What Qualities Make a Great Manager?

Great managers inspire talented people to stay with a company. Even if a company offers inspiring leadership, great benefits and perks, good pay and training programs, employees base their tenure on the quality of the relationship with their manager. Successful talent management requires managers to consciously engage employees to perform at their highest levels.  Managers define and design the work environment by the rules they set and how they interact with their employees. Great managers consistently engage employees more effectively in all areas by building one-to-one relationships with them. Employees who are very satisfied with their managers maintain an excellent level of performance and productivity while having longer tenure.  The key word is relationship – that connection between the employee and their manager. The Manager/Employee relationship is the key component of the psychological contract that exists between the employee and the organization.

Why Is Employee Loyalty Decreasing?

Employers now are less able to provide stable long-term employment and in turn the psychological contract with their employees is becoming weaker. Not only is the competition for qualified candidates increasing but the loyalty of existing employees is decreasing. Recent studies by Deloitte and Gallup confirm that a majority of the workforce is browsing for jobs. Deloitte found that a majority of millenials are already planning their exits. Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace showed that 51% are actively looking for new jobs. Research from Salary.com shows that 23% of employees look for a new job every single day.

How Strong is Your Company’s Psychological Contract?

The first elements of the psychological contract are formed even before the employee is a member of your company.  The challenge for those people who design your company’s recruitment and attraction strategy is to decide what to focus on.  What should be highlighted and what should be minimized to potential employees?   During hiring interviews the candidate is analyzing the organization as much as the interviewer is analyzing the candidate.  Research has demonstrated that recruiter behaviors and hiring interview experiences contribute to a candidate’s perceptions of the job and the organization.  These perceptions in turn predicted attraction.  Once hired, every interaction of the manager/employee relationship will either add to the psychological contract or take away from it.  How the manager views talent management will be a powerful predictor of the status of the psychological contractHow Do Your Managers Define Talent Management?

Employees prefer to be approached from a psychological perspective, rather than a non-human, mechanical or machine perspective.  Talent management is about appealing to the employee’s preferences and motivating them to perform using their strengths, in roles that allow the use of those strengths.  Today, an increasing proportion of the workforce is made up of technologically savvy millennials.  Flexibility is the number one reason millenials are attracted to a company. Yet, many managers today view flexibility (i.e. the ability to work from home) as a perk or a reward.  This outdated manager viewpoint creates an immediate disconnect with potential employees and it adversely impacts the first step in the talent management process, attracting potential employees.

Research is showing that this new generation of workers, mainly drawn from the millennial generation bring a different psychology to the workplace.  They are much more flexible. Work is going to be a less central part of their lives.  Therefore, it’s important to show flexibility by supporting a connected workplace.   Smart recruiting is about understanding the psychological needs of your candidates (i.e. your potential workforce).

Can You Company Answer These Questions?  
  • What is the quality of the employee relationships developed by our Managers?
  • Do we have a way to resolve conflicts in our Manager-Employee relationships?
  • How can this employee best be motivated, coached and rewarded for longer retention?
  • How strong is the Psychological Contract with our employees?
  • How do our Managers define Talent Management?
  • What company themes should be highlighted and minimized in our recruitment strategy?
  • Do our hiring interviews enhance the attraction to our company?
  • Does our company support the Flexibility desired by Millenial candidates?

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