It Doesn’t Have to be This Way

Have you ever been in a situation where a boss or supervisor yelled at you? Made you feel small? Made you feel, well, incompetent? Most of us have had this experience at sometime during our working lives. Why does this happen? Is this a good practice?

No doubt the leadership styles of people vary widely. A high-decibel leadership style may well work in combat environments and even sometimes in the competitive sports arena. But yelling in today’s business environments is not tolerated in a employee-centric culture where loyalty is less common and transitions to new opportunities are abundant.

Anger is a natural human emotion. Fortunately, most leaders are able to take a deep breath and calm down. Years ago, I worked for an insurance company whose vice-president could be heard yelling in his office three floors away. I have no doubt that the employee churn in that company was much higher than the normal 15% annual turnover (according to SHRM).

Today’s employees expect to be treated with equal doses of respect and appreciation. If the Human Resources (HR) department and hiring are effective in the selection process, hiring excellent and outstanding employees will be the norm. Today’s employees also expect a different quality of life than ever, and may not be as willing to put-in 60-hour weeks and commute another hour back and forth from home.

Yet, under performers do slip through the most rigorous culling process. The best managers know to train and retrain until it becomes obvious the person is not suited for the position. Frank assessments and conversations need to be held early on with the employee. One example (of what not to do) is a situation where a long-term employee, who was not provided feedback, was fired three months after a new manager was hired. For 28-years, the employee received no negative performance reviews and had no inking the he was about to be fired. Of course the new manager had documentation, but it was a sham.

Managing employees is often the most difficult task that today’s managers face. What challenges does your company face?

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