It’s the Manager by Jim Clifton [Book Summary – Review]

With new technologies and disruptive beginnings that drive massive changes in the way we do business, the world of work is changing. What about the workers? Are they changing too?

You will find out how behaviors and priorities have shifted from one generation of workers to the next in this review. You will discover what the millennial generation wants from their careers, what most American employees think about the #MeToo movement, and how the growth of freelance work affects your business.

These chapters will lead you to have the confidence to hire the best people and keep your top workers satisfied, based on the current research from analytics and management company Gallup. The review consists of perspectives into the mentality of today’s employees. And this is your introductory guide to the future of management.

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Chapter 1 – If you want to get the best from this energetic generation, you should change things in your workplace.

It is not a lie that millennials are disturbing the way we work. These brilliant minds are born between 1980 and 1996, and they are transforming how we interact, travel, buy, and entertain ourselves.

Yet, there’s an issue in this age of massive change. The old management styles no longer work. And the strategies that suited older generations don’t match with the new ones. 

Millennials want employers to realize they’re not only going to work for a salary, but they’re also coming to work for a reason.

In their careers, younger employees need value and want to work for businesses that have a meaningful effect on the planet. Although their family found purpose within their societies, millennials and Generation Z find their purpose through their works. So you need to create a corporate atmosphere around making a change if you are willing to attract and to keep the best talents.

Millennials are often not involved in work satisfaction in the conventional sense. Career advancement is what they consider. The foosball tables and luxurious coffee makers that many businesses now have, don’t affect them. Currently, they find these advantages patronizing. What millennials want you to do is to give them a hand during their carrier journey. They don’t mind if you’re giving them a free meal or not. 

It might be a surprise to hear that most millennials are not willing to handle them, but would prefer you to coach them. Rather than an old-school manager who dominates and dictates, younger workers want bosses who recognize their talents and can help develop them so that they get successful at their work.

And conventional managers are not the only thing that millennials don’t want to have. As it turns out, they don’t want yearly performance reports, either. Alternatively, they want feedback from their supervisors even more often, which is logical, considering that millennials are used to communicate immediately through items such as messages and tweets. Just try to reflect on their abilities, not their flaws. Millennials want to recognize what they are good at to continue doing it.     

Chapter 2 – Successful companies describe their brand by naming their mission.

What’s your company’s point?  Or, in other words, do you know the meaning of it, or why it takes place? You can know the answer if you’re the leader in your company. But don’t think it’s the same thing for everybody. Not even half of the workers know the mission of their firm, according to Gallup.

The major issue is the disconnection between managers and workers. It is difficult to build a strong brand and offer amazing experiences for your users without a value-based atmosphere that is embraced by all.

So how can you transform the atmosphere of your business and build a brand that will connect with leaders, workers, and customers?

Characterizing a brand is something that is determined by questioning how the company should be viewed at the top of an organization, not only by customers but also by current and future employees.

What do you want someone who applies to join your company to think of? Make sure the experience of the worker suits the image you want to build, right up to the time he leaves, from login to career growth.

If you’ve established the brand for a company, take a close look at your policies and ensure that they are clear. Do a comprehensive audit: from HR to the different processes and power structures of your organization. You want it all to be a precise representation of your culture.

And don’t forget the most important asset at your disposal when shifting the culture of your business: your managers. The managers of an organization are the determining factor at any stage where cultural shifts take root. It’s because they’re the connection between the culture-creating executive management team and the staff members who implement it every day.

Motivate the managers to act almost like coaches, rather than like conventional bosses, to transfer these ideas about brand and intention. Your managers will help the workers by coaching so that they continue to accept the new culture in their working life.

Chapter 3 – Don’t let unconscious bias be part of the recruitment method.

The significance of having talented individuals in their organizations is recognized by most leaders. When they recruit the right person for the job, that person includes integration, learns new skills, and becomes a fantastic brand ambassador for the business.

But just because managers always want to have the best individuals out there, that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily successful. Managers are just like us; humans. That’s why during the recruiting period they may display certain degrees of bias just like other people.

The first prejudice to check for is something called the glare effect by the writers. This is when you are excessively impacted by the physical presence of a nominee, or how she looks or introduces herself. While physical properties can be distracting during the selection process. they don’t always represent how an applicant would do on the work.

You can also fall to a second prejudice, called the fallacy of experience. This is when you make wrong assumptions about possible scenarios using your previous events. For example, if you hired your last star employee from a specific company, you might mistakenly believe that that company’s next nominee would be just as skilled.

What is called confirmation bias is the third type of wrong prejudice. You create a nominee’s first impression, and then, even after knowing more about him, remember only the details that validate your first thoughts. And, if you assume he’s a good candidate for the job because of the university he went to, then you may keep on thinking that, even if further evidence shows he doesn’t fit for the position and besides.

A fourth element takes place for some managers: the bias of overconfidence. If you think you are exceptionally good at hiring the best people, you can trust your instincts too much and disregard signs that you are choosing the wrong people.

At last, one of the biggest problems in any recruitment process is similarity bias. This is when you choose to recruit someone simply because you think she is a bit like you. This sort of bias often leads to candidates being discriminated against based on their sex, race, or other characteristics. So, like other prejudices, eventually ends up restricting the number of highly skilled individuals who can reach your company.

Chapter 4 – There are four main things to remember in recruitment.

You shouldn’t trust your instinct, perceptions, or even your past experiences to get the right match when it is time to recruiting the correct people for the job. What you should do is to put your confidence in the process. It is a proven strategy of recruiting that demonstrates your candidates’ talents, attitudes, and work styles.

If it sounds overwhelming to establish this sort of hiring process, don’t worry, there’s great news. All the difficult tasks have been done by you. To find approaches to help you select the best applicants, Gallup has examined over