How Do We Manage?

We came across an article from Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO at Gallup, who seems to think that the world is going to end, and that bad management is the reason. In his essay titled, ‘The World’s Broken Workplace, he pulls no punches when he blames archaic business management for a decades-long decline in productivity and global GDP.

Now we know what you’re thinking, and we were thinking about it too. To be honest, we still are, but we feel like there might be some truth in what he claims. Focusing on engagement statistics (only 15% of the world’s 1 billion full-time workers are engaged at work; a 94% disengagement at work in Japan and the country’s staggering suicide rates), he claims that bad bosses are the bane of the office space.

Why? Because millennials want good bosses. According to Clifton, millennials demand development over satisfaction; ongoing conversations over annual reviews; strengths-based discussions over weakness-based ‘gap’ discussions. What he suggests is that organisations should stray from the archetypal ‘command-and-control manager’, to something more akin to high-performance coaches, seeking to get the most out of their employees.

Answers on a postcard, please.

This same week we came across a rather complimentary article in Recruiting Times entitled, ‘Are your managers failing to manage. As we all know, managers are meant to get teams working, get jobs done and get problems solved. By the same token, they are there to ensure discipline and correct mistakes – but are these being done in the right way, if at all?

And if they aren’t, how do you confront a manager? Their seniority delivers them a degree of respect, and often the conversation can get mired in excuses. Understandable excuses, but excuses nonetheless.

Want examples? We’ve got examples…

“I hate confrontation.”

Thankfully most people on this planet hate confrontation. Unfortunately, the role of a manager requires you to sometimes have to deal with it. A good manager needs to sometimes put the company’s interests ahead of their own, which means sometimes you have to be confrontational.

“I don’t like employees who contradict me.”

Harking back to Clifton’s ‘command-and-control managers’, these bosses will see an employee’s challenge of their ideas as a direct attack, as opposed to being part of a progressive discussion. Good managers need to be receptive and change good ideas for better ones.

“I want my team to see me as a friend.”

That’s nice, but does not make for good management. Whilst it’s obviously beneficial to be friendly with your staff, there are certain pitfalls. Once the relationship becomes more of a friendship than a working relationship, a manager will tend to overlook poor work and tend to show bias towards those they’re closer with. Keep things professional. Friendly, but professional.

Who knows, maybe eliminating these 3 excuses might improve global GDP. What do you think Mr. Clifton?


ABL Recruitment team


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