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Some Things Never Change

I hate to harp on the economy…but this article landed in my in-box and I just couldn’t resist writing about it.

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Robert Half International just released a survey showing 35% of senior executives felt that unhappiness with management is the top reason for losing star employees.  This figure is up from 23% five years ago.  (FYI – for those of you who might be thinking pay is the second reason…think again.  It was fourth after advancement opportunities and lack of recognition.)

So, what do these numbers tell us?

Well, as much as it hurts to say, “I told you so.”  On behalf of a lot of HR Pros, let me just say it.  “I told you so.”

Pay is not a substitute for good management and leadership.

Employees want to work for someone that is fair. Someone they can respect.  They want to know that, if they do good work, they will be promoted or given new responsibilities (Think McGreagor’s Theory Y).  And, when they do something right … someone will say “good job”.

Being a good manager doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes mentors, experiences and training (along with competencies like desire, dedication and accountability.)  It takes time.

But here’s the real question.  If this survey is indicative of Corporate America, then why are companies slashing their training budgets right now?  Wouldn’t companies want to make sure managers are prepared for dealing with these tough times?  Wouldn’t they want to make an investment to ensure they don’t lose those star performers?

For years, I’ve been listening to the cliché that employees don’t leave companies; they leave bad managers.  With all of our scientific and technological advances, it appears that some things stay the same.  Let’s hope someday we get this phrase out of our vocabulary.

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