Today Marcel Schwantes gets to talk to one of the legends of the Gallup Organization, Jim Harter, to discuss Gallup’s new book: It’s the Manager.
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It’s the Manager was the largest global study in the future of work. Jim shares that the whole world is interested in and talking about where work is going, and what the new workforce is asking about. With this book, they aimed to really identify what it is that people are looking for.
The Role of the Manager
Managers’ jobs are extremely complex, and they have much higher stress than the people they manage. They also tend to have less clear expectations than the people they manage. One of the main reasons people join (or leave!) companies is the availability (or lack thereof) of career development. Managers are in the best position to develop people, but that’s not often a clear instruction. Jim shares what managers can do – and how the priority is going to shift from delegation and review to a coaching model that takes into account the specific needs, talents, and interests of team members.
The Building Blocks of Culture
Jim talks about how critical the executive team is, in terms of creating an organizational culture. It starts with the company’s goals and becomes a process of determining what you’re aiming for, and how that compares to what you’re doing. It’s what creates a reputation over time. Marcel mentions that people are less interested in climbing the corporate ladder – and Jim explains what that means. The opportunity for development and growth also has a huge impact on people’s perception of their pay. Setting clear expectations and making growth personal to a specific employee makes a huge difference in employee satisfaction.
Whether you’re a remote or on-site worker, you have the same basic needs as an employee. Jim discusses how management can ensure remote team members connect to their colleagues on a personal level.
The New Critical Skills
Jim talks about the data they’ve gathered, which has resulted in 7 expectations or competencies that all employees need to have, all very important in a changing technological environment. People will come to a role with varying levels of ability in each of these – but can all be improved. Jim talks about what they are, and how people should prioritize improving them. Managers can take regular actions and have specific kinds of conversations to make sure their team members are getting the support and the feedback that they need. Building trust is number one.
Patterns for Engagement
Companies with great engagement have 4 things in common. Jim tells us what they are, and how organizations make each of them their own. No matter how employee engagement happens, it needs to come from the top, and be consistently deployed throughout the company. Making sure managers are engaged is important as well! Managers need coaching, the way we expect them to coach. A lot of this requires a real focus on coaching managers and helping them to become coaches. Jim explains what that means, and how it can be executed, as well as the potential obstacles that might be in the way.
People Leading People
Jim talks about how important it is to avoid leading through fear. People will perform better and be happier when a more human-focused approach is taken. Being in a developmental state rather than one of fear – every metric improves. Getting people in the habit to think about helping, supporting and collaborating with their colleagues, rather than obeying orders and completing tasks. Knowing your strengths those of your team is the most important thing you can do as a manager.
Quote of the Day
“The new workforce doesn’t want an annual review at the end of the year. They want ongoing conversations with coaches who will help develop them. We ought to move from a culture of boss delegation to coach development.”
- Julie Winkle Giulioni: The Ladder is Broken (Episode #12)
- Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic: Are Women Better Leaders with (Episode #11)
- Ashley Goodall: What You’re Getting Wrong About Leadership (Episode #9)
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As we challenge current management thinking and practices with a clear goal to raise more awareness and to build skills around human leadership and human-centered work cultures, we would be delighted to accept your sponsorship for future episodes. If interested, contact Marcel.