Welcome to the StangerCarlson Talent Minute. I’m Carolyn Carlson.
A few days ago I received an email from a former colleague of mine after listening to our last Talent Minute post –To be a Great Manager Develop your Coaching Success Competencies. I know that it was meant to be tongue and cheek however it was quite telling.
My colleague wrote:
“Show me a manager you’ve helped become proficient in Relating, Questioning, Listening, and Coaching Presence and I’ll show you where my next resume will be sent.” He further commented on each of the coaching success competencies and his opinion as to the percentage of managers who are proficient at each competency. The bottom line is my former colleague didn’t give high marks on any area.
This was extremely troubling however if I had conducted an informal employee survey I am certain I would get the same results. I recently read a study by Leadership IQ Optimal Hours with the Boss Study, North America Research Overview May, 2014. This study concluded, after surveying 32,410 American and Canadian executives, managers and employees that the optimal amount of time to spend interacting with one’s leader is 6 hours per week. This fact raised my curiosity on what they discovered. Their survey revealed employees are more inspired, engaged, innovative and intrinsically motivated with 6 hours of interactions a week with their leader.
Of course this caused me to think about manager to employee ratio and if this is even in the realistic. I had to stop myself from being a numbers geek, you know saying 6 direct reports times 6 hours per week equaling 36 hours, instead thinking about the way that a leader can make meaningful impact within their organization by inspiring, engaging, motivating, and releasing innovation through their employees by engagement.
Interaction can be defined in many ways today. Although the survey results do indicate that face to face is most impactful form, other forms of interaction such as e-mail, phone call, text messages, team meetings, and working sessions, to name a few, really count. The bottom line is we need to educate our leaders on the power of employee interaction. We need to teach these key capabilities through explanation, demonstration, role-playing & critiques, and reinforcement.
I am passionate about helping clients to build strong leaders and team while engaging employees. I do hope my colleague who wrote me that email listens to this and understand that there is a way to help companies have their leaders become better “engagers” of their employees.
Thanks for listening. Comments welcome.