If you’re a manager of people either directly as part of your job description or indirectly through projects, you are vital to both the profitability of your company and the future of those who work with you.
Interestingly, when interviewing 51 percent state salary is their top priority, and the greatness of management isn’t even a blip on their radar screen. Though once employed, a dramatic shift occurs with compensation dropping to 34 percent, while the “Deft Touch” of quality managers rises to 52 percent of what an employee values.*
How do you measure yourself in these two “Deft Touch” areas?
Manage Diversity: Look around. Does everyone have a similar educational background, or demographic (i.e., age, sex, ethnicity, and tenure), and even thinks much like you? Yikes! Your company is in trouble, and so are you!
You’re paid to produce profitable results through diverse people. Such progress doesn’t come about by kumbaya-moments around the campfire. Instead, it emerges out of differing thoughts jointly wrestling to create outcomes one mind could never conceive. In today’s marketplace, diversity isn’t optional—it’s fundamental. McKinsey’s findings on this issue tell the story:
- Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
- Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
Manage Talent: You are responsible for shepherding talent, not an asset on the balance sheet to be controlled as you do expense items. Although equitably managing your staff is an essential element of your management toolbox, to bring out the best in each of your employees is also a vital facet of the equation.
As a manager, there are policing measures you must handle. Yes, you have to deal with policies and procedures because if you don’t address issues immediately and directly, you send a message to your staff or team that a new unspoken now exists. Such an outlook encourages attitude slippage. It’s acceptable to come in late or miss deadlines or anything else you’ve permitted to occur by not confronting problems as they crop up employee-by-employee. It’s never fun; however, it’s mandatory to fostering an engaged team.
The other side of your job is far more difficult and tenuous to mete out. You’re accountable for creating the environment of greatness to emerge. This focus is where managing individuality comes into play and where you’re expected to adapt your work style to produce results through your people. One of the methods is to relate to employees by building on their strengths, not their inadequacies. They long for you as their manager to help them become more skilled with a brighter future every day. Gallup’s research solidifies this approach revealing, as you relate to your worker’s based on their strengths; they will be:
- Six times more likely to be engaged,
- 8 percent more productive,
- And 15 percent less likely to quit their job.
As a manager, you are the glue that boosts employee retention as well as the force behind the individual and collective growth of your employees. It isn’t easy, and it’s an awesome responsibility—one worthy of waking up to every day excited and committed to making a difference to your slice of the business.
* Corporate Leadership Council, Employment Value Proposition, Leadership Center, April 2015.