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Dear Workforce Our Managers Aren’t Motivating and Our Training Isn’t Helping. Where Are We Going Wrong

September 7, 2011

Dear Nonplussed:

First of all, take a look at how you hire, identify and promote individuals into themanagement ranks. If your hiring and promotion procedures don't include accurate assessment of leadership motivation and potential, you might not have the right people in place.

In the meantime, there are actions your current managers can take to engage and motivate your workforce. Engaged employees work harder, are committed to the organization and are loyal, meaning they are less likely to walk out the door.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach that works for everyone, there are several key factors that affectretention. At the top of that list is the pivotal relationship between the manager and the employee. Employees are much more likely to stay with an organization when they work for a leader they trust and who supports them, who gives them opportunities to grow and whorecognizes their efforts.

Employees trust leaders who act with integrity and who take the time to find out what matters most to them in the work environment--and take action to provide it. Make sure your managers are highly visible to employees, and not just when there is a problem or when they need something. If they don't know what an individual values most in the workplace, the manager needs to quickly sit down with that person and ask.

Employees need an opportunity to grow their knowledge and skills and to experience new challenges. Limited opportunity for growth is one of the most common reasons individuals leave an organization. Hold your managers accountable fordeveloping employees in ways that benefit the individual, the work group and your organization.

Don't underestimate the power of recognition. Too many managers invest little time and effort when it comes to recognizing people's efforts and accomplishments. Even top performers need to be recognized by their managers for the value they add to the organization. Without that recognition, they'll either quit performing at that level or, worse yet, quit your organization.

When managers really "know" their employees and develop and recognize them, they will be more engaged and less likely to leave.

SOURCE: Janice Burns, Development Dimensions International, Pittsburgh, June 6, 2005.

LEARN MORE: How Do I Convince Managers of the Value of Skills Development/Training?

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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