People Join a Company but Leave a Manager

You’ve heard the line “People join a company but leave a manager”, right?

Well, It’s absolutely true!

Managing people is often something we find ourselves doing, whether by promotion or because we’re running our own company. We end up managing people because we are good at what we do. Getting the management and leadership of people right is a great opportunity for your business, whilst getting it wrong creates a threat. 

Managing people is about giving them vision, translated into goals and direction. A manager’s role is to motivate their teams to get the best out of them. If you have managers between the business leaders and staff then these are the people driving your company culture. Whether you have recruited people with previous experience of managing or promoted someone to be a manager you will need to support and educate them as to what’s expected of a manager within your business. 

Managers who are skilled and know the vision and goals of the company can achieve great results from their teams. You probably didn’t need me to tell you that. While you agree with the idea, you’re not so sure of how to make it happen within your business. You know there is employment law, laying out things you can and can’t say to your staff, but sometimes you’re not clear what you can’t say so you simply don’t say anything at all. Assuming this is the case then you’re not alone! It’s the most common reason I hear for not tackling poor performance, bad attitudes and frequent absence.

When you don’t tackle these things you create an environment where they’re acceptable, in turn creating more people who will under perform. They’ll reduce their performance or take frequent sick days, after all “if they get away with it, why shouldn’t I”. Those people who want to be driven, want to perform but feel they are not recognised, are not treated fairly or are not supported will leave. These were your good people. Those who stay will be the people you would rather leave your business, the people who are happy to remain in an environment where they are not being pushed to perform.

When your managers do say the wrong thing, whether those managers are in senior leadership or middle management positions, they represent your company. Getting it wrong can result in a claim to an employment tribunal, with the most common complaints being unfair dismissal and discrimination. Employment tribunals are costly and put a lot of time pressure on those involved. As a business you want to avoid them.

Get the right people into your management positions and invest in them. Good managers are an opportunity. Most people not doing a good job as managers simply don’t know how to manage people. The return on training and supporting your managers is in productivity across your business.

Drive your company culture from the top. Middle managers are often left to build the culture for their teams, resulting in inconsistency across the business, with staff performing in a way that isn’t consistent with the needs and values of the business. “Manager” isn’t a standard term with a standard job description – it has to be defined from the needs of your business. Ask yourself, “what does being a good manager in my business look like?”

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