The Top 3 Ways Leaders Are Failing Their Employees

by Dora Wang on May 11, 2015 8:00:00 AM

The Top 3 Ways Leaders Are Failing Their EmployeesIn our recently released Finance & Insurance Industry Employee Engagement Report, we found that only 22% of employees in this sector indicated that they were truly happy at work. Not great. So we dug around to figure out the source of these workers’ unhappiness.

One thing we found is that less than half of these employees are satisfied with their direct supervisors’ performance. When asked, these are the top three reasons they gave:

The Top 3 Ways Leaders Are Failing Their Employees

These shortcomings aren’t industry-specific, of course. Unfortunately, managers in all fields can fall prey to these mistakes. So here are some tips on how to work on these problem areas:

1. Poor communicator: Communication is about more than what you say; it’s how you say it. Along with giving your team the information they need, you have to make sure you’re telling them in the way they need. Don’t send important updates through email alone. Follow up with in-person meetings where people can ask questions. Use one-on-one check-ins to find out what your employees need.

2. Doesn’t allocate time for me and/or the team: Unfortunately, this can happen a lot when a manager gets caught up in leading the team’s tasks and forgets to check on the people. Leave your door open so your employees can reach you when and how they need. This can mean literally opening your door, but you have to make sure to back that physical gesture up with action. Try setting office hours when your employees will always be able to come and talk to you. And reach out to them — make it clear that you welcome their questions and concerns.

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3. Doesn’t care/have time for my personal development: Here’s another mistake that can happen when managers focus too much on the day-to-day tasks. You can’t lose sight of your employees’ future growth, because it can hurt their current performance. If they feel stonewalled when it comes to questions about their professional development, they’ll feel like they’re going nowhere, which will sap their motivation at work. Discuss their professional goals during your one-on-ones. See how you can support those goals within their present roles, such as by letting them take on new responsibilities or helping them get training through the company.

The employees have spoken. The three leadership qualities in the shortest supply are communication, making time for their direct reports, and supporting their team’s personal development. Managers from every industry should pay attention and make sure they’re giving their employees what they need in order to stay happy and engaged.

 

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This post was written by Dora Wang

Dora is an employee engagement researcher for TINYpulse and managing editor of TINYinstitute. Having grown up in Texas, she is now firmly settled in Seattle, where she spends her free time reading comic books, wrangling her three cats, and (of course) rooting for the Seahawks.

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