Some jobs it seems set you up to fail. And it seems that management has no idea how important it is to do their job to retain new and old employees. Before I left my old job, I did a lot of reading on what constitutes a good manager, but now–in a new job myself–it’s quite apparent some obvious things that would be helping me.
First of all, in order to help your new employee to feel empowered to be learning and grasping their new position, it’s imperative that you must have a decent training program! Having one that is haphazard or ‘on the job training’–especially when one works in an extremely busy and stressful atmosphere, is almost certainly spelling disaster and IS setting up the employee for failure.
Having three or four different people teaching the person the same thing, at first with conflicting information, and then expecting the person to grasp the concepts, is unreasonable and unfair. If no manuals or written material is given, only verbal instructions while the normal, busy work day is going on around the new employee, it may be very hard for this person the grasp concepts. And when you pile onto that, short-tempered and rude people demanding things from the new employee that they don’t yet know how to do, you might as well expect this new person to walk out.
That new person should not be put on the front lines until they have a comfort level with enough things that they don’t end up feeling discouraged every day after work. This only will lead to immediate low self-esteem and a poor attitude. If an employee is instead trained properly and is prepared correctly and hits the ground with all the tools he/she needs, then they will have the confidence to do a job well.
Today I also heard in my first staff meeting the nurses complaining that they must work all day, then take call at night, then come back the next day. One of the RN’s who had been there a long time said that new hires had been lied to in the interviews and were told there were ‘night crews’. During their orientation they found out they had to take call and that they (like everyone else) were considered the night crews. So they promptly quit–before they even started!
Honesty with employees is another vital key to management’s success. I never felt that in my last job. It is better to simply tell the truth, whatever it may be, than to make up stories. If they want their employees to be truthful, then so must they be. This goes along with integrity in my opinion.
Another important tool is fairness–treating all employees equally. They can’t think that the nurses are more important than the front desk people. One management person did say I was doing a good job today and it meant a lot. I see a lot of the RN’s getting praised–especially the new ones. I’m sure this is because they are so short-handed. But if I walk away they will be in a bad way too. I see how that front desk runs (or doesn’t run really). It’s chaotic. They would do well to make sure I stay honestly. It’s not a job most people would want to do or could do.
There are a million things I read on the list of a good manager but I’ll wrap it up with this: trying to have a sense of humor and keeping calm. They must keep their heads when it hits the fan and not place blame immediately. Taking a breath, get to the bottom of things first and stand up for their people. Remembering we’re all a team. It makes you want to work for them more if you know they have your back. If you think they’re ready to throw you under the bus, well–why work too hard. And if they can laugh and keep it light, even when it’s tough, you know they have the real priorities in life straight.
Because after all–while they may more money then we do, it is still, only a job for us all.