Leadership skills beat Massive Monday

Piers Bishop · January 13, 2014

Mountain in India - by Jason Baker. Creative Commons licence

So you made it through Massive Monday – the day when more people consider a job change or a relationship split than any other day of the year.  Searching for the sunlit uplands, whether or not they actually exist.  But what kind of workplace management would have stopped you even thinking about making a change – and are such leadership skills really so hard to achieve?

This year the managers and HR people were a little more worried about Massive Monday than last, because the problem of retention is back in the news as the economy picks up a little.  Even in those firms that really do have great leadership skills, this annual orgy of renewal is really rather a silly idea (except for the recruitment consultants), especially if there is a better alternative.

According to the insider about 40% of employees look for a new job each January, and this really ought to tell us something about the state of the places they’re thinking of leaving.  (Of course, the chances are the place they are going to won’t be any better, but they can always move on again in a year’s time.)  If you ask people why they’re doing this the biggest single answer given is for more money, and few organisations can beat that problem by endlessly upping people’s salaries.

But over 50% of those interviewed said they were hoping to find better job satisfaction – and that is something that any company with good leadership skills ought to be able to provide at minimal cost, if any.  And in fact the people who move on for more salary will find, once they reach the level where they have adequate money, that it makes no difference to the way they feel about work – so instead of giving them more money to compensate for a badly-run workplace their employers could look at job satisfaction and retain the same staff for less outlay.

Everything depends on knowing what people need.  Not what they want, but what they need at a very basic level in order to do well.  This is harder than it seems – we are not conscious of some basic human needs because they operate at an emotional level – we just feel uncomfortable and act sub-optimally when they are compromised.  Even those we do have everyday words for are not normally discussed in our culture.  But there is a suite of questions that every manager can – and should – be asking of the team on a regular basis, to keep track of how well the team are going to be able to operate.

Of course if you have a number of people in the team this could involve some time, but WeThrive is here to do the heavy lifting.  Try it on ten people at no cost, and find out what you – and everyone else – has been missing.  It will all be the kind of information that you need if you want to make next years Massive Monday into something marvellous instead.