR function fully complicit we lost sight of hiring people to do a job and started to think about hiring brand extensions. We started to look for people without any blemish professionally or interpersonally and turned hiring into a lottery as opposed to a competitive process.
The job market still functions at the extremes. For people with no absolute skill there are minimum…
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