Having explored the possibilities that curiosity and individual connection could have on our workplace (and personal) happiness, today we’ll talk more about the relationship with our Managers.
We’ll all agree that: “Employees want managers who are leaders. Managers who will inspire them, who are fair and honest and will stand up for their team.” as Brigette Hyacinth, the author of ‘Leading the Workforce of the Future’ puts it. Thus it is safe to believe the opposite is also valid. Hence we have all heard the popular saying that people join great cultures but leave bad Managers, or something to that effect. The latter we believe to be one of the biggest HR myths. Not because it is entirely false but because it is not entirely true. Or at least not in the way we’d expect.
When we did our research and looked at our data (exit interviews of partner companies), we actually discovered that people are more likely to exit because of their job – they either did not enjoy it, they feel they are not advancing on their careers or they struggle to find the connection between their individual contribution and the company overall output. Therefore, we believe that people actually leave jobs, although we are all well aware that namely the Managers are responsible for what those jobs are like.
But telling you all that while keeping in mind how much time we spend at the workplace and naturally how much of our overall happiness depends on our work engagement and satisfaction, we cannot help but wonder – isn’t is senseless to leave all that in the hands of someone else?! After all, the Managers are just human beings and they too, have Managers, right. (Now if you’re leading people, it is a good self-reflection exercise to think about what kind of leader are you as well).
Thus, as the not infamous Simon Sineck talks in his books, leadership does not depend on one’s hierarchical position but rather on one’s rebelliousness for things they dislike and their eagerness to take risk, to speak up, to make a change. It depends on the ownership and responsibility one bares for the results and their bravery in the face of potential failure. Hence, if we need better leadership, we could demonstrate the behavior ourselves; we could take ownership, speak up and be proactive.
Bringing it all back to our (workplace) happiness, it turns out that our relationship with our Manager has much higher influence on our engagement and satisfaction for us not to be actively involved and navigate the course of those interactions and ultimately - our future at the job and in the company, wherever we might be at the moment.
But doesn’t that apply for all aspects of our lives because who does our own happiness really depend on?!