My friend’s husband is an avid runner. He also has serious work ethic – definitely the kind of person you want on your team. Lastly, he’s a brand new dad.
He started a new job a few months ago at a new health care/fitness facility for a hospital. He’s in on time. And he leaves on time so he can take care of his new child while his wife goes to her yoga practice. On his one hour lunch break he eats a quick lunch that he’s brought and goes for a run.
Since working there, he has not received acknowledgement for his:
quick learning curve
results he has already created in the little time he’s been there
personal dedication to health
efforts to create a healthy work/life balance
Instead the main communication he has received from his manager is the following:
1) I don’t think you should be going for a run on your lunch break.
What to know: The irony is thick as this is a HEALTH facility. An employee’s time when they are “off the clock” is theirs to do with as they wish – hopefully a no brainer within your organization. And for goodness sakes, if they’re doing something healthy or learning something new or helping a family member, acknowledge and support what they’re up to in the world.
2) I want you to check in with me every day when you come in, when you go to lunch, when you come back from lunch and when you leave.
What to know: Micromanagement never creates trust. If you don’t trust employees, you shouldn’t be a manager. If you don’t trust one employee, then you need to really evaluate why this is the case. And if you have an employee who’s not trustworthy then likely they should not be your employee.
3) I don’t want you to leave until your work is done.
What to know: This manager hasn’t defined what this means since his job duties consist of ongoing work that’s never really ‘done.’ Communicate clear expectations. Everyone wants to succeed. In order to be successful, we need to know the rules – both the written and unwritten. We need to understand what success looks like for the company as well as for our individual roles. Are there results or relationships that need to be created or achieved? Projects to complete? In what time frame?
Note that the manager in this situation is not a complete brutish jerk. It really doesn’t take much to damage a relationship with an employee, but as you can see from the suggestions above it doesn’t take that much to avoid these pitfalls.
This manager sounds insecure of their ability to lead. And unfortunately their insecurity will cost this company incredible talent as well as significant $$. Let’s just say, my friend’s husband is not thinking this is the place he wants to grow old, let alone give his best to in the short term.