Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.
Why? There are so many reasons.
They don’t feel appreciated. They don’t feel respected. They don’t see how they fit in the organization. They don’t know what is expected of them. They are working hard while others aren’t held accountable. They aren’t sufficiently challenged. They are overworked and under a great deal of stress. They lack an advocate to get them the training and resources they need to do their jobs.
Bottom line: their management is AWOL- either mentally or physically or both.
Born to be a Manager Fallacy
Few people are born with management skills. Luckily, they can be learned- through experience and through formal and informal training. But many managers are thrown into the deep end without the skills they need to survive so their employees can thrive. This is particularly true of managers whose technical expertise earned them their position, but they have no previous knowledge or training in supervisory skills.
Traditional Training Shortcomings
We know that one-shot training doesn’t work. By this I mean the one or several day management training programs that end when the managers walk out the door or turn off their computer screens. If the training is excellent, it uses real case studies from the organization. However, solving a case study in class is a very different experience then dealing with it on the spot when it occurs in the workplace. And that is where the managers, especially the new managers, need ongoing support.
Although the situation may be changing, there are currently few organizations that encourage managers to admit they don’t know something and to feel secure enough to ask someone else for help. In fact, many managers are isolated from their counterparts and may compete with them for limited budgetary funding for their programs.
Helping Managers Learn
Regardless of where the learning takes place, it needs to be practiced, supported and reinforced on an ongoing basis. Without practice and reinforcement, research has shown that new learning will fade away. Peer learning groups are one way to keep the learning alive.
To make sure that the peer learning groups are successful, the managers go through a short program to establish a sense of psychological safety and trust, as well as establish rules of engagement. This is necessary so that the managers feel safe to admit they have something (they need) to learn from each other. They also need to know that the others will have their backs and actively support them as they try new ways of handling daily difficult problems.
Peer Learning Groups Support Managers
Peer learning groups offer a month of reinforced practice sandwiched between two 90-minute sessions. They are self-facilitated so the managers can speak openly and honestly in a confidential forum. They provide the space for the managers to share what they know and get their questions answered in a collaborative way. Together, they learn how to master workplace challenges by changing their mindsets and adding new skills and abilities.
The month of reinforced practice encourages them to immediately apply what they learned and develop a new skill set, with the support of the other managers. This is not an added responsibility. The manager simply changes how s/he approaches and handles the daily task or issue.
Invest in Managers to Keep Your Best Employees
If employees leave managers, doesn’t it make sense to ensure that the managers have the skills, abilities and mindsets to manage fairly and effectively? Let’s help the managers get the learning they need so that their employees know what is expected of them, feel appreciated, know where they fit in the organization, and have sufficient challenge, training and resources to do an excellent job.
For information about how to use peer learning groups for management development, contact us at <deborah@thepeerlearninginstitute> or schedule a time to chat using this link: https://calendly.com/peerlearninginstitute/discoverycall
#managementdevelopment #peerlearning #peerlearninggroups #employeeneeds #employeeengagement #employeeretention #jobsatisfaction
Deborah Laurel, Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer, The Peer Learning Institute