Whether you’re a manager or you’re considering a career in management, if you want to be a superstar, you need to be willing to do one thing. Embrace your employees. I don’t mean that literally, of course, that could get you in legal trouble. What I mean is that you must be willing to embrace their thoughts, their ideas, and their suggestions and let them know you value their contribution to the company’s success.
Once you begin listen and value your employees, you’ll know part of the management success equation used by the companies who made it to Forbes Best Companies to Work For List in 2007. But listening to your employees is part of that management secret, using that information is equally important. Nothing to it, right? Ok, then why do so many people complain about their managers and the companies they work for? Because, a lot of managers and companies aren’t doing it.
I’ve worked for both good and bad managers, each of whom had their own management style. The managers on my “good list” are those who understood what great companies understand. Your employees are the backbone of your company. If you don’t support them, the entire structure of your company is weakened. Want a build a stronger infrastructure? Build a trusting and supportive relationship with your employees. When I say employees, I’m not talking about the people in and around your office. The people that I’m talking about may be the people that you rarely see or speak to.
Every person in every organization has valuable information about what’s good and what’s bad about the way your company operates. Each person is particularly in-tune with what works in their specialty area of the company. They have a focus that you don’t have when you are the overseer of the operation. So, how do you tap in to their insight? Listen to what they have to say, good and bad. If it’s a complaint, ask them what they’d do to correct the problem. Consider that information a missing piece of a puzzle. The management puzzle that you need to mentally compose, in order to form a clear picture of the issues and challenges you need to overcome in order to correct them. If an employee likes something that the company is doing, consider that a missing piece, as well. Whatever bits of information or words of advice that your employees are willing to share with you will make you a better manager. I guarantee that if you’re a better manager, you’ll be worth more to your employees. That, in turn, will make you more valuable to your company.
If you want to win the war, don’t forget to take your army with you…
Every battle and every war that’s ever been won was won through the combined efforts of a group of people who had a common goal. When we don’t represent the needs of employees, we shouldn’t be surprised if they defect to the other side or desert us all together.
By not representing their needs, we unknowingly create in-house enemies within our organizations. Those enemies could just as easily be our allies, if we take the time to listen to and address their concerns. If we choose not to listen to our employees, we are doomed to lose the battle and ultimately the war. It is impossible to beat a competitor by waging a one man/ one woman war. You need your army to back you up!
The days of the “see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil” monkey style of management should be something talked about in those “remember when” conversations. Unfortunately, there are still managers and companies like that in existence. If you’re working for an organization like that, your job security is at risk. Why do I think that? Because I believe that style of managing discounts the value of its employees. When your value goes down, replacement rates go up. If a company is out of touch with who you are, what you think, and how you feel, your value is being discounted. Is it the right way to manage people or run a company? Absolutely not. Do people get let go from monkey managed companies? Everyday.
Monkey style management companies are typically filled with head-banging managers. If you’re a manager you know how it goes… you try to get your point across time and time again about what needs to be fixed, but no pays any attention to you. Yep. You know what it’s like to bang your head against the wall, every time you try to express your ideas, suggestions, and concerns. Then, one day you finally step back and take a good look at the wall. It hasn’t changed a bit. Your head sure hurts though. Finally, one day you have an epiphany that changes your mindset from that day forward. On that day you realize that continually banging your head against the wall is not mentioned in the dictionary under the word progress, not even once. Once the ephiphany occures you realize that you have a decision to make: stop banging your head against the wall and keep working for the company and lose your self respect and possibly your job (you’re replaceable, remember?) or find a new company that will value your knowledge, skills, experience, and talent. I know what I’d do and my head doesn’t hurt anymore. :)
If you’re ready to find a company to work for that appreciates your skills and talent, we’re here, we’re knowledge, we’re friendly (we really are!), and we’re ready to help you make a new start. We’ve got some terrific opportunities right now with some top-notch companies for qualified candidates. If you’re ready to put yourself in a better career situation, just let us know by giving us a call at 770-517-2660 or sending us your resume. We’ve got the connections you need and the career opportunities that you deserve. But, as the saying goes, you can’t win if you don’t play. Whatever you decide, please don’t bang your head on the wall anymore. Headaches are no fun at all.