Published January 09, 2012
Even in the face of a feeble labor market and uncertain economic environment, American workers are fedup enough with their work situation and looking to make a change.
According to the 2011 What’s Working survey from Mercer, nearly one in three employees polled was “seriously considering” leaving their job. What’s more, most of these respondents cited their sour rela tionships with their bosses as a main reason for looking for employment elsewhere.
Whether you are a line supervisor, middle manager, or executive, you, as the boss, are responsible for setting the tone and creating a positive and productive work environment. When bosses fail to do this, turnover increases, morale drops, and hiring expenses skyrocket.
Here’s the problem: Too many bosses enter into their leadership roles with little experience and support. Many bosses were likely promoted because they were good at their job or had peaked out in their role. I call this a great American business tragedy because we reward workplace success by putting people in a position they don’t necessarily want and often aren’t well suited for.
Not everyone’s goal is to be the boss; but in most companies, upward mobility means taking on people responsibility. To make matters worse, many companies don’t spend the time or money to provide the requisite training for new bosses to actually succeed in their new role. In other words, we reward success by setting people up for failure, creating a lose-lose proposition.
Both as a former employee at a major consulting firm and as an executive coach, I’ve had to deal with my share of bosses, particularly new bosses. As much as I disagree with the typical premise for corporate promotions, I do believe there are ways to help inexperienced bosses become successful. Here are three tips to get any bosses off to the right start in 2012.
1) Look in the Mirror . It always starts with you. You have to know how to manage yourself before you can manage others. Get to know your personality and your management style before you take on the burden of managing others.
2) Listen First, Shoot Questions Later. Good bosses are good listeners first. Learn how to actively listen to those who get the job done because they are your experts and they need to know you hear them.
3) Encourage More, Punish Less . Punishment stops bad behavior, but it doesn't produce new good behavior. Learn to reinforce the good! And please remember, it's not all about money. In fact, it's rarely about money. People just want their good work recognized.
Good luck and happy new year!
Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified executive coach trained in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy and is the founder of Human Capital Integrated (HCI), a firm focused on management and leadership development. Dr. Woody also sits on the advisory board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership.Follow Dr. Woody on Twitter and Facebook