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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Where Have all the Managers Gone?

Ha!  I made it before midnight, my second blog post for the new year!  I almost missed it because I've been bogged down in research. 

You see, I'm working on developing two new management training courses.  The first will be a course on how to talk to employees about career development and progression.  The other will cover how to provide effective ongoing feedback and perform performance appraisals.  Two things that I know are not always "easy" or "comfortable" things to do, but that I simply consider part of a manager's job.

Last week someone told me that the reason I was having such a hard time getting managers to complete their performance appraisals because it was "like going to the dentist."  To which I responded, "yes, but you have to go to the dentist twice a year."  (Apparently, there are a lot of people that aren't taking very good care of their teeth.)  I've worked at many different organizations from military to nonprofit to law firms to government contractors and in all of those places performance appraisals were just a part of life and were done once or twice a year - usually without too much fanfare.  Some were more effective and useful than others, but managers accepted this task as part of their jobs and I think that employees appreciated the feedback.  I know I did. 

However, it occurs to me that most of the managers (if not all) were Baby Boomers.  Those managers taught me how to be a good manager.  My career development mattered to them. Perhaps because they expected to be working with me for awhile.  I wonder in our new world order where employees don't stay with companies for the life of their careers, but tend to look at each new company as a career step, if the number of managers who have great management skills will continue to decline. 

My other theory is that these days everyone wants to be a leader and we talk and talk about training and developing leaders and we forget that people are crying out for good managers.  Great management skills seem to be valued less and less and, well, I think it's quite a shame.

There will be more to come as I continue to develop my seminars.

What are your thoughts?

4 comments:

Goddess Adrasteia said...

I'm dreading my review. Mostly because I've been told myriad times, "I resent you" and "I don't trust you." Can't fire the owner, unfortunately.

Angelique Keenley said...

That's awful! I think I'd call that toxic management and that's definitely a topic for a future blog post. How are you holding up in that environment?

Goddess Adrasteia said...

I have an interview Monday. That's how I'm holding up! I would be honored to share details once I'm in a safe place again.

Angelique Keenley said...

Good luck on your interview! I've got my fingers crossed for you.