By: Jessica Merrill
Have you ever quit your job because of a bad boss?
According to a poll from Gallup, 75% of workers who voluntarily left jobs did so because of their managers. Any CEO will recognize how bad this is for the bottom line; the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) states that a company will spend between 50-250% of an employee’s annual salary and benefits to replace an employee who leaves.
Simply put, the cost of poor leadership is hefty.
Good management creates engaged employees—and engaged employees are less likely to seek a job change. While management practices will vary by company, at the core of good management is good communication.
Here are five tips and practices every leader should use when communicating with their team.
- Know your stuff – Don’t be that manager who is totally out of touch with the demands of their employees’ jobs. Be familiar with what you’re asking your people to do (and if you’re not familiar, be ready and willing to learn!). Lead well by building trust in your expertise, clearly communicating expectations and admitting when you do not know something. Earn respect through your expertise and humility.
- Know your people – Show how you value your team by getting to know their professional strengths and blind spots. (Tools such as CliftonStrengths 34 are a great way to familiarize yourself with your employees’ unique strengths.) Beyond their professional duties, get to know your employees personally to understand what challenges they may be facing outside of work.
- Provide feedback (regularly and often) – Scheduling weekly one-on-ones with employees and delivering impromptu on-the-job feedback are intentional ways to engage and develop your team. Demonstrate your investment in your people by letting them know how they’re doing (and letting them do the same for you).
- Know your team’s aspirations – Do you know where your employees want to be in five years? How about 10? Understanding what your employees want out of their careers is crucial to helping you provide useful feedback and spot key development opportunities. Conduct regular development conversations to help guide your employees’ career aspirations. Always be on the lookout for opportunities that will grow their desired skills.
- Be straightforward but optimistic – Be straightforward about your employees’ performance and opportunities for improvement, while encouraging them to strive to greater heights. Be as transparent as possible about your team’s performance or the performance of the business overall and communicate confidence in where you’re headed. No one wants to be lied to, and most employees, if they’re engaged with your company’s mission and culture, will want to improve. Don’t shy away from tough conversations, but always end with a note of optimism.
Effective leadership is critical to any organization’s success. Is ongoing leadership training a part of your work culture?
Our organizational design experts would love to partner with you to equip your leaders and managers to be more effective. Contact us today. Let’s talk.