Myronosophy #10 Part II

For Managers/Supervisors: How Keeping Things To Yourself, Lack of Trust and Not Delegating Well Trigger Employee Resignation and Animosity (CONTINUED)

A week ago, we had talked about the adverse effects of managers/supervisors keeping important organizational updates (good or bad) and management decisions to themselves and what can be done to cascade them effectively and properly without getting negative feedback or unpleasant reactions from subordinates in return.

On our article for today, we will discuss the several reasons why some managers/supervisors hesitate to delegate or don’t delegate at all, how managers’/supervisors’ lack of trust or inability to delegate lead to employees severing their ties with their company or gettting at odds with the people they report to, and different action steps that can be taken to maximize the effectiveness of delegation and improving supervisor-to-subordinate relationships.

First off, the preliminary question that we have to answer here is “Why don’t some managers/supervisors trust their subordinates enough to be convinced to delegate tasks to them?
The answers to this question are simple.  They could be any or all of the following:

1.  They are more comfortable working on critical tasks on their own because they are afraid their subordinates might commit a mistake and they might be blamed by their superiors for the botched work;

2.  They assume their subordinates are not as competent or equipped as they are or they are not even competent or equipped at all;

3.  They don’t entirely trust or give their subordinates the benefit of the doubt;

4.  Their subordinates are not managers/supervisors yet.  Therefore, they might not be ready for or capable of taking on a leadership task;

5.  They lack the leadership skills to be able to delegate tasks well and with purpose;

6.  Or worse, they have no idea how to delegate at all.

These could already be all of the explanations as to why delegation appears to be a difficult thing for them to do or trust is something that they hold themselves back from giving.  Nonetheless, although they might have their own justifiable reasons as to why they’re not delegating or trusting on a person or case-to-case basis, it is very helpful and important that they know what the negative repercussions are that might result from these behaviors.  This way, they would acknowledge how important delegating and trusting are and they would make an honest effort to change their working, leadership and communication styles and do something.

At this point, let me enumerate the likely negative outcomes of lack of trust and failure to delegate tasks especially for the purpose of developing people or guiding them on their way up the ranks.

1.  THEY MIGHT LOSE IT (NOT THEIR HEADS BUT THEIR MOTIVATION)

1.  There are four different employees out there that we have to consider and let us take a look at what their reaction to or in terms of their supervisors’ lack of trust and failure to share a part of what they do at their level.  Those different types are below and their corresponding responses:

     A.  Deserving but Not Interested

RESPONSE:  They might not give a damn for as long as they are recognized for the excellent work and the dedication that they are showing and they are getting paid what is due to them.  So, would there be a problem dealing with these people with regard to this?  No, not really.  However, they might still have sentiments of their own that they just prefer to keep to themselves.  Therefore, their level of motivation might still be affected even for just a bit.

     B.  Undeserving but Interested

RESPONSE:  Whether they deserve to be entrusted a sensitive company information and leadership obligation or not but if they are yearning for being able to have a first-hand experience of practicing a leadership task or leading people, they are still going to be affected badly by lack of trust or delegation.  They are those who might not be as knowledgeable or skillful as their better-performing colleagues but still have ambitions to move up in ranks themselves.  They might not serve their boss well anymore or might just sulk in one corner as a quiet protest to the obvious lack of leadership and rapport from the people that they expect to guide and support them.

     C.  Undeserving and Not Interested

RESPONSE:  Managers/supervisors might be lucky if they just have subordinates like this who, just like the “deserving but not interested” ones, will not make anything at all a big deal.  But, this does not happen in the real world.  They should expect to have different people who have different personalities, expectations, intentions, and tendencies in the company.  In fact, they might appear like they are both undeserving and not interested but they might also have a negative thing to say of their bosses.

D.  Deserving and Interested

RESPONSE:  When you have people like this, the more that you should delegate to them and that you keep them abreast of what is going on in the company especially when it concerns their performance and future.  These employees are high potentials of becoming great leaders and contributors of the company.  They are also those that are tremendously skillful and already know as much as or even more than their predecessors and superiors.  Ergo, they already become too demanding and highly eager to try their hands at doing what their supervisors/managers do and being trained to follow in their footsteps. So, come to think of it, if the level of their knowledge and skills; their readiness to lead; and their demand to be kept in the loop and to be involved in the decision-making process are not being acknowledged and taken into account, their motivational status is surely going to be undermined and they might eventually lose focus and interest.  This, more often than not, leads to resignation.

