As the age-old adage goes ‘people don’t quit their job, they quit their boss’. And yes, this is the case for many people. However, in a HBR article by Lori Goler et al. other factors come into play. They carried out an engagement survey at Facebook and what they found was that, the reasons for employees leaving the company were not directly related to their managers.
Most of the respondents to the survey said they were happy with their managers, the reason they chose to leave was because of the work they were doing. They began to feel that their strengths were not being used, it was no longer enjoyable and they felt that they were not growing. Companies create jobs and try to fit people into them, however it seems as though the opposite may be more effective. Find the best talent out there and be open to creating a position around them.
In the survey carried out by Goler et al. at Facebook, from the people that stayed at the company we can learn something very interesting. The data collected showed that they used their strengths 33% more often, found their work enjoyable 31% more often and felt 37% more confident that they were gaining skills that would help them to develop their careers. This information identifies 3 key ways a manager could customise work experiences for their employees.
1.Create Jobs for Enjoyment
Managers play a huge role in designing positions which are meaningful and motivating for employees. The very best managers go out of their way to help employees do work that they enjoy. Sometimes this means moving them out of positions in which they excel. A good manager realises that it is better to move them into a new position than to lose them altogether. A good idea would be to design entry interviews, similar to exit interviews except when a new employee starts, a manager sits down with them and asks them about their favourite projects and their passions outside of work. Managers can then try to create roles which will keep their employees engaged.
2. Bring in underutilised strengths
When it comes to creating job descriptions, companies tend to create very narrow descriptions and as a result, employees don’t get to use their full range of skills. Managers can however create opportunities for employees to use their strengths. Creating new roles is not the only way to do this. Today a large part of getting a job done involves looking for and sharing knowledge. An employee may be able to share their knowledge as it is suggested that knowledge workers spend over a quarter of their time looking for information. If an employee has a particular skill or knowledge which may help a co-worker, they are able to use strengths that they may not necessarily get to use in their current position.
A lot of the time, we have to make trade offs between work and our personal lives. The best managers however, try to work with their employees to reduce these trade offs by creating opportunities which take personal matters into account. Managers who take this into account and support their employees tend to find their employees stay with the company longer and are proud of where they work.