There’s a lot of talk about your staff being your greatest asset. Taking care of your people and they will take care of the business – has become the catch cry of people management maestro Richard Branson.
The problem is that people managers constantly demonstrate that they don’t care about their people. The impact on business let alone the people working for them is akin to having a huge ball and chain dragging everything down.
Here’s a massive list of the ways people leaders let our greatest asset down.
- You think staff should set aside all their needs in favour of meeting yours
- You are too busy to sit and listen to your people
- You hire / promote a people manager that can’t manage and doesn’t like people
- You think being “tough” makes you a successful people leader
- You are blinded to the impact of a dysfunctional employee on the rest of the team
- You bitch about your people and their performance behind their backs
- You know don’t bother to learn about leading people and just wing it
- You withhold information that would help the person / team to be able to do their job better
- You get angry when someone hasn’t done something right but you didn’t bother to explain that it was important to you
- You are a lazy recruiter – doing was easiest not what’s needed
- You overreact to any staffing issue or problem regardless of the scale
- You are completely unaware of the impact of your behaviour / language / decisions on other people
- You refuse to change to become a better people leader
- You don’t provide feedback that could help the staff member do a better job
- You write a policy / procedure when faced with a problem to keep people inline
- You genuinely believe that you would be better off sacking most of your workforce and starting again
- You and the way the business operates frustrates the hell out of your people
- You hate conflict and refuse to tackle the hard people problems
- You don’t measure performance accurately and disproportionally blow up when you or your money is affected
- You think saying thank you and good job is a sign of weakness
- You reward people that suck up to you
- You tell people off in public
- You don’t trust your staff
- You never ask for your staff’s opinion event though it is them that will be most impacted by a decision you make
- You resent having to spend time managing people
- You are a cynic
I really disliked writing this list. The real shame is that I could write many more points based on what I have seen and experienced in many workplaces.
So why write the list?
Because, we seem to be in collective denial about how managers / leaders really impact on the people that work for them. We seem to be ok with the fact that 70% of people are unhappy, disengaged and unproductive at work. After all, that statistic has not shifted much in 20 years.
How to fix it?
Make good people management more important you.
You can’t expect people to give you everything they have, be inspired and productive workers when you treat people management as a side task.
You also can’t expect great staff if you aren’t really a great leader. Time and again I see evidence that staff are a reflection of their bosses, a..hole bosses – seem to attract a…hole staff and they repel the good staff!
When you take on staff, your daily task list changes and leading and managing people should be your no 1 priority. Do this well and in time the staff will be able to work well with less effort by you. You will also remove the shackles holding your business performance back.