As much as I like to sing the praises of the 9-to-5, the fact is, these hours are pretty much obsolete these days. From checking emails on weekends and phones keeping us on call 24/7 to the relentless rise of technology that lets workers access work at anytime from anywhere, the reality is, we're all working much longer hours than a decade ago.
Retaining your top managers should be an ongoing priority - not only are they expensive to replace, your employees will feel the loss of a supportive manager like a wound. Yet many companies don't have the first idea why their long-serving, long-suffering managers are leaving. If you think it's about money, then you couldn't be more wrong.
In fact, it's a company's fierce urge to fit every manager into the same box that's driving the best managers away. Here are the five main reasons why good managers may be quitting your company, and what you can do to buck the trend.
Whatever sector you work in, there's a fair chance that short-term contract or "gig" work is a key feature of your current and future workforce. More and more people are choosing to work independently in order to gain better control over their lives and there are advantages for employers too, in terms of managing workforce capacity without long-term commitment. Today, around a third of workers use contract or freelance gigs as their primary source of income, and this number is expected to grow to 43 percent by the year 2020.
Meetings are mind-numbingly dull and boring.
Most of us have experienced this at some time or another but when you're an Artisan, the problems are multiplied tenfold.
Artisans or "SP" personalities are the temperament with a natural desire for freedom, a need for action, and a hedonistic drive to enjoy life. They're at home with the concrete tangibles, not the ideas, concepts and long-range focus required for strategy planning. They want to go for it now, not think about some ill-defined future.
How then, do you involve them in strategy meetings?
As trainers and managers, we often talk about improving teamwork in a business, but what does that actually mean? How do you measure teamwork? And is that something you should even be doing to keep track of what's going on at your business?
One approach is to measure the team's output such as hours billed, units sold, number of tickets answered, repeat customers, or whether the team completes a project on time and under budget. It's easy to track these actions since they're concrete, and you can judge at a glance the team's improvement over baseline performance.
You’re telling the room: any type can do anything. Personality theory is about understanding yourself better, playing to your strengths and broadening your horizons. It was never intended to pigeonhole anyone.
On the inside, you’re thinking. How can I, someone with a preference for Introversion, train groups of people as my job? My energy comes from in-depth, one-on-one conversations, not noise-filled, overstimulating group work. I’m much happier working and spending time alone.
Losing even one employee can be a huge loss to your business. Not only do you lose a valuable pair of hands, you potentially lose a chunk of experience that’s difficult to replace. Productivity declines, and morale may take a hit across the wider workforce, especially if you are left understaffed. These factors can have devastating effects on everything from leadership to service quality and of course, the bottom line.
Still, what can you do to keep employees?
Maybe you have to inform your star performer that she won’t be getting a well-deserved raise. Or perhaps you have to tell your team that projects are cancelled and people are being laid off. How do break news like that? What do you say?
One thing is for sure: you cannot not communicate. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away and leaving things to the rumor mill won’t win respect for your leadership skills. Here’s how to make a bad news experience more positive, both for you and for the employees you’re addressing.
Do you want to warm-up your employees for a morning’s team building or personality workshop event? Then be sure to include some fun-and-inclusive ice breakers. Done properly, they are a terrific way to get people interested in the activity and relax before getting to the nitty-gritty of personality theory. They are also helpful for getting people to come to the party dressed as themselves and demonstrate the value of the Briggs and Myers framework to people who may be skeptical about it.
Like him or tolerate him, your boss plays a big part in your life. He is single-handedly responsible for your day-to-day happiness at work, and he could also influence your job opportunities throughout the rest of your career. Obviously, there’s a far greater chance that your boss will open rather than close doors for you if you make the effort to get along.
That’s harder to practice than it is to preach.
No matter what you do for a living, or how well organized and managed your workplace is, at some point, your employees will feel stressed. That's not necessarily a bad thing. A little stress can help us stay energetic, focused, and able to meet new challenges in the workplace. It's only when stress exceeds a person's ability to cope that it becomes a problem.
There is an increasing body of evidence showing that diversity matters, especially when it comes from the top. Leadership teams of varying gender, ethnic and racial makeup perform better financially, experience less employee turnover, and have better customer orientation than their less diverse counterparts. They are also better at recruiting top talent, which leads to a cycle of increasing returns.
Read the literature about the Big-Five Personality Theory, and you may end up baffled how those scoring highly for the trait of neuroticism are able to get through the working day. Characterized by insecurity, anxiety, irritability, oversensitivity and sadness, there is evidence to suggest that neurotics are poor team players who have a weakened ability to focus for sustained periods of time. These traits are not associated with success in the workplace.
Collaboration is no longer a nice-to-have, it's an organizational structure that defines our work environments. Whether we're talking about cross-functional teams, silos breaking down, virtual meeting rooms, huddles, stand-ups, or the myriad technologies that boost teamwork, collaboration has never been more essential to operations. The team - not the individual - is the secret to business success.
There are two types of employees: those who thrive in a team environment, and those who would rather work alone. Though these two groups can work together cohesively when they need to, they typically accomplish much more when allowed to do things their own way.
The problem of scaling a team is tough to crack. How do you add more members without breaking the spirit of the existing members? At what point do the old ways of doing things stop working? How can you be sure that the team is scaling at the right rate and in the right way? Success can turn on a small detail, such as a personality clash or one outdated process. What should a team leader do to avoid messing up?
To improve future performance, teams must learn from their mistakes. Despite being an irrefutable truth, few teams do this well. This is not due to a lack of willingness on their part - most organizations devote countless hours to after-action reviews, project postmortems and similar analysis to help the team reflect on what it did wrong and avoid similar mistakes in the future. More often than not, these actions fail to drive any real change in future outcomes.
Understanding the various personalities on your team is important for getting people working together in the way you'd like. That is why so many organizations use the personality assessment created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers when putting together effective teams. Personality assessment tools can help select the right team members - people who are likely to bond, innovate, and follow through on the company's goals such that the output of the team is greater than that of its constituent members.
One of the most challenging work transitions comes when you face the prospect of leading a new team for the first time. Getting people to work together is not easy, and many team leaders rush over the basics in order to start achieving goals. But the first weeks and months are critical for starting a team off on the right foot. What actions should you take to set the team up for success? How will you get the team working well together, manage conflict, and create an environment where everyone feels safe, valued and motivated to contribute?