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    May 22, 2023

    Focusing on Managers

    There are several key reasons why quality employees leave for another company. However, many of them are directly related to how they view their manager. Focusing more on managers' health and well-being can have a positive impact on turnover rates. Too often, employees get promoted into a management role and there is not enough focus on how they are mentally and physically showing up for themselves and for their team.

    For someone who has not managed a team in the past, moving into a management role can be very stressful. Your star salesperson may have been great with client relationships, but may not have the right connecting skills to help the team succeed. Similarly, the person that has been doing a terrific job solving complicated IT issues may not have the training to work with a wide variety of personalities. That new manager may also be so focused on the goals the company has for the team that they neglect the very things that keep everyone feeling included and staying resilient through challenges and change.

    Everyone moving into a management position wants to succeed. They also want to be seen as the go-to problem solver for the team and may be less likely to seek help when they are struggling. But if they are struggling, that can have an impact on their own health and wellbeing, which, in turn, can have an impact on the team they are managing. If the stressors of the new position impact how well they sleep, how often they get exercise, or their ability to eat to thrive, it can mean they are more emotionally reactive in a less-than productive way. It can result in poorer communication and set them up to be less likely to be a manager whom their team members respect.

    What Your Company Can Do

    • If you have a leadership training program for new managers, be sure to include information on staying resilient, including all the health and wellbeing offerings they can access through your organization.
    • Set up a mentoring program for new managers with leadership that has trusted relationships with their own team. Have the mentors share how they protect their own health and wellbeing.
    • Include a quarterly check-in with managers that provides a forum to discuss their own health and well-being, including through an intersectional lens. This can be an opportunity to work with your DE&I team to make sure that there is recognition that challenges may be different for different groups of managers.
    • Help new managers understand the importance of making team members feel valued. When a manager is highly stressed and/or burning out, they are less likely to properly support their team. Their investment in their own health and well-being is fundamental to regularly noticing when team members are contributing or need guidance.

    It is also important to recognize that not everyone should be a manager. That doesn’t mean that they are any less valuable to the company, but too often a star employee is moved into management and it is a bad fit. Review what promotion looks like for those that can contribute, but not necessarily as a manager. Putting an employee into a management position when people management is not their strength can negatively impact not only that individual, but also the team they are tasked with leading, including everyone’s health and well-being.  

    Setting up a new manager to recognize the important of protecting their own health and well-being can mean retaining key talent. For more seasoned managers, regular reminders of the need to be at their best, mentally and physically, can help your organization thrive.

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