I have read employees leave organizations because of their managers. I think one of the most frustrating situations that lead to employees looking for other jobs is because they don’t feel heard by their managers who they expect to guide and protect them. As managers, sometimes we are too focused on getting the tasks done that we fail to notice the cues (subtle or overt) our employees share to let us know of their concerns. And when we do notice their concerns, we fail to realize that they may not be looking for answers from us but just to say “I hear you.” Acknowledgement is a very powerful action yet as managers, we don’t do enough of this. I’m guilty of that at times and it’s a shortcoming of mine I’ve come to realize and one that I’m now conscious of in my relationships at work. Have you ever observed yourself or others doing this in your workplace?
- An employee brings up a concern to their manager and they are told they are being too sensitive.
- An employee is in the middle of stating their concerns to their manager and they are cut off by the person they are talking with.
- An employee is proposing an idea to their manager and their ideas are immediately met with “yes, but…” instead of “yes, and ….”
Personally, I’ve been that employee whose ideas have not always been acknowledged and I’ve also been told I’m guilty of being the not-so-receptive manager. Because of the pressure of having to complete tasks, we forget the human elements of our work which includes building the positive relationships with those we work with and showing they matter and they are valued. Part of this relationship building could start by taking the time to acknowledge others.
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