Years ago, I worked in an organization with a senior manager whose very presence ruined employee morale. I saw the carnage he left around him. I also saw how the employees felt helpless to do anything about it.
Below are three concerning ways that hiring the wrong managers can ruin employee morale and increase employee turnover:
Mimicing poor behavior can ruin morale.
When we hire or retain the wrong manager, we tell those on their team that they are not important. It is critical that we create opportunities for employees to provide feedback. When we show our employees that their voices are powerful, we can retain them much longer.
If we allow a manager to demonstrate poor behavior and do nothing about it, employees think that the organization approves of this behavior and often mimic what they see. This becomes a vicious cycle and impacts employee engagement, employee satisfaction and employee morale.
Employees who aren’t growing can ruin morale.
Often, when the wrong managers are promoted or hired, they tend to be centered on themselves and what they want to accomplish for their reputation to flourish. What these managers don’t do is pay close attention to the greatness within the people on their new team. What I see too often, are employees who are withering on the vine and are not getting any attention from their manager. These employees feel left behind. Employee morale takes a sharp decline, because no one is helping them grow.
Organizational leaders who are hiring or promoting managers need to make sure those out in positions of authority are others-centered.
Employees who feel unappreciated can ruin morale.
According to a recent TINYpulse report, employees who do not feel valued at work are 34% more likely to leave their companies within the next year. Thus, if we hire or promote a manager who does not generously give recognition, it will run employee morale.
Recognition is important because it helps validate the time and effort we expend at work. Employees want to know that their roles are meaningful and impact the success of the business, and critically, that their team members acknowledge this too. Therefore, if organizations want to improve employee morale, the fastest way to do this is to institute recognition programs at all levels of the organization.
When employees don’t feel safe it can ruin employee morale
Amy Edmonson, a professor at Harvard Business School, first identified the concept of “psychological safety” within work teams in 1999. In an interview with Harvard Business Review, she defined the term. “Psychological safety isn’t about being nice, she says. It’s about giving candid feedback, openly admitting mistakes, and learning from each other.”
Managers who don’t focus on creating this type of open environment, ruin employee morale. Morale takes a dive, because employees don’t feel free to present opposing views. Thus, stunting any potential innovation.
There are a myriad of ways that hiring or retaining the wrong manager ruins morale. If we keep the wrong manager in place, employees are left feeling unimportant, unappreciated and unsafe. As such, organizational leaders need to have solid processes for manager selection. If we want to positively impact employee morale, we must be willing to take action.