You’ve probably heard this phrase before…people leave managers, not companies. Let’s explore this idea a bit.

I can find all kinds of surveys that ask people why they quit their jobs. And I can find a variety of answers that give further insight. There are differences of course, just like there are differences in people. One thing stands out, however, and that is the health of the relationship between a Contributing Team Member (CTM) and his/her manager relates directly to overall satisfaction with a company.

Why is this relationship so critical? Because for the most part, your manager is the daily “face” or “voice” of your employment brand (I’ve talked about this concept in a previous post). Your organization doesn’t greet you in the morning, provide you with challenging work or give you feedback on your performance. But, your manager does. And how this person handles those roles and communication opportunities is how you largely measure your satisfaction with your organization.

Buy First, Break All The Rules [new]: Book

The Gallup Organization has surveyed individuals for years about the reasons they quit. And the one that surfaces to the top, again and again, is a poor relationship with their manager.

So, what do people want from their managers? It’s not a whole lot different than what kids want from their parents.

What do you want? They want clear expectations for their work. And specific feedback related to this, all of the time. Managers should have regular one-on-one conversations with their direct reports. These regular meetings will provide more insight for my next two points.

How am I different? They want to be valued for what makes them unique. And rewarded for this when possible. Managers should know their CTM’s as individuals so they can utilize their unique talents appropriately and they can share rewards that have real value.

What is next? They want the opportunity to grow and to evolve. And the tools that help them head in the right direction. Remember, most CTM’s today are more focused on lateral moves and learning, not just on promotions. Find new ways for your team members to learn today and to expand their role. They’ll need some direction and encouragement here from their managers.

Put it Into Action

· Select managers on their ability to manage. Not just because they do a good job in their current role and they’re looking for a promotion.

· Create tools that help and motivate these managers to do a great job with their direct reports. Like providing the support listed above. Managers are employees too.

· Reward them for their effective management style. Use those who are excellent managers to mentor those just learning how to manage. If they’re good managers, they’re most likely good mentors.