We have heard that people don’t leave organizations, they leave bad managers.
But what is a ‘bad’ manager? The toxic, judgmental, and biased ones can be put into this category easily. Does the absence of these traits then automatically mean that they are good managers?
We have seen this scenario play out too often across organizations. Matt, for example, joins an organization. He is very excited as he sees tremendous growth opportunities in this job role as compared to their previous organization. Eight to ten months later, Matt has his first performance review where he excitedly tells his managers about his goals and aspirations. These are all documented in the review system.
A year goes by, and the manager asks Matt about his goals and aspirations. Again.
Matt reiterates this, albeit with lesser enthusiasm. The manager notes this down, tells them they are doing a great job, hands over an action plan, and gets Matt going about his day.
Meanwhile, Matt catches up with another friend, April. April speaks excitedly about her company and the amazing conversations she is having with her manager. She tells him about how her manager helped her chart an action plan, held accountability, and ensured that she reaches her goals!
Matt tells April about his experience and asks her to intimate him if there is an opening for someone of his caliber. Soon he hands in his resignation and is out of the door.
All this would have been avoided had Matt felt that he was moving closer to his goals! Who else, but his manager could help here?
Today, employee experience and engagement rule the world of work. Organizations across industries are proactively identifying ways to boost employee experience and curate a workplace that fosters kinship and belonging. Managers, being the closest to their teams, play a significant role in the success and failure of these initiatives. To break the attrition cycle, and have engaged employees and high-performing teams, managers must transition into coaches now!
Higher performance and better engagement
Research shows that coaching drives better engagement, elevates productivity, and improves organizational outcomes. It helps in improving employee performance and helps them build resilience to manage change better.
Since the world of work is in a state of constant flux, managers have to become the coaches to guide their teams to success. Through non-judgmental feedback, empathy, and accountability, managers help their teams navigate challenges, identify creative solutions, and ensure that the team member is constantly moving closer to their goals!
Managers who coach know that coaching is a great tool for meeting business goals. They view this activity as essential to business success, not just a nice to have. The growing talent scarcity makes it important to identify ways to make people gravitate towards the organization. This happens organically when they thrive.
The managers of today know that they need solid players as much as they need stars. And it is with their help and guidance that the individuals grow and develop skills to navigate the changing realities of the job, the workplace, and the market.
Evolving workplace expectations
Gen Z is now making its way into the workplace. While millennials remain the dominant demographic, Gen Z is fast catching up. Reports show that this generation has radically different expectations from their workplace and has unique perspectives on the workplace and how they define success in their personal and professional lives.
A greater focus on diversity and equity and robust training and leadership programs is a must to attract talent from this generation. Since Gen Z has had near-instant access to information since birth, they are more focused on identifying solutions more independently.
Telling the Gen Z employee what to do is less likely to keep them engaged. But coaching them to identify solutions, guiding them to find their perfect answers, and challenging them to meet their goals stick the landing more.
Since coaching is more collaborative while most managerial styles are directional, leveraging the coaching leadership style is more likely to drive motivation, engagement, and positive productivity outcomes.
Great Resignation is a sign
Higher wages and better career opportunities are compelling reasons to move from one organization. However, trends like the Great Resignation reveal changing attitudes towards work and evolving perceptions of what the workplace should look like.
A closer evaluation of trends such as the Great Resignation shows that while people leave for better opportunities, a mass exodus means that something needs to be fixed.
Addressing the cosmetic needs of the workplace helps in battling these trends, albeit superficially. Today, the workforce has spoken. They want greater meaning, more purpose, empathy, equity, constant learning, and professional and personal growth, amongst other things.
The focus on elevating career pathing strategies has never been more important than today. Managers need to leverage coaching strategies of active listening, deep questioning, intuition, and non-judgmental and empathetic feedback to guide teams and individuals to desired outcomes.
Employee engagement drives loyalty
Engaged employees are more productive and less likely to leave an organization.
The Gallup State of the American Manager report shows that
- Only 30% of employees are engaged at work.
- Managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement.
- “Employees’ engagement is directly influenced by their managers’ engagement — whose engagement is directly influenced by their managers’ engagement.”
Moving from managing to coaching helps managers identify what motivates the team and helps in creating a better understanding of an individual’s personality. This builds a foundation of trust and makes both the employee and the manager more comfortable in giving and receiving feedback.
Coaching helps in rapport building, which in turn helps in developing the trust needed to talk openly and freely. It makes feedback more proactive, action-oriented, clear, and relevant.
The continuous dialogue ensures greater accountability and focus. All of these activities demonstrate active involvement and genuine interest in the employee’s success and drive-up engagement levels.
With burnout and disengaged employees becoming serious concerns globally, transitioning into coaching managers becomes imperative.
The world of work has changed and so has the role of the manager. Apart from being focused on equity and behaving professionally in a work environment, managers have to be the great enablers of success. They have to be the trust bridges between teams and the organization.
Their investment in furthering their teams and delivering enablement to their jobs, goals, and aspirations drives engagement and reduces employee attrition. And to navigate today’s world of work and lead teams successfully managers must transition into coaches.
Start a 60-day pilot of NumlyEngage™ to help your managers and leaders understand the art and science of coaching and lead winning, high-performing teams!