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People leave the manager instead of leaving the company, don't let yourself be that kind of manager

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Comment: A survey of 20,000 people, 46% of whom feel that their manager is a failure, only 20% feel that they have done very successfully.


The data shows that [1], bad management is a very serious problem. According to a Gallup study, more than 50% admitted that the main reason for leaving the previous job was to get rid of the previous manager. In fact, 70% of your work well-being is directly related to your manager.

However, few managers ask themselves this question: Do people choose to leave because of me? Is it because I did or didn't do anything? In my experience, managers may have encountered a similar Dunning Kruger effect (a common cognitive bias). Managers think they are not the reason for leaving, and employees think so.

Let's look at a piece of data that might ruin managers. The report surveyed 5,247 managers [2] who hired more than 20,000 new employees 18 months ago to see how these employees judged managers after 18 months.

The biggest failures I feel are:

I have led the engineering team for decades, but when I look back on my management career, I always think that I am a "good manager" and sometimes even a great manager. I blame my problems on my problems, not myself. Looking back now, I clearly know that I am too blind and innocent, too confident, and although I am skilled but inexperienced, I made a lot of mistakes.

This kind of management overconfidence I saw in many other people, I summed up a step to avoid the recurrence of this situation.

1. Always seek advice

As a software engineer, no matter how high your level of expertise, code review is always required before deploying new code to production. YOLO code can only be changed in an emergency.

The same is true for managers. Before taking action, you should always ask for peer review, whether it's your own manager or a human resources team. The greater the potential consequences of action, the more thorough the review should be.

Before conducting performance appraisal, discuss with the boss or colleagues. If someone in the team is not performing well, you can communicate whether you can improve.

Remember: Once you think you have mastered your management skills, it's the time when you are most likely to have problems.

2. Don't blame someone, have something to do together

One of the values ​​of my engineering team is the Ownership, which applies equally to managers and engineers. No one on my team said, "This is not my fault."

I have to constantly introspect, make sure I have the team members, and do my best to help the team do better. Things go wrong, don't be responsible for others, but try to figure out your role in this situation. What I do or avoid, can solve the problem.

If I am having trouble analyzing and understanding these issues, I will return to the first step and ask for advice from my peers. Often, I find that the solution to the problem is generally to provide "constructive feedback" to someone in the group, or how I can better support their feedback in the future.

3. Stand by them and give them feedback

Providing feedback is the most powerful weapon for you to develop your own and development teams, but it is one of the hardest things to do. Wrong, you may turn the most powerful weapon into something that hurts the team.

Before submitting any feedback, let me set aside some time to find out what feedback others might receive. Is it probably not comprehensive enough? Or will they feel hurt or upset? Please pay special attention to the broad meaning of the feedback provided. Honest feedback may motivate an experienced engineer, but for recent employees, it is difficult for them to settle down. Give feedback at the right time and tone. Use your emotional intelligence and empathy. If it is not appropriate, you can save feedback and make it more private or less stressful.

4. Taste your success

The best thing about startup engineers is the feedback loop, which you can iterate in a week or even a day or two to let the user experience. These feedback loops are fuel for your team and have a positive impact on team productivity and member happiness and job satisfaction.

Unfortunately, managers are always tied up with a lot of things, or focus on the realm of problems. When you do this, the morale of the team is easy to fall, they feel that no value is like the gears in the machine.

So make sure to celebrate the team's success and make sure the team knows they are making an impact. It's very simple, you don't have to hang on the ceiling, just give them detailed and timely feedback, they can do very well. It may be the positive news you have heard from the boss recently, or actively respond to someone's work in the slack.

Great manager makes great company

As you remain humble, seek advice, introspect rather than blame, and give feedback with empathy, you are on the road to becoming a good manager. But as we have seen, success as a manager breeds complacency and is prone to bad habits of overconfidence. Once you think you really have management skills, then when you are in the most vulnerable state, you need to constantly re-examine what you need to do to become a good manager, otherwise you may lose the best talent.


Data reference:

[1] State of the American Manager Report

[2] Why New Hires Fail (Emotional Intelligence Vs. Skills)


Original: People leave managers, not companies. Don't let that manager be you. - Inside Intercom


Director: The basic reason for leaving the company is that the people are not in place and the money is not in place. If the money is not in place, the manager can help you fight for it; if the person is not in place, it is really not over.


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