So, with this in mind, it becomes more important and at times, imperative to not keep them in the dark about not just what they like to know but what they need and should be aware of as well.  Also, since there are varied kinds of employees just like above, it is very helpful to ascertain what type of an employee they are.  This way, you know the level or degree of their need or demand to be informed and to be delegated leadership responsibilities to and you recognize their presence and vital role in the company.

2.  EMPLOYEES (ESPECIALLY THE DESERVING AND INTERESTED) WHO FEEL DISRESPECTED, BELITTLED, OUT OF PLACE AND TAKEN FOR GRANTED SOUR ON THEIR BOSSES OR WORSE, BACKLASH AGAINST THEM

One of the employee tendencies that managers/supervisors should not let develop among their people is disengagement.  Once their subordinates become disengaged, the supervisor-to-subordinate relationship gets messed up and the management or the immediate supervisor should immediately exhaust all means to turn everything around, to pacify them, to convince them to stay and continue trusting them and the company.

In my six years of looking around and observing people, I have met and seen subordinates (especially those who are classified as ‘deserving and interested and ‘undeserving and interested’) who lost their drive for work, who ended up showing animosity towards their supervisors, and who stop looking up to them as reliable people they can entrust their professional development to.

Most of the time, they already show indifference in meetings and towards company events and even turn out to be debating with their supervisors about a lot of things frequently.  Consequently, this often leads to shouting at each other and not talking to each other anymore thereafter.

Moreover, below are the different predispositions that you do not want to be seeing manifest among your subordinates

DISRESPECTED – They tend to feel disrespected especially when they believe they should be informed about organizational updates and other related information and that at their current level or number of achievements, they are all set to be trying out leadership/management tasks as part of their development plan.

BELITTLED – High potential employees do not appreciate being belittled.  Not because they are not managers or supervisors yet that it is okay for managers/supervisors not to keep them in the loop and involved actively.

OUT OF PLACE  – There comes a point when an employee reaches the limit of his personal tolerance and just opts to tender his resignation and look for a better job with a better environment and career growth opportunity somewhere else.  When they feel they are not getting anywhere in the company and they are like being ostracized just because they are not on the managerial/supervisory level yet, their motivation slowly dies and their longing to perform and contribute just goes down the drain.

TAKEN FOR GRANTED – Managers/Supervisors are not the only ones who might feel put aside. Subordinates also get to a point when they feel they are only treated or seen as they are, that is, “subordinates” or “staff” or “non-managers/non-supervisors”.  Therefore, they feel taken for granted as though they are unable to put something on the table that may be as good or even better than what a manager/supervisor can give.

“I’m sorry. For now, this information should be kept on our level”,

“You’ll know when it happens but for now, we opt not to share it with you yet”,

“You will experience this when you become a manager or a supervisor yourself.  But for now, concentrate on your main duties and responsibilities instead”

“This work that I am doing is critical and I, as your boss, am the only one who can do it that I can’t share it with you”.

Do the aforementioned look and sound familiar?  Yes, they are.  They are just a few of the common spiels of those managers/supervisors who underestimate the wonders of letting their employees know about both positive and negative developments transpiring in the company and decisions made by the higher-ups and of assigning leadership duties for the purpose of developing them for promotional chances.  These are the same lines, furthermore, that take the motivation and the drive away from them when they feel they are being underestimated and as it is, “taken for granted”.

There you have it.  These are the possible repercussions that are brought about by supervisors’/managers’ lack of trust and denial of subordinates’ need to be informed, involved, and exposed.  If these are circumstances that are the last that you want to see, then value keeping them in the loop and delegating a portion of what you do at your level as effective management strategies to make people happy, satisfied and more productive.

The last question that needs to be answered here, at this point, is “With all of these in mind, what should/can managers do to encourage their people to get back on the track in terms of their motivation, passion and drive in work?”

