2020: What a year.
One could write a book on all of the historic changes the pandemic brought. But in this brief blog we will just try to scratch the surface on how it has changed the way we work. Although working remotely was trending prior to the pandemic, COVID 19 made it required for most workers. Once again, we have discovered that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Based on some 80,000 Gallup interviews, Buckingham and Coffman authored their 1999 seminal work, First Break All the Rules. Their key finding was that the immediate supervisor plays the pivotal role in determining performance. No, it is not a charismatic or famous CEO, but the managers on the front-line who can deliver regular coaching that retains talent, motivates employees and drives business results.
Twenty-one years later, Gallup has just reported that regular coaching is more crucial than ever when leading a team that is working remotely.
Yet, what they report is staggering in how infrequently employees report receiving coaching. Forty-seven percent say they hear from their leader a few times per year while another 19% report that they only get feedback from their manager during an annual performance review.
Put the two points together and you have empirical support for one, front-line managers are crucial to business success; and two, many managers are doing a lousy job of it.
Recently, we conducted Zoom based (what else?) training programs for more than 130 managers. One of the questions we asked them to respond to via chat (what else?) was for an example of a meaningful intrinsic reward they received from a leader. Overwhelmingly, most examples were as simple as a straight forward thank you for a job well done.
The cost of writing a thank you note is a few minutes and the motivational impact on a team member is great. Make it a new years’ resolution to reach out to your team frequently. Both of you will be rewarded.
2020: What a year.