The saying goes that people don't leave bad jobs, only bad managers, and a lack of proper training could be costing organisations.
Being a manager is a tough job. It’s always needed what some misleadingly term ‘soft skills’, to manage effectively; and lately the job’s been getting ever more challenging! The pandemic has certainly brought greater people management challenges. The dramatic shift in the way people work, partly because of the pandemic, means managers are now faced with significant staff retention issues. In a recent report by Emplify, nearly 73% of employees are currently open to new career opportunities — and 33% are actively looking for new jobs*1.
It is true, there has been much talk about ‘The Great Resignation’. The term has been a prevalent topic for well over a year. A combination of factors, accelerated by the recent pandemic, has created a catalyst for people to take action on their careers, rather than opting for complacency. For many, their job was one aspect of their lives they could control while many other elements were being swept away. The Great Resignation may well be happening, but should it have surprised us as much as it seems to have done, given the circumstances in which it has arisen?
In the last 18 months, we’ve gone from working 100% in offices to making the huge shift to remote working. Of course, for many there was no impact at all, they didn’t have the protection of working from home, to these frontline workers, who tirelessly maintained their status quo, we must thank you. Now, as restrictions gradually ease up and we reached the revised ‘Freedom Day’ on 19th July 2021, we’re facing another new norm of hybrid working.
… is watching the growth in the learners/participants.
It starts with the first time we meet:
The pandemic has produced a slew of articles and blogs about what this all means for leadership, and you don’t need to read too far before “empathy” appears as one of the all important capabilities.
In June 2015 I wrote an article for the Tourism Society Journal entitled Customer Service: Britain's Tourism Iceberg, in which I reflected on the sad reality that, while Britain's image overseas then ranked three in the world as a "nation brand" (behind Germany and the USA), for "quality of welcome" we were limping in 13th place. As I wrote at the time, “Whilst London 2012 unsurprisingly boosted our ranking, we have now fallen back to where we were in those dark, pessimistic, pre-Olympics days.” I argued that our failure to provide a world-class welcome threatened our long-term competitiveness as a major tourism destination - hence, the iceberg analogy.
It feels like every time a major business has a restructure, it becomes a cull on middle management. Clearly, middle management are expendable.
More than once, I have heard Directors moan that their middle managers are a blocker to innovation and change. Clearly, middle management are stuck in the mud.
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do things perfectly and get things right first time. But do we really learn anything by achieving perfection on our first attempt? Or is learning by making progress – having a go, reflecting on the outcomes, adapting the approach and trying again more effective?