Don’t you wish you could hire your manager? You know exactly what you would be looking for. The problem is that we generally don’t get the opportunity to have a say in who will manage us at work. And that is really too bad; because for many people, the central motivating factor when deciding whether to stay or to leave a position is their relationship with their immediate manager.
So if you are in a management position, listen up: this is what your employees would love to say to you, but they never will, unless it’s in a resignation letter:
You hired me because you believed that I could do this job. If you still believe it, communicate that belief to me, in words and in deeds. Tell me that you are sure I can do this, and give me the space to complete my tasks without micromanaging me or hovering over my work. If anything has occurred to shake your faith in my abilities, tell me about it respectfully, and let’s work together to understand what went wrong and how we might fix it together.
I don’t want to be micromanaged, but I do want to benefit from your knowledge, skills and advice. So don’t disappear on me: meet with me on a regular basis to review my tasks, help me with any challenges I am facing, and be available to assist me if I turn to you for help. Most importantly, communicate the feeling that you are there for me and that receiving assistance is a sign of strength, not weakness.
I really like my job, but eventually it is going to become less challenging as I get better at it. Make it your goal to help me grow professionally, by expanding my areas of responsibility, deepening my knowledge and skills, and displaying openness to new ideas that I suggest.
And just to make the job requirements crystal clear, here’s the full ad:
Employees seek full time manager
Responsibilities: Friendly and respectful guidance of employees in successful navigation of their professional roles; professional training when required; regular (at least weekly) communication to understand employees’ current workload and assistance with any relevant professional challenges; honest and respectful feedback on the quality of the employees’ work; communicating trust in the employees’ ability to do their jobs without micromanagement; assistance in ensuring employees’ receive appropriate compensation for their work and opportunities for professional growth. Requirements: excellent interpersonal skills, leadership qualities, and an innate faith in people’s ability to accomplish their goals.