DELEGATION:

In order to maximize the effectiveness of delegation, let us revisit the different types of employees discussed prior.  Let us find out how to delegate even to those who do not have the interest to be delegated any task, whatsoever, to.

A.  Deserving but Not Interested

For people like this, there is still something that can be delegated to them despite their lack of interest in being given additional responsibilities to.  Supervisors can just have those who are struggling with their performances consult these people or ask them questions about how to do their job.  Since they are the most knowledgeable and skillful on the team, even if they are now interested in being given additional tasks, they can still serve as the think tank of the team or the company without being required to do something on top of their current job description.

     B.  Undeserving but Interested

These ones may lagging behind the others on the team in terms of performance but on the other hand, they are teeming with a lot of interest in being given additional responsibilities.  Since that is the case, supervisors can take good advantage of that high interest.  They may not be ready for being delegated leadership/management tasks yet but it does not mean nothing can be delegated to them at all.  Try out the next best thing for them and make sure to set expectations.  They can just function as the supervisor’s assistant or secretary in a lot of things.  They can take minutes during meetings and send those minutes to everyone on the team thru email or some other means afterwards.  They can also run errands for as long as they are not being made or forced to do dirty jobs which are not work-related or which they are not going to get anything out of.  But of course, as supervisors, have them do these things to keep their interest alive, but they should not forget they need to improve their knowledge and skills as well so coaching and counseling may be done simultaneously.

     C.  Undeserving and Not Interested

These people may not  be interested to move up or be given additional responsibilities or they may not be that knowledgeable or skillful.  Nonetheless, what can just be delegated to them would be tasks that will help them understand things better and pull up their metrics.  Also, if they are not interested, it works most of the time when they are consulted about what gets their interest and attention and what kinds of things they would prefer to do instead, if not supervisory tasks and for as long as they are work-related.  Also, in helping them become diligent in what they do, supervisors may need to give them an extra shove and better yet, they may need to put their foot down and remind them about how they are going to be negatively affected by their own passivity and inaction.

D.  Deserving and Interested

As already explained, when you have these kinds of employees on your team, the more that you should take the initiative to delegate tasks to them especially supervisory roles.  They are ready.  They can be promoted anytime as soon as the opportunity presents itself.  At some point, they already be more knowledgeable and better than their supervisors are.  They may already speak, think, act and decide like they do.  They are already supervisors/managers in their own rights even without the titles or the official designation.  Hence, let it be part of their development or performance improvement plan for them to experience to lead, coach, counsel, assign tasks to, motivate, inspire, and discipline people on your team even if they are they are their own colleagues or peers.

So, above are the effective means that any supervisor/manager can employ to delegate responsibilities to employees of different types, needs, and preferences.  This way, they are able to foil any likely consequence of them losing their motivation, feeling disrespected, belittled, out of place or taken for granted.

OPEN COMMUNICATION:

Last but not least, keep everyone on the team and the organization informed and involved.  On the first part of this two-part write-up, we talked about why keeping our employees, regardless if the news is positive or negative, in the loop is important and rather beneficial and what non-communication often leads to not-so-good things.

Remember, the more informed; involved and exposed our employees are, the better that they perform in their respective functions.

Therefore, in closing, let us value our people.  Even though they are not supervisors and managers yet, they are the ones who bring in the results and the revenues for the company because they are the ones who execute or put into action whatever decision we arrive at.  Ergo, they have the right to be informed and they also have the right to experience what you are benefiting from as a leader and being trusted matters that do not only matter to them as they directly concern their performance and growth in the company, but they simply have to know as an indispensable part of the company.

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If you are interested in inviting the expert, Myron Sta. Ana (the Next Big Thing in Corporate, Communications, Leadership, Personal Branding and Excellence, and Motivational/Inspirational Training and Consultancy) in your school or organization to talk about this topic and a lot more, just email him @ Myronosophies@hotmail.com / myron.s.sta.ana@hotmail.com or text/call him at 0927-351-9391 / 368-3214.  Right now, he is still connected with Hinduja Global Solutions as its Corporate Trainer so he is only available during the weekend, Saturday and Sunday.  However, if your affair can only be scheduled during weekdays, just advise him a month before (2-3 weeks in advance at least) so he can make arrangements and can prepare accordingly. :)

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