One of the greatest wastes in business or an organization is that of people talent. From time to time, managerial misfits make more trouble than they are financially worth by mismanaging their people.
The other day I was having a conversation with my next door neighbor who is an engineer with a local automotive supplier. I have known him for the last five years. He is a very bright individual with over ten year’s experience. He shared with me his plight with his manager, who possesses an overbearing management style. This manager runs his department with crisis management, throws work on his engineers at the last minute and expects the work to be finished yesterday. As you can imagine, this results in a high stress environment, and extremely long hours, (seven days a week). What is unconscionable is that this manger finds pleasure in berating his employees. As it was explained to me, he is very clever in his approach. He picks on one employee for three or four weeks, finding fault with practically every project this subordinate is working on. Then he targets a different employee for another three or four weeks. He then berates and cajoles his next victim, and so on as this destructive cycle continues.
The human resource director is aware of the situation, but for political reasons, looks the other way.
I asked my friend what the turnover was at this company. He told me two or three people leave every six months directly due to this manager. This formula of “short term gain for long term pain”, usually results in high turnover.
From a financial perspective, the cost of turnover for each employee is staggering. The cost to advertise, use of a recruiter, interview, train, and get the person up to a level of productivity that equals the salary and benefit s being paid, is enormous. To do this over and over again, is just pure ignorance.
Whose fault is it that these people are leaving? The president of the company is at fault. Why? Because he or she is ultimately responsible for what happens in the confines of that company. Not to be aware or to simply ignore this type of work place dysfunction with your management team is a recipe for customer service disaster.
As usual, prevention is a much cheaper strategy. One tool that can help accomplish this would be a 360 Assessment. This instrument uses the positive and corrective feedback from five people with whom the manager interacts. For example, it could be three of his/her employees, the manager’s direct boss and the vice-president of the division in which the manager works.
Another tool is to use is an incentive program. This would monetarily compensate the manager when he/she is able to successfully produce measureable results of high employee satisfaction, low turnover and high productivity.
If you have managers and supervisors that do not agree with the philosophy of creating a positive and productive work environment , thank them and give them the opportunity to work for a competitor.
In summary, maximize your greatest investment, your people, by investing in the process of properly training and preparing your managers and supervisors. You will be glad you did, so will your employees and your customers.