Mary is the top employee in her department. She achieves her individual goals as well as contributes significantly to her teams’ goals. Her stellar reputation precedes any doubts that she can get the job done. The next logical step is for the company to promote her since she is the best at her job.
Mary is excited to receive a promotion as “Manager” of her department. Before long, tension grew amongst Mary and her direct reports. Human Resources began receiving complaints about Mary’s management style. Mary didn’t see a problem with the way she managed, because, after all, she was the best at her game. This became the beginning of a long and arduous tenure of Mary’s failure to manage people that do the job she once did. This story is all too familiar in an organization’s culture.
Companies often fall into the “promotion” trap—promoting an employee because they excel at their job. What they often fail to detect is if that individual has management skills or the company fails to provide management training. Gallup conducted the most extensive study to date, analyzed millions of pieces of data, and came to the conclusion that people don’t leave organizations, they leave their manager. I find this extremely unjust when organizations fail to detect this seemingly common workplace problem. The cost to the organization can be thousands and sometimes millions of dollars from lower production, lower job satisfaction, lower morale, high turnover rates, and lost revenue.
What’s the solution? Gallup, in its comprehensive research, concluded that great managers do things differently to make exemplary employees succeed in 12 areas. To check if managers in your organization are performing well, employees should be able to agree with the following 12 statements:
- I know what is expected of me at work.
- I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
- At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
- In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
- My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
- There is someone at work who encourages my development.
- At work, my opinions seem to count.
- The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
- My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
- I have a best friend at work.
- In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
- This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
Written by Melody Cullum