When team members become highly competent at the technical work being performed they are often promoted to manager. In most cases, however, they are not properly trained for these new responsibilities.
New managers often mistakenly believe they are now responsible for all the work getting done by their subordinates, and must take charge.
According to author Simon Sinek, the real job of a new leader is not being “in charge,” it’s taking care of those “in our charge.” New leaders must go through a transition from being responsible for doing the job, to being responsible for the people who are responsible for doing the job. This is a vital distinction that most new leaders are not trained to recognize.
This style of leadership requires empathy in which we care not only about performance, but also about the team member as a person. When a problem occurs, we ask the person how they are doing and if there’s any way we can support them. This leads to high engagement and morale.
Ineffective managers, on the other hand, focus on the performance problem and threaten termination if they don’t improve. This leads to disengagement and low morale.
We hear often about getting the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off. This assumes that the people are the problem. The reality is that most low performance is the result of poor leadership, leading to disengagement. In the right environment most team members enjoy their work and are motivated to perform.
Let’s evaluate the culture and engagement in our organizations. As a leader, are you in charge, or taking care of those in your charge? The difference will be reflected in the morale and performance of your team members.
If your team is struggling with low morale and performance please contact us to discuss how you can create an environment in which your people thrive!