A challenge to all managers (rerun)

How happy?

I’m going to risk provoking business leaders everywhere and state that any leader worth her salt knows how happy her people are at work. This is a leader’s most basic responsibility. You shouldn’t need to see a pie chart – you should know already.

The question of “How happy are people in our organization??? is typically handed over to HR who can then distribute a job satisfaction survey that results in a lot of statistics which can then be sliced and diced in any number of way to produce any number of results. You know – “lies, damned lies and statistics???.

I’m not saying these surveys are worthless. Wait a minute: I am saying they’re worthless. They’re a waste of time and money because they very rarely give a company the information or the drive necessary to make positive changes.

As I said, you as a leader/manager shouldn’t need a survey to know how your people are doing so I challenge you to a simple exercise. It goes like this:

Read the rest of this entry »

(This is a rerun of a previous article, while I’m in London on holidays)

5 thoughts on “A challenge to all managers (rerun)”

  1. My new manager seems to do his best to make his people unhappy :-( During our weekly department meeting, one of my co-workers asked to make an appointment with him to talk about his job. He’s not happy in his job, his job may end anyway so he wanted to discuss these issues. The manager answered: I won’t have time for you the next four weeks, I’ve got other priorities. All of us felt punched in the stomach…

    Personally I think there is no greater priority for a manager than his people, and keeping them happy.

  2. Felix: Exactly!

    Pascale: MAN, that sucks. And it shows precisely what happens when managers think they have more important responsibilities than their people.

    My guess is that if this guy really wanted to, he could probably find some time for your co-worker in the next 4 weeks. So the question really becomes: What is he afraid of?

  3. Since I’ll be working for a different department next week anyway, I decided to inform my manager about how I felt about him not having time for our colleague. I told him how it made me feel like we didn’t matter and that I figured that was probably not his intention. He explained that the co-worker had been harrassing him for appointments for several other items all week and that this was just one too many. He confirmed that it had not been his intention to send the message we didn’t matter.

    This week, in our weekly meeting, the manager informed us that the whole team would all have job evaluation appointments with him before the end of the year, because it was important to him to know how we feel. It seems like he listened :-) I’m still glad I won’t be working for him much longer though!

  4. That’s excellent Pascale! And most leaders want to do good jobs and make employees happy – but often they don’t know what they should do.

    We need to tell them!

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