Employees and managers routinely go in separate directions and never talk or see each other again. There are often unspoken words when those working relationships end. If by some miracle you had the chance to tell an old boss why you left or why you hated working for them, what would you say? Here is what I would.
“You Don’t Self Crit!”
Unfortunately, it’s all too common that within the workplace, employees can sometimes feel like their bosses are doling out a lot of criticism, but not taking the time to look inward and really examine how effectively they’re communicating as managers.
According to Talent Smart, an organization that offers companies training programs and coaching services aimed at increasing emotional intelligence in the workplace, over 60 percent of managers admit that they need to work on their management skills. What’s interesting about this figure is that Talent Smart also noted how 60 percent of workers find their bosses to be “self-oriented” and 43 percent called them “overly demanding.” This suggests that while bosses are acknowledging that they personally need to do better, the employees aren’t seeing it and they certainly aren’t feeling it. If you’ve worked with a micro-manager who criticized a lot, while not being introspective themselves, that’s probably something you might want to tell your boss after you quit.
“I Felt Like I Had To Walk On Eggshells Around You.”
A 2018 survey by the jobsite Monster.com found that around 76 percent of employed job seekers noted that they were leaving their jobs due to a “toxic” boss. The same survey found that 26 percent of recipients called their current bosses “power hungry.” These findings illustrate a sentiment that anyone who has ever been employed can understand: that it is far from uncommon to have a boss who you are uncomfortable approaching about anything. That can be a truly stifling for someone who is trying to break into a career or a new company. Interestingly, on the other hand, a different survey found that 69 percent of managers are “uncomfortable communicating,” with employees. Many noted that giving direct feedback was intimidating because they were afraid that the employee would respond negatively to the feedback. As it turns out, after you quit, you might realize that both managers and workers were tip toeing around each other. If you get the chance, you should tell your former boss about that.
“I Felt Like I Had No Say In The Way I Got to Do My Job”
The most fundamental truth behind employing people within an organization is the fact that everybody brings different values, interests, skills and abilities. Everyone is on the team, hopefully, because they bring something different to the table. Something, that perhaps even the person who hired them doesn’t have. It’s for that reason that it can quickly become insufferable to work underneath a micromanager who won’t give you any room to make decisions regarding your own tasks.
One survey found that 18 percent of people seeking out new jobs described their current boss as a “micromanager.” Beyond that, the same survey found that 17 percent of those respondents called their bosses “incompetent.” It’s one thing to have someone over your shoulder constantly. It’s another thing entirely, wondering how the person pulling on your strings daily, manages to tie their own shoe laces every morning. Perhaps the worst aspect of micromanagement is the toll it takes on employees. Studies have found that micromanagement has been linked to once productive employees losing motivation and initiative.
“Too Many Analytics; Not Enough Eye Testing!”
In team sports, analyst’s have a thing called the eye test. This means that, no matter what the numbers say, you can always spot someone who’s doing a good job because the people around them are feeling dialed in, joyful and productive. Naturally, this runs a little counter to the more statistical kind of analysis that’s dominant in 2020.
Managers and their employees face a similar dilemma. As far as the company or organization goes, managers have much broader set of responsibilities. For example, if a shoe salesman needs to sell a pair for $70 to make $10, there is a manager somewhere thinking about how to sell the next 100 pairs. Because of this, the question becomes, how do we measure an employee’s “intangibles”, i.e. the stuff that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet?
Truth is, that can be really hard, and a lot of employees feel like they aren’t getting their due because the manager isn’t looking for the things that are harder to see. In a 2019 survey aimed at exploring why employees quit their jobs, Gallup found that 82 percent of them don’t feel like their supervisor recognize their contribution to the team. Managers everywhere should take heed, because not only did the survey find that a majority of employees were feeling underappreciated, but that 60 percent of them were more motivated by recognition than money.