Employee turnover is always mentioned as having a negative impact on business. It costs 3X the salary to replace someone who leaves your company. This situation, although not ideal, is easier to address. However, there is a bigger problem which can impact the company’s bottom line even more hiding in plain sight:
Lost production due to a dependent manager structure.
A dependent manager structure is in place when employees have to come into the manager’s office to ask questions or approval on every process, proposals, or client calls. Everything must run through the manager for their approval before any employee can send out a contract or quote, even if the employee has been working on the team for years.
During these conversations, the manager often will leave their own work to make sure every step is followed or hover over the team to make sure they are involved in every step of the process.
What if we add up the time this manager is away from their own work and production? Even if it totaled an hour a day, this is equal to 6 weeks of time over the year that this leader is not producing their own work.
Think of what this equates to in salary and lack of production for this manager. Most likely, it is not an insignificant amount.
Dependent management structures usually evolve two different ways. One is due to lack of training for the new manager on how to build or lead a team effectively. This is often the case when someone is efficient at their own job, and they are suddenly promoted to run the team, which requires an entirely different set of skills. Often the company does not recognize this, and by not investing in the proper training, this leads to the new manager’s lack of success.
The second way a dependent system emerges is due to the manager’s belief of not sharing everything they know so they will remain valuable to the company. They also believe if the team begins to perform their job without daily micro-management, upper management may feel they no longer need the manager to run the team. This is misguided because dependent leadership creates dependent employees who will never perform to their potential.
The goal of any great leader is to focus on training yourself out of a job. Managers should have a structure in place to inspect their team’s performance, dedicate time in their week for one on one training and hold the team accountable to certain results. A good manager’s time is spent coaching their team to execute their tasks so that the manager can focus on their own productivity, not micro-managing employees each day. Businesses must have a training program in place for new managers to teach them the proper skills to build and lead a successful team of individuals. The mentality of “They were a great salesperson” or “I was just thrown into the role” is unproductive and potentially harmful for the business. The demands for productivity, customer expectations and HR policies need a more seasoned and trained individual to lead.
Glenn Pasch is the CEO of PCG Digital a full service digital marketing agency and the creator of Productivity³, a training system to help companies build high producing teams.