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 The line “I’m not a leader, the only way I could get a promotion was to take a management position” is outdated.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.
Employee engagement has been a hot topic in HR world-wide for the past few years. Employers across the globe are trying to figure out how to get and keep their employees engaged. For the most part engaged employees are happy employees. Engaged employees stay at their jobs longer than disengaged employees and engaged employees provide an emotionally stable work environment.
While upper management and HR are trying to figure out how to get and keep their employees engaged, employees continue to focus on obtaining a work-life balance. Many HR professionals believe providing a work-life balance for employees will facilitate engagement (I’m one of them). In the past few years I have read only a few articles and participated in a limited number of conversations that focused on making sure employees did have a work-life balance.
If upper management and HR truly want what’s best for their employees they would recommend employees go home on time. Gemma Dale is an HR professional that resides in London, in her blog post Go Home On Time she provides a good case why employees should “go home on time”. Upper management and HR professionals should seriously consider Gemma’s suggestion. As an employee of any organization you’ll agree that Gemma’s assessment is accurate.
Those of you that follow my blog know I’m all about Human Resources (HR) and Training and Development (T&D). However, this week I’m going to depart from the norm. I need to put some things in perspective.
My father passed away two months ago. He was the oldest of seven children. Those seven children produced more than 20 grandchildren. When someone passes away, the family goes through many changes. The challenge for me and my family is grieving (managing) the loss of my father. Our lives are changed forever. There’s a new paradigm we have to get used to.
Losing a loved one is one of the most traumatic experiences anyone can go through. And, as traumatic of an experience as this may be, my family and I have to adjust to a new way of living. Most people don’t like paradigm shifts especially when they’re negative.
In today’s rapidly changing workplace more people are experiencing paradigm shifts than not. Paradigm shifts can be good or bad depending on which side of the shift you’re on. Adjusting to something new and/or different isn’t easy. When you initially hear that a paradigm shift is on the horizon, your first response is to decide if you like it or not. Then you have to make the mental adjustments necessary to adapt to the shift(s) that are taking place. Adjusting to a paradigm shift is more mental than anything. If you’re not mentally on board with the shift, it’ll be difficult to live with the new paradigm.
The term change management is used so often that it’s being overused. I know the workplace is rapidly changing but gee wiz slow down with the overuse. People not in the HR and T&D industry, read and hear the term so often and in different contexts that the true meaning gets lost. Change management, in its simplest form means managing changes in the workplace.
Today’s workplace is changing so rapidly the term change management is not only a noun but it’s also a verb. It’s become a verb because it’s a skill-set that many employers are looking for. It’s a skill-set because of the technical expertise that is required to manage the change(s). The changes that are occurring are due to the economy, advancements in technology, and customer demands. The simple definition may be managing change but the execution requires a lot of skill.
Whether it’s in your personal life or the workplace, managing change is something we all have to do. We have to realize that a paradigm shift is upon us and try our best to make the necessary adjustments.
Who needs supervision more employees or children? Children between the ages of one and ten need a babysitter. Due to the lack of boundaries in the workplace managers view themselves as babysitters.
Just like children, employees are a product of their environment. In 2014 what type of environment are managers creating for their employees? When I was in the eighth grade every day in my algebra class was a circus. My teacher didn’t have control of the class. Her lack of control allowed me to sleep 2-3 days a week.
If managers don’t set expectations for their employees’ performance and behavior the employees will do whatever comes to mind. Regardless of age people need boundaries. Setting boundaries is the only way to properly govern the performance and behavior of employees.
Managers, if you need to treat your employees like children then by all means act accordingly. I had a supervisor that said I have no problem treating you all like children. My supervisor set expectations for her employees’ performance and behavior. She constantly communicated those expectations. The repetitiveness of her expectations made it difficult to forget how you were expected to conduct yourself. Managers what message are you communicating to your employees? Are you communicating expectations or mayhem?
Managers have the responsibility to create an environment in which employees can grow professionally. Mayhem creates an unhealthy work environment which produces sub-par performance. A healthy work environment allows employees to reach their potential.
A healthy work environment has boundaries that govern the actions and performance of its employees. People need boundaries and without them mayhem ensues.
If you want to create a healthy work environment I can be reached at: