People NOT just leave Managers

The Authors Curt Coffman and Marcus Buckingham would have said “people leave managers not companies”. Well, this would have perhaps been spoken many a times by many and still many out there may be echoing this axiom. I have been blessed to critically think of this from my wonderful learning experience at some of the organizations that I worked with.

“People leave managers not companies”. I feel it’s an over abused phrase and the immediate innocent manager gets the brunt of it even if he is not the reason for people leaving. Senior managers, CEOs, Managing Directors and Business owners find it easy to palm it on to the manager as the above saying has been rumbling the air more loudly covering other reasons for people leaving.

Thinking of the same, I do not agree to this affirmative phrase and there is a need to pull those innocent, brilliant managers from the death knell of this adage.

Good people leave organizations NOT just because of their immediate managers. Yes, immediate managers could be one of the reasons not the main one nor the only one, nor the single most one.

There of course are bosses who become reasons for their people leaving a job. But the fact is that, if the boss has to be the reason for people leaving, the tenure of employee with that boss should be a factor to be considered for closing that judgement. It is indeed the immediate manager that one should look at when new employees are short-lived in an organization.

A few paradigm shift to this maxim are:

  • Good People leave Organizations and not Managers

It’s imperative that CEOs and business owners look deep into their organizational culture for reasons for attrition of good people. If your organization is full of negativity created and nurtured by those decision makers, God bless your organization. I have seen organizations who recruit best talent by giving all those “best employer” talks and as soon as the person joins, there will be many at the senior levels resorting to echoing prejudiced comments and those critics about the new person.. There goes the motivation of your new recruit off the window.

If your organization has a culture powered by blame game starting from the top, then it’s just a matter of time when good people leave you. Spare the poor manager if they leave in such atmosphere that you have built in your place of work.

If your organization has people who misguides and misinforms the CEOs about good employees and if you have a CEO who listens to his ears of what it receives, God bless you again. No one will ever be comfortable working in your organization.

If employee is blessed with a good manager in an environment where there are other senior managers who keeps injecting negativity, he/she may be protected and counseled and guided to be strong in such work environment and his/her own boss will advise them to leave for a better opportunity, what more, boss may even help them find an opportunity for their good. And in such cases, you will see these good employees working with 100 % dedication to their boss till the last date of their work and perhaps even after last date of work. No matter how the organization is, they will work their heart out for that manager and they will leave the organization but will never leave the manager from their heart and life.

If an employee looks up to the leader and even works for him till the last second in the company before he or she moves on just goes to tell that good people don’t just leave because of their bosses..

A leader who love his job but not the Company and who believe in developing his subordinates might even tell them to move on after a certain time knowing that they need to move on for their own career which unfortunately the company that they work in don’t provide or the company don’t care.

An interesting thing that I noticed in my life as HR leader is that people stay on with the leader even if the work culture is in pits, because of the learning and development that they absorb from the leader. And the trust level between them would be so much so that, the leader delights when his people move away as the Organization has no care and the culture has no more opportunity for them to grow.

I have come across team members who look forward to coming to work because of their immediate manager but still live with an agony that they are in an organization where the work culture sucks.

If your organization does not foster encouragement, excitement, and fun in general across the hierarchy and throughout the organization, no matter how good the immediate leader or manager is, people will look around and leave

  • People leave because of co-managers and not immediate managers

It is another interesting fact that some good people leave not because of their immediate manager but because of the work place harassment that happens at work from a co department or division’s manager because of which performance gets affected. If an employee has to deal with a co department constantly at work and if the manager of that division causes incessant pain for him to work peacefully or if he snubs them with sarcastic statements, even if they have a good boss to save and protect them, after learning from their immediate manager, they would move away.

  • People leave because of Lack of recognition

I have come across a business owner who believes that paying salary and annual increment in salary is all what it takes to recognize employees. God bless this owner living in a dream world. Some of these self-made owners think that the employees work with them as they don’t have any other option. They feel that they are superior than the employees as they pay them, not knowing that all what employee need is a good word spoken , a pat on his back, a word of appreciation, a smile, perhaps a pleasant handshake … to keep him work for them.

  • People leave because of insensitive organization

An organization’s culture is not in the hands of its HR head but in the heart, mind and soul of the business owner or board of directors or CEO. People will never leave your organization if you are sensitive to them. How often you as a CEO bother to wish your employee on his birthday, have you as a CEO ever asked the employee to go on leave on his birthday, when someone is unwell, have you ever bothered to at least text him to enquire how he is. These are all inexpensive ways of making people stay with you. Good people will leave you if you don’t take care of these minor aspects of relationship.

Lastly, it is indeed a misnomer to think that people leave managers and not organizations. It’s high time to rephrase it as: people leave organizations not just managers.

If an employee is short-lived, it could be because of his immediate manager, but if one leaves after learning from his immediate manager or leave in good note with his immediate manager, then its high time the CEOs and Business Owners start looking at themselves in the mirror.

Note: Usage of words indicating one gender in this article is to be considered for both the genders. Source: personal notes of Binu Prasad.

“Best Practice” – A phrase to ponder!!!

Best Practice

I kept hearing the phrase “Best Practice” through my career journey. I worked for a high-end luxury hotel in India where I first lurched on this amazing phrase. It never rung any surprise nor any doubt on what the heck it meant as you are tuned to think everything that happens in a five-star hotel where every youngsters would die to get into is gospel truth. There were instances where a set of young managers would be chosen to go across the globe to learn the best practices and come back to download the same to us poor learners who are devoid of such traveling opportunities not because of capabilities but because of certain nuances of personalities that this glamorous industry value more than the content in the brain.

Anyway, the “best practices” made all of us shake our thoughts and actions for a while as we always had to keep our eyes and ears open to what is known as best practice. It is as if there were nothing more to achieve or look forward to after you attain the best practice in any particular aspect of hoteliering. For example , providing in-room dining facility those times used to be termed as best practice where most hotels simply performed nothing but room service where the tray or trolley is left in the room with food and beverage leaving the guest to serve himself or herself. Well, the best practice hotel would offer dining service in the room, they will do a silver service to the guest in the room, setting the trolley as a dining table laid well as per the standard, food brought in mobile ovens, served hot, and bearer waiting at the table side. And many more such practices that one would call it as best practice.. not just restricted to hotel operations, it spilled its wings to human resources, finances , marketing and to every corner of an operation and not just limited to hotels but to every single industry in the world.

Years later, when I got out of the bible controlled environment, my head started realizing that there is something above my neck and it works!!! .

The “Best Practice” makes one feel as if there is no room for development, no future beyond that point, no one has ever invented any practice than the so-called “Best Practice”. And the young aspirants focus more on it and stops thinking, stops using their brains, creativity shunted, intelligence rusted, growth curtailed and what more life sucks.

Why do organizations swank on this phrase and ruin their intellectual capital? Why can’t they stop thinking that a practice is best only to some extent and there is always a room for improvement? Probably the word “Best” trains mind to think that this is the end of it. Maybe the language English has to be blamed for the same.

Perhaps we need to re-took at the terminology and may call it as “WOW Practice”, or “Happiness Practice”, or “Nearly right practice” or “Pleasant practice”.. I am sure we can coin many terminology only to help the young talents from getting jailed into the web of “Nothing More”

It would be nice if organizations focus at making their practices be it internal processes, people practices, customer value practices into what suits them the most and create a niche in their own way in their own style and WOW everyone around and keep building new WOWs.. Today’s best practice is tomorrow’s history and “used to” factor creeps in the mind of all.

Come to think of it, all what one shall do to bring the Wow and be consistent in delivering the WOW are:

  1. Simplify your systems and processes in your organization
    Make work processes simple and easy to follow. This will make your people happy, eventually happy customers. You will see how the practices that you follow would be seen as WOW.
  2. Smile
    Simple curve that you need to wear. And the best part is that, the moment you make your practices friendly, easy to follow and fun to live with, your people will surely forget to frown.
  3. Make it Easy
    I was in a supermarket in India once and was astonished at the fact that the security have to check your bill before you are let outside. This definitely annoys a customer. Perhaps a simple one to handle but none realizes how a small change in it could make a WOW.
  4. Respect others
    Do you respect your employees, customers, colleagues… Try amending your ways of interaction. You will see a WOW falling in place and the world will call your style the so-called “Best Practice”.
  5. Be sensitive
    When was the last time you offered a seat to someone in the train? When was the last time you allowed the lady and kids to alight the elevator first? Believe me, your simplest action can bring that Wow.
  6. Avoid complacency
    If you feel you are doing the best, you would be sadly mistaken. There is always room for improvement. If you believe in continuous improvement, constant criticism of your ways of work, behavior.. You will see that the best practice that you once thought was no more a best practice but a norm.

Getting caught at the mindset of “Best Practice” kills opportunities for change and betterment. It just stops you from seeing anything better than the best practice. The world is moving faster than light nowadays and the one who believes that there is more to achieve would move away from the feeling of “we are the best”

My first blog

I have been wanting to explore this domain of blogs for quite some time. I am naive on blogs and have no idea how this is going to turn out to be useful to the world today or tomorrow.

I am sure my own controversial and challengeable weird thoughts would become an interesting topic for many. I have opened this blog with the idea of lighting my own thoughts on management, leadership and human resources. I am a thinker, a wild one at times. My skills in writing must be made to use somewhere and years of writing beautiful emails, thought-provoking statements, inspiring words should find some place somewhere to be useful to someone.

So, welcome me!!