Managerial support could improve staff retention

Almost 50% of UK workers admit to having left a job due to a poor relationship with their manager according to a study by Totaljobs, highlighting the significant impact poor management practices can have on an organisation. With this in mind it is important that line managers and team leaders are provided with the appropriate amount of support in order to foster successful working relationships with their subordinates.

When asked to detail their relationship with previous bosses 17% of respondents said they felt unable to trust their boss, whilst 28% would openly describe their line manager as their ‘work enemy’. Meanwhile, when discussing the topic of bad habits exhibited by their managers, 49% said ‘having favourites’ whilst 43% believed this to be ‘speaking behind people’s backs’.

Although most employers will accept that managers and staff will not always see eye to eye on certain matters, these statistics will undoubtedly make for more worrying reading. Those intent on maintaining a harmonious working environment should focus on developing positive working relationships between management and staff by way of greater managerial support.

Interestingly, of the managers surveyed as part of the study 40% admitted to never having received any managerial training during their employment. Of those who had, 10% had to wait until a year after taking on their new responsibilities before the training was provided. Therefore, it is apparent that a committed approach to managerial training could be a potential solution to improving this situation.

Organisations often look to reward high performing employees by promoting them to managerial positions, however it should be noted that performing well in a certain role will not always prepare an employee for leading a team of individuals. Instead, new managers may require assistance in developing the necessary soft skills required to perform in this role.

Leading a team often requires expert communication skills and the ability to problem solve under pressure. Individuals are also likely to be responsible for the behaviour and performance of their staff, which will require an air of authority and the ability to motivate. Larger organisations with a designated learning and development department may be able to provide this training fairly easily, gradually exposing staff to training throughout their career in order to encourage personal and professional development.

As well as this, it is also vital to monitor managerial performance and evaluate areas where team leaders could improve their approach. Feedback can be provided through routine performance reviews and line managers should be open to constructive criticism from peers, regardless of their seniority.
HR personnel should also be on the lookout for any signs of managerial issues at work, such as high turnover or absenteeism from team members. Managers should remain alert to these signs themselves and hold open one to-one meetings with staff who they feel may have an issue with their leadership style to resolve the situation.

Allowing poor managerial practices to exist can quickly lead to a breakdown in professional relationships and a reduction in productivity. In extreme cases unlawful managerial behaviour can even lead to tribunal proceedings, therefore it is important that employers place managerial support at the forefront of their operation.

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