And the need for management/leadership training isn't just for sales people elevated to a management position, but everyone in a management/ leadership role. Like a professional athlete or musician, managers/leaders must never stop learning and honing their skills. Too many managers/leaders believe if they obtain a certain level in the corporate hierarchy, they have figured it out and there is nothing more to learn. Imagine a concert pianist or professional athlete reaching a certain level and no longer consulting a coach or instructor? Or, never practicing again? If we aren't growing we are stagnant, or worse yet, atrophying.
See if this sounds familiar. You are a new hire and your manager who was such a great guy during the interview, assured you he would spend time training you in all aspects of your sales job to assure your success. But amazingly, once the job begins, he seems to be too busy to train you. Several months go by and the next thing you know he wants to know why you aren't making your number and gives you 30 days to do so, or you will lose your job. Talk about a discouraging turn of events that you know full well should be the responsibility of the manager, but since he is your boss, there is really nothing you can say or do. He now appears almost hostile towards you and all you feel like doing is walking out the door, never to return. Yet, there is rent, utilities, food, clothing; the necessities of life that require money.
If, as a management consultant, I were to evaluate this situation, my conclusion would be our dear manager is basically striking out at his employee because he has failed miserably in preparing his employee, and is getting heat from his boss about the lack of sales. If this manager were better prepared and understood his role properly, he would know he needs to be honest and admit he has failed to do what he promised. More importantly, this manager needs to take responsibility for his lack of follow through and not strike out at his employee. By doing so, he will demoralize his employee which will only create tension between the manager and his underling. This will kill motivation and leave a lasting, negative perception in the employees mind.There is silent resentment that is being built between the two, and I can assure you that the first chance this employee gets to take another job, they will be gone.
Leadership demands we do what we say we are going to do, and if we fail on our commitment, we are courageous enough to take responsibility for our neglect and confront the issue as a professional. The other option is to project our inadequacies onto our employees in hopes that we will get away with our neglect undetected. The truth is you have forever undermined your trust with your employee, demoralized them and pretty much killed off their motivation for doing good work for you.
Calculate the cost to this organization if this employee leaves, particularly if they possess talent. The problem is not only the lack of insight and understanding about how to professionally handle the situation, but the lack of a venue for the employee to constructively address this situation and somehow make certain that the manager is made to own his incompetent behavior.
Don't let this happen on your watch. We specialize in employee retention and this comes about by the managers and leaders of an organization being honest and introspective enough to recognize the real root of problems, and address them as true leaders, not like a child looking to pass the buck.
We can do group analysis to ascertain individual temperaments and provide a group/leadership map that enables you to more objectively evaluate your teams and their leaders. This is done through the use of the Keirsey KTS II Test that one of our trained professionals can administer via the internet.
Give us a call at (877) 326-8293 X 700, and let us assist you with making certain all your leaders are on the same page and preventing the loss of valuable employees that could be prevented.
Look for my blog next week, and until then, strive for a more insightful leadership team.