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We’ve said it many times, employees quit because of bad bosses. And while that is true, to an extent, recent research shows the most common reason people quit is the organization itself. Of the top 10 engagement drivers, 9 have to do with the organization itself. And we know that if employees are not engaged, they are much more likely to leave a company.
So if it’s really bad organizations that are causing employees to leave, why have we been led to believe it’s bad managers? The short answer: Bad companies produce bad managers.
Here are a few ways this happens.
1. Bad companies promote managers prematurely.
According to research from Udemy, 60% of employees think managers need more management training.
It’s a common practice for top performers to be promoted to management roles, strictly based off of their success in their current role. But high performance in one role does not mean high performance in another, especially when it comes to a management role.
It’s important to take the time to consider if a top performer is truly ready for a management position. While competency is a component of leadership capacity, it’s not the only factor to consider when making someone a manager.
Companies that don’t consider the leadership and interpersonal components of management will promote the wrong people into management positions, which leads us to believe it is the manager that is the problem, not the organization.
2. Bad companies don’t invest in leadership development.
Even if you do promote someone that has natural leadership ability, they still need to continue to learn and grow. When organizations don’t invest in leadership development for their managers, bad managers are the result.
It’s not that these managers are bad people, or that they don’t have the potential to be good managers, but everyone has blind spots. Without any awareness of these blind spots, and a plan to develop them, poor management is the only outcome.
Another thing to consider is when companies don’t promote a growth mindset, they end up with managers who have a fixed mindset as well, and that benefits no one.
3. Bad companies create toxic cultures managers can’t fix.
Even the strongest, most empathetic leader can’t overcome a toxic culture. Cultivating a positive experience for employees within a toxic work environment is an extremely difficult challenge.
If your organization isn’t intentionally and strategically designed to execute your business strategy or uphold a set of core values, no amount of raw leadership potential or people skills can surmount it.
While employees might be pointing fingers at the boss, the data doesn’t lie: The problem probably lies further up the food chain. Collecting and analyzing people data can help you determine if you truly have a bad manager on your hands or if the issue stems from an organizational source and requires a top-
down approach to change management.