The Great Resignation: Why Leadership Training for Managers Must Not Be Ignored

When speaking about the future of the workplace, we have to acknowledge a lot has been disrupted in a short period of time. 

In the last decades, significant changes have happened. There are new ways of doing things.

A great example is that managers had to learn how to guide teams remotely at the beginning of the pandemic.

Although it was a learning curve for many companies, startups quickly adapted to the new “normal.” 

As we begin to see the end of a challenging year, managers face a new setback: abysmal quitting rates.

According to Inc.com magazine, four million people quit their jobs this past April, and the number only grew throughout the summer months.

This wave is referred to as The Great Resignation.

This past year alone shifted people’s expectations.

There's been a cultural shift where employees are no longer looking for a job that just offers them a paycheck to put food on the table. No, they are looking for a job that can complement their life.

The past 18 months have mixed the lines between work and life. People are looking for synergy between what they do for a living and their personal life.

If the company they serve is no longer aligning with their purpose or offering them an opportunity to develop, they leave.

Workhuman's International Survey Report found that 36% of workers in the U.S. and Canada plan on quitting their jobs over the next year.

This high wave of resignation results from a number of factors, which can include burnout and virtual fatigue. But multiple sources have found that the main rooting causes are decreased engagement at work and poor leadership skills within the management team.

Since working remotely, burnout and virtual fatigue have skyrocketed. People no longer have their usual coffee break in between meetings, there’s no physical distance between work and home space, they are constantly exposed to the 24-hour news cycle, and there’s an ongoing emotional rollercoaster due to COVID-19, to name a few factors.

“Many of these workers may have simply reached a breaking point after months and months of high workloads, hiring freezes, and other pressures, causing them to rethink their work and life goals,” says Ian Cook in the Harvard Business Review.

Since COVID-19, more and more employees have become actively disengaged from their work.

According to Gallup’s research, 85% of employees are unengaged at work. 

Now, this statistic is worldwide and affects mostly big to midsize companies, so you might not see this exact rate at your workplace but ask yourself: does your company have a high turnover?

Unengaged workers and high turnover rates lead to lower-performing cultures. 

Moreover, high-performing individuals are usually the ones leaving since they desire to work on the best teams.

The cost of losing talent is high, let alone high-performing employees.

We live in a world where talent is more competitive and expensive than ever.

The Great Resignation is a workplace issue

The Harvard Business Review found that employees between 30 and 45 years old have had the greatest increase in resignation rates, with an average increase of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021.

These enormous quitting rates are also causing businesses to struggle to fill empty positions.

"If you would’ve said to me 18 months ago when the pandemic was starting... I would’ve thought everyone would be delighted just to be clinging on with their teeth and fingernails to a job," - Pat Kenny.

A new survey by Korn Ferry found that over 90 percent of retail companies are having difficulties filling vacant roles despite offering sign-on bonuses or paid referrals opportunities.

But, why are money incentives not working? Because although the pay is essential to retain and attract employees, it is not the most important thing.

The reality is, workers have options.

If they want a new job, they can find one. In large part, retail and foodservice jobs are entry-level positions, and in the current economy, those roles are in abundance.

But this isn’t happening only in the customer service or hospitality industry. It’s happening in the tech sector as well.

With the newfound culture of working remotely, companies are hiring talent from all across the world. Meanings employees have the freedom to leave at any time–if they want to.

The fact remains, people leave managers, not companies, as shown in Gallup’s research.

Okay, maybe managers are not 100% the reason why employees decide to leave, but poorly trained bosses make that choice a lot easier.

How you treat people makes a significant difference, and that starts with your company’s local managers.

It can even make or break your brand, according to Mark Cuban.

One of the reasons people dislike their 9 to 5 job is not because of the work they have to do; it tends to be because they have bad leaders. They are unengaged; they don’t feel empowered, there isn’t a chance for the creativity to flourish, and they don’t feel like they’re making a significant contribution or that there is any meaning to their work.

That’s why leadership training for managers must not be ignored.

Want to improve the odds of keeping your best employees? Continue reading to learn how 👇

Why is leadership training important?

The leadership ceilings of your managers heavily influence the success of your organization.

Much of the problem lies in companies promoting employees with the most work experience but who lack leadership skills.

Forbes writes, 60% of new managers fail or underperform in their first two years of their role, which calls on the necessity of leadership training more than ever before. 

If you develop your people and their potential, you’ll optimize the talent gap in your company by bridging where you currently are and where you aspire to be.

You might be thinking, how does this fit a manager? This sounds like a job for HR and recruitment–but it’s not. High-performance and creating employee engagement start with the manager.

They are the bridge between the company’s missions and the individuals’ labour. Managers have a special position where they can enhance the human connection of teams and they have a real impact on the employee’s outlook on the work they do.

For managers to be successful, businesses must provide management development training. 

Leadership training for managers helps them improve: 

  • Psychological Safety.
  • Emotional Intelligence skills.
  • Communication skills.  
  • Conflict management strategies. 
  • Feedback delivery. 
  • Team building expertise. 
  • Ability to engage employees. 
  • Empowering others.
  • Build empowered high-performing teams.

Times are changing, and today’s workforce shows an increasing need for managers who know how to lead, not just manage.

Even John Maxwell, the author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, claims the single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. 

You must reshape your corporate culture by developing your managers into leaders.

"The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development." - John C. Maxwell

How leadership training for managers helps them engage their team.

Gallup credits great management to better employee retention rates. 

Commanding, control, and pace-setting leadership is no longer effective. 

Although this kind of management has been used over the last century, it’s ineffective in collaborative environments.

In the knowledge economy that we are in, collaboration and creativity are key for innovation. 

It’s no longer about dictating how to solve problems. 

It’s about creating an environment where problem-solving is encouraged. You can unlock this potential in the long term through coaching leadership. 

Having team leaders who can coach is important, and while delivering elements of engagements and wellbeing may not be difficult, most managers need development training to do it right. 

As a sports coach, you know you can’t grab the ball and throw it for your team, but you can teach your players what to do and how to do it, so they are ready when it’s game time.

That’s the same discipline behind leadership training for managers.

70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager - It’s The Manager by Gallup.

The proper manager development training is essential to increase productivity within any organization.

In other words, when you have a great manager, who knows how to coach and lead, your team’s performance will be maximized.

Leadership training for managers teaches them how to:

  • Conduct meaningful coaching conversations.
  • Set expectations.
  • Foster accountability and community.
  • Increase employee engagement.
  • Receive feedback.
  • Identify and meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of their employees.

Strong leaders provide a clear direction to their team members, they understand their employees’ needs, and they know how to navigate the team’s strengths and weaknesses so each person feels empowered to perform at or above expectations.

Think about it this way: developing your managers is investing in the future of your workplace.

When you have effectively provided your managers with successful leadership development training, you will see the positive ramifications in employee performance, from a boost in productivity to effectiveness and retention of your best talents. 

With the proper leadership training for managers, your team will go from average supervisors to Unicorn Leaders.

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