Mental Health Continuum, Employee benefits & Why do we undervalue competent management?
25th July 2021 Evolution Partners Newsletter
“The best way to fail at something is to make it somebody’s part time job” – Colin Bryar
Hope you’re Thriving!
It’s been a very busy and very wet week for me. In fact, Perth has had 17 days of consecutive rainfall and is on track to have the wettest month ever. But at least we’re not in lockdown like most of Australia!
Mental Health Continuum
The thing about lockdowns is that they are tiring. At the beginning of the pandemic, when we were talking about the Hammer and the Dance we weren’t perhaps so aware of the human cost the dance brings.
Lockdowns wear you down on many levels, especially when you have a stress-filled job already. So several times this week, I’ve been working with leaders on managing their people who have been challenged because of the whole pandemic and its effects.
In these situations, my recommendation is for leaders to use the Mental Health Continuum as a simple assessment tool. In order to support their people and know what to do, this model can provide confidence that the leader knows when to coach, knows when to support and knows when to seek professional help.
As you can see in the model below when the person is demonstrating injured or ill symptoms, it might be appropriate to invite them to attend an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if you have one or some other form of professional help.
As I said to one leader this week, if your body had been through what your mind has over the past year, you would probably be looking after your body more.
Employee Assistance Programs can be fractional, affordable and frankly because they often work with qualified professional psychologists, they can limit your liability. But, of course, beyond that, they also can be important in building a healthy team. Yet, they are still an employee benefit, which cost money and have often only been affordable or even popular in large organisations.
A few months ago on the podcast, Kevin and I talked about The 7 hidden reasons people leave. These hidden reasons people leave that we discussed in the podcast are;
Reason #1: The Job or Workplace Was Not as Expected.
Reason #2: The Mismatch between Job and Person.
Reason #3: Too Little Coaching and Feedback.
Reason #4: Too Few Growth and Advancement Opportunities.
Reason #5: Feeling Devalued and Unrecognized.
Reason #6: Stress from Overwork and Work-life Imbalance.
Reason #7: Loss of Trust and Confidence in Senior Leaders.
Of course, none of these reasons is about pay or benefits, which may surprise you. You might be able to argue that coaching and feedback could connect with the EAP as a benefit, but really, they come down to competent management. A focus on having leaders in your business understand what competent management means and how the above 7 reasons impact your retention rate can be very beneficial for them and their impact.
As I said to one leader this week, a manager needs to understand that their job is to have the processes and people they are accountable for performing well. Everything else then becomes secondary.
Then, if the reasons above are why people leave, it’s interesting to ask are you paying the same amount as your competition?
Most of the time, give or take a few per cent, most roles pay around the same. Therefore, the value of the work environment and your leaders’ value become critical to attracting and retaining the best people. This is a subject we talk about on the Growth Whisperers Podcast this week: Why should anyone come and work for you at the same salary as your competitors?
Why do we undervalue competent management?
Competent management is absolutely critical, and as demonstrated above, makes a significant impact on a business. Yet, often, competent management is undervalued. In an HBR article, Raffaella Sadun, Nicholas Bloom, and John Van Reenen ask why we undervalue competent management.
From the article.
“Though core management practices may appear to be relatively simple—in that, they often rely on non-technological investments— they are not light switches that can be flipped on and off at will. They require a profound commitment from the top, an understanding of the types of skills required for adoption, and—ultimately—a fundamental shift in mentality at all levels of the organization.
Our findings have implications for how managers are trained. Today business students are encouraged to judge case studies about operational effectiveness as “nonstrategic” and to see these issues as not pertinent to the role of the CEO. But it’s unwise to teach future leaders that strategic decision making and basic management processes are unrelated and that the first is far more important to competitive success than the second. Indeed, our work suggests that the management community may have badly underestimated the benefits of core management practices—as well as the investment needed to strengthen them—by relegating them to the domain of “easy to replicate.
”Managers should certainly dedicate their time to fundamental strategic choices, but they should not suppose that fostering strong managerial practices is below their pay grade. Just as the ability to discern competitive shifts is important to firm performance, so too is the ability to make sure that operational effectiveness is truly part of the organization’s DNA.”
Read the article here: Why do we undervalue competent management?
This week on The Growth Whisperers podcast
Employers often complain that it’s difficult to find staff and yet pay the same amount as the competition. However, if you consider the situation from the employees perspective, you can appreciate that if the pay is approximately the same, then many things you might not consider are actually quite important to a candidate.
For example, the purpose of the organisation, the role flexibility, career growth opportunity, the manager or the organisation’s prestige all become critical considerations if the pay rate is similar.
Why should anyone come and work for you at the same salary as your competitors?
Listen to The Growth Whisperers
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