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Assuaging AI Concerns, Rethinking Workplace Loyalty, and the Real Cause of Turnover

Published 5 months ago • 4 min read

News Spotlight

AI is too expensive — for now: According to a new analysis from MIT, right now only 23% of jobs could be replaced by Artificial Intelligence in a cost-effective way (Fortune).

VR/AR headsets set to disrupt the workplace: The release of Apple's Vision Pro will push virtual and augmented reality headsets into the mainstream for business uses (Quartz).

Is workplace loyalty a thing of the past? Trends like quiet quitting, job-hopping, and overemployment (juggling multiple full-time jobs) reveal changing norms among today's employees (Business Insider).

Stat of the Week

Unhappy employees cost U.S. companies an estimated $1.9 trillion in lost productivity last year, according to research from Gallup (Bloomberg).

The disruption of the past few years has reduced satisfaction in the workplace, with more employees saying they don’t clearly know what’s expected of them.

Deep Dive Article

The Real Cause of Employee Turnover — It's Not What You Think

As we move into 2024, many companies will be keeping an eye on employee turnover, one of the key measures of how well an organization is supporting its workforce. Managing turnover involves addressing the root causes, implementing retention strategies, and fostering a positive work environment to encourage employee loyalty and longevity.

Organizations grappling with unusually high quit rates might assume that issues around salary, burnout, or a lack of career advancement opportunities are to blame. This makes sense, given that these topics have been heavily covered in news outlets and on social media. And of course, these issues can absolutely play a part in ushering workers out the door.

However, the real cause of employee turnover at your organization might not be burnout or a desire to see if the grass is really greener on the other side. Some employees are likely leaving due to another reason: a poor experience or relationship with their manager.

New research from isolved reveals that over a third of employees (35%) don't like their supervisor's management style. Another study found that 57% of people have quit because of their boss, and another 37% have considered doing so.

In the realm of organizational success, effective management is a linchpin that can propel a team to new heights. The role of a manager is multifaceted, requiring a diverse skill set and a keen understanding of interpersonal dynamics.

However, many managers could be struggling to provide support for their team members because they themselves are overworked. Their own fatigue might be impairing their job effectiveness, which in turn could affect team performance and the achievement of organizational goals.

What’s more, overworked managers may themselves become part of the turnover problem. If managers are consistently stressed and overwhelmed, they could seek opportunities elsewhere, leading to turnover at the leadership level.

In today’s article, I’ll explore the top 10 traits that distinguish effective managers and contribute to their ability to lead teams toward success. All of these capabilities can be developed through manager training programs and by providing the right support systems (e.g., mentors or peer support).

However, an important first step is for your company to ensure that managers have the bandwidth to take on these added responsibilities. Consider conducting a workload assessment to confirm that managers are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Remember that managers play a crucial role in setting the tone for their teams — if they are overworked and stressed, it will almost certainly have a trickle-down effect on their teams.

With those building blocks in place, you’ll be well-situated to help your managers enhance their skills and progress in their roles. Let’s take a look.

The Top 10 Traits of an Effective Manager

  1. Leadership: Leadership is the cornerstone of effective management. Successful managers inspire and motivate their teams by setting a compelling vision, fostering a positive work culture, and leading by example. A strong leader guides the team through challenges, instilling confidence and a sense of purpose.
  2. Communication Skills: Clear communication is a linchpin in the manager's toolkit. Effective managers articulate ideas clearly, actively listen to their team members, and ensure that information flows seamlessly. Open communication builds trust, enhances collaboration, and ensures that everyone is aligned with organizational goals.
  3. Adaptability: In an ever-changing business landscape, adaptability is crucial. Effective managers remain flexible in the face of uncertainty, adjusting strategies to meet evolving circumstances. They embrace change as an opportunity for growth and lead their teams through transitions with resilience.
  4. Decision-Making: Sound decision-making is an indispensable trait for effective managers. They make well-informed choices based on available information, considering the potential impact on the team and the organization. Decisive managers take responsibility for their decisions and learn from both successes and failures.
  5. Problem-Solving: Effective managers possess strong problem-solving skills. They analyze challenges objectively, encourage creative thinking within the team, and address issues promptly and effectively. A manager's ability to navigate and resolve problems contributes significantly to the team's overall success.
  6. Empathy: Understanding and empathizing with team members is a trait that builds strong relationships. Effective managers actively engage with their team on a personal level, providing support during challenges and celebrating successes together. Empathy fosters a positive work culture and enhances team cohesion.
  7. Delegation: Delegation is a skill that distinguishes effective managers from micromanagers. Successful managers trust the capabilities of their team members and delegate tasks and responsibilities accordingly. This empowers individuals, fosters a sense of ownership, and allows the manager to focus on strategic aspects of leadership.
  8. Strategic Thinking: Effective managers think strategically, aligning team goals with the broader objectives of the organization. They plan for the future, anticipate challenges, and identify opportunities for growth and improvement. Strategic thinking ensures that the team's efforts contribute meaningfully to the organization's success.
  9. Motivation: Motivation is the driving force behind a high-performing team. Effective managers inspire enthusiasm and a sense of purpose within the team. Recognizing and rewarding achievements boosts morale and creates a positive and dynamic work environment, fostering sustained motivation.
  10. Time Management: Practical time management is a skill that ensures efficiency. Effective managers prioritize tasks, manage time effectively, and avoid micromanaging. Well-managed schedules allow managers to focus on high-impact activities, contributing to meeting deadlines and achieving organizational goals.

Elevating the Role of the Manager

The top traits of an effective manager encompass a multifaceted set of skills and behaviors. Leadership, communication, adaptability, decision-making, empathy, delegation, strategic thinking, motivation, time management, accountability, and team building collectively define a manager's effectiveness. Continuous refinement and development of these traits are essential for managers on their journey of growth and improvement. As the business landscape evolves, the role of an effective manager remains instrumental in steering teams toward success and organizational excellence.

Thanks for reading — be sure to join the conversation on LinkedIn and let me know your thoughts on this topic!

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