I keep reading that there are a lot of very unhappy people in the workplace and that they intend to look for new jobs as the economy improves. While increases in wages are still negligible one of the biggest reasons that people are looking to leave their current positions is because their managers don’t take the time to help them become better employees and don’t “have their back” when it comes office politics.
Recently someone I know, who has been working 70 hour work weeks for the past year, told me that after meeting with her manager there was a perception from others in her group that she had not delivered on projects. Now I’m not going to go into the absurdity of the 360 degree review but rather than having this manager push back to others and inform them her workload was 2.5 FTI’s (full time people) he simply took it and passed it along to the employee. My advice to her was to express her disappointment that he did not push back as he was fully aware of all the work she had done.
Now compare that to another experience; someone who is in a new position submits a proposal of work and the proposal is not up to the standards of that his manager would have liked to have seen. Rather than “rip him” the manager meets with the person and constructively reviews ways that it he can do better and tells him “don’t worry we’ll get you there”. Which type of manager would you want to work for?
I consider myself very lucky because the person I am working with I consider both a mentor and someone who I can look up to. After working for more than 20 years I have only had three really good managers. I admit that I’m not good at office politics I just want to do my job and make my boss look good but I also don’t want to have to worry about people who are out to stab me in the back.
If you are one of the people who is thinking of looking for a new position my advice is to spend a lot of time interviewing the person who is going to be your boss. Try and get inside their head to find out what type of manager they would be. Ask them “how they manage” and ask other people who work for them their impressions. If you hear generalities and common expressions that is a warning sign.
We spend too much time at work for it to be just work. We want people we can look up to and who can treat us like valuable employees not expendable assets that can be replaced via a help wanted ad. I consider myself very lucky because I work for an excellent manager and believe me that makes up for a lot.