When I check the keyword searches that land people here, a lot of
them have to do with "find my strengths" or "how do I manage talented
People at work appear invested in clarifying their own strengths and understanding the inherent talent in others. If that's so, I was wondering why there is so much angst about retention. It seems that people would be committed for the long term if their strengths and talents are being valued.
The Managerial Equivalent of "Your Lips Say 'Yes' But There's 'No-No' In Your Eyes"
There is at least one reason why some people--including managers-- are shopping their resumes. It has to do with the distinction between advocating development and then doing the opposite.
Here's a real life example:
Luke (not his real name) is an operations manager at one of my client companies. He's experienced and has been in the manufacturing industry for 20+ years. He is the most well-read client ever. Whenever I see him, he waxes poetically about the wonderful "new" managerial ideas he's picked up from the most recent leadership books he's read.
One of those ideas had to do with recognizing someone's small successes and following through with verbal encouragement or even a small reward (lunch, movie tickets, a $25 gift certificate. . .) Better yet, acknowledge the person's fete during a regular departmental meeting. He also talked about the importance of those ideas during a meeting with his supervisors.
But he wouldn't do any of those.
I asked him why not.
His reply "I'm not going to spend time rewarding or telling someone how good they are if the company is already paying them a salary. They are supposed to do good work."
He doesn't have the same approach with his kids. I've seen him. He acknowledges them when they've succeeded at something. Anything. And he does it spontaneously.
What the heck happens in life(?) between:
Every day we're all trying to learn or do something new. Let's be honest: part of our day is spent being a kid again when it comes to struggling with a new problem that needs a solution. And we could use a few encouraging words of recognition when we demonstrate a talent that helps the organization.
("Gee, that felt good. I think I'll do it again!)
What would a well-known, successful business person say about the importance of encouragement?
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