Managers, there are only three answers to employee questions

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Nov 11

Managers have a formal way of evaluating an employee’s work — the performance review. Most people working in cubes don’t have the same formal option to evaluate their manager, but that doesn’t mean employees are not rating managers. Employees do that all the time.

You can have twenty-seven ways in an article like this one to evaluate a manager and some of that is good to do. But you can frame almost every managerial evaluation by people that work in cubes when they ask questions in just three ways:

All employees ask themselves three questions when starting a new job, says Joanie Ruge, senior vice president of Adecco Group North America: Is my boss competent? Can I trust them? And, do they care about me?

“Throughout a good economy, a bad economy, a new job and old job, they’re going to be asking those three things pretty consistently,” she says. “We need bosses to realize and leaders to realize that those are the traits [employees] are looking for and they need to demonstrate those traits. People that demonstrate those traits have the highest retention rates across the board.”

Not surprisingly, the article notes that most managers fail when these three questions get answered. Especially when managers have the opinion that people should be grateful just having a job — so they don’t need to worry about how they treat their people. It is this simple:

Sunny Claggett, corporate vice president of talent management and organizational development at Cleveland-based CBIZ, Inc., says that the solution to this attitude problem is simple: If managers want their people to think they’re honest, loyal and trustworthy, they’ve got to act honest, loyal and trustworthy.

What matters are business results. Plus a candid understanding how employees, who supply the work to serve the company’s customers, are treated counts just as much as results.

Part of being a great manager is working through problems, turning theory and ideas into practice and following methodologies to some great conclusion. Sometimes, though, we get lost in the weeds of Six Sigma, Lean, ISO standards and Utility Computing to the point where we think that business isn’t done through people anymore, only processes.

But business is social and it is all about accomplishing goals through people. So ask yourself the tough three questions: Are you a competent manager? Can your employees trust you? Do you genuinely care about your employees?

Then, if you ask the “why” part of each of those questions, you can discover what can make you better.

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.