Have you been paying attention to news stories about current workforce challenges? There are two stories that have been getting a lot of press lately.
We Can’t Fill Our Jobs
The first is about recruiting problems. Businesses can’t ramp up because they can’t find workers willing to take their jobs. This seems mostly true in low-pay, frontline service jobs, especially in the hospitality industry. Although I’ve seen stories about many other industries that have a similar struggle, and not just with entry-level positions.
Our People Are Quitting
The second is about retention problems. It seems Covid got people thinking about their work situation and are deciding to make a change for something better. The idea about having to return to the office (long commutes, parking, work clothes, and obnoxious coworkers) is giving people pause about getting back to the old days and old ways.
Develop Your Leaders to Attract and Retain Your Workforce
There are dozens of reasons you should do leadership development in your company, but the two problems listed above should be right at the top of your list.
To connect the dots let me remind you of the following piece of wisdom that you most likely have heard.
People leave managers, not companies.
Do you believe it? I do. I’ve had bad bosses, and they are easy to leave. I’ve also had jobs I didn’t like, but stuck around because I really liked my manager.
Two Sources of Bad Managers
I doubt anyone intends to be a bad leader. Unfortunately they are. There are two reasonable explanations for it.
First, you promoted the person from an individual contributor and made them the manager. Unfortunately, your training program consisted of telling them about some policies they are now expected to enforce and that was about it.
You enrolled them in the school of hard-knocks, figuring that with time they’d get the hang of it.
It’s true that practice and experience might bring some competency with time, but it takes much longer than it need to, and the rookie managers don’t know what they don’t know. They might think they’ve got the hang of it, but in truth are missing the mark.
The second problem is that they got mentored by someone with some seriously screwed up ideas about what works.
In one of my first management jobs, I had my boss’s boss sit me down to dispense some pearls of wisdom. The one I’ll never forget, even though I rejected it at the time was, “Tom, you need to put screaming into your managerial toolbox.” Even my 20-something self recognized that as dumb advice.
When you have some managers that aren’t good in their jobs, you should assume their team members are thinking about leaving. And even if they can’t leave, they might quit and stay, which is even worse.
The behavior of your leaders has a powerful effect on the overall culture and that culture ultimately turns into the company’s reputation.
Recruiting is especially tough when the word on the street is that your workplace is run by people who shouldn’t be in those positions. Check out company reviews on Glassdoor or Indeed. Notice how many negative reviews are about bad managers.
It’s Time to Make Your Leadership Development Plan
There are many ways to develop leadership skills. I’d be happy to speak with you about your leaders and the approaches you might take to strengthen their leadership abilities. Reach out to schedule a strategy call.
P.S. If you’re worried about managers leaving, developing them is a great way to demonstrate you care…which makes you a good leader who will be hard to leave.