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Show Your Managers Some Love

It’s time to quit pointing fingers at managers. They are employees too.

In 2015 Gallup released a hard truth: when employees quit their jobs, “one in two had left their job to get away from their manager.” That revelation began a hard pivot inside organizations to measure the abilities of managers to keep their people engaged. In many organizations management engagement scores, employee satisfaction and turnover rates are measured and tracked for each manager. No pressure there!

Let’s get real. In 99.9% of organizations, managers are promoted because they are good at doing the thing they are now being hired to manage others to do. Little to no attention is given to HOW they are at getting things done. Talented people are placed into position to lead, manage, and oversee others without any training in how to create and foster deep connection with those they manage. What training they might get is tactical – how to do a 1:1, how to conduct a performance review, how to execute a performance plan. Okay, we get that, maybe helpful if you want to imbed that managing others is about the doing of work. But it’s so much more than that.

The past two years have had a significant impact on managers. When business pivoted on a dime in March of 2020 who did the proverbial ball get tossed to? Managers. Directly or indirectly, they were told to figure out how to navigate in this new world of work. To manage the business of the company and the well-being of their people; to help their people navigate work and life in this scary, uncertain world. Then the Great Resignation took hold and 1 out of 4 people quit. While doing more with less, managers were told to help their people find fulfillment and purpose at work and in their life. It kind of sucks to be a manager right about now, so it didn’t surprise us that a recent Gallup survey found “Managers report more stress and burnout and worse physical wellbeing and work-life balance than the people they manage.”

It’s time to quit pointing fingers at managers. Managers are employees too. And they are stressed out, depressed, and struggling to navigate the constantly changing and burgeoning demands of today’s world of work. They need your help. Management effectiveness is linked to leadership support.

In a CultureAmp article, The biggest lie in HR: People quit bosses not companies they found that management matters, but leadership matters more. The percentage of people whose decision to leave an organization was driven by a manager or pay was roughly even at 12% and 11% respectively. Leadership was more than double that at 28%.

Managers are the engine and the glue that hold your organizations together. They foster culture and nurture individual growth. When they are not at their best, it affects the entire organization. The good news is that there are resources to help. One of them is our HumanityWorks Resilient Manager program, which focuses on supporting these important humans as they learn how to manage themselves, as well as others.

Our hearts are with managers everywhere: we see you and know how hard it’s been to keep the ship afloat during these uncertain and trying times. You are not alone. You are worthy of asking for and receiving help.