I’ve recently been coaching an employee that has had to endure a plethora of manager changes in a very short period of time.
His first manager who was with the organization for many years started going through a change in his behavior. There was a change in his home life which spilled over into the workplace. This happens to managers as well as employees but when it’s a manager it may be even more disruptive than we think.
This particular manager became disengaged and unfocused putting great pressure on this employee that has long term tenure on the team. It added responsibilities that he normally wasn’t required of him and he found mistakes that he had to figure out how to deal with.
My advice to him was to document the mistakes and behavior and turn that information in to his human resources team member. He was hesitant but ultimately did take my advice.
At this same time, the assistant manager at his store transferred to a different location. The reason: this same manager.
This went on for several months until the organization decided to redistribute the management team to different locations. When this happened a new fresh exciting leader became this employees temporary manager. Of course it was short-lived but in that limited time this leader motivated this particular employee to seek a promotion that was well deserved and long overdue. His friends also encouraged him and as his coach I spent time working with him on his interviewing skills and question responses.
This new found confidence and secure feeling he received from this new manager he aced the interview and earned the promotion. The change in this employees confidence was exponential.
The organization decided to make another change and sent this new manager back to his previous location. Once again the morale of this employee and the rest of the team instantly dropped. My client, having gained this new position really stepped up and took control and responsibility for his team.
More Changes from the Business
The company decided to bring in a new assistant manager. This one only lasted two months, again more upheaval. During this two month period, the company brought in another interim manager, a new second assistant manager and a full time replacement for the initial manager that was moved to a new location. Then the first manager suddenly decided to quit.
Are You Confused Yet?
I write this out in such detail because more than likely a situation like this is happening at other organizations and maybe even yours. What do you think the impact of this is on the morale of the tam? Not only the morale but the feeling of safety and security that all employees require for a work/life balance.
From an outside perspective there were several points of breakdown.
- The Regional Manager did not step in and take the concerns of the middle managers seriously. The first manager was not held accountable.
- The HR Director was not involved and able to help the regional manager.
- The second assistant manager was not held accountable and moved to another location like being swept under the rug.
The only stable person in the scenario is the employee that I coached. A person that has no real authority but is left keeping the location up and running.
What is your organization doing?
Is your company dealing with a communication breakdown like this? If this story made you cringe, I ask you to do a deep dive and make sure your managers are happy, trained and supported. We don’t want to burden our top performers with responsibilities that will lead them to resigning from your company. We want to nurture these team members so they stick around and become the next generation of leaders in your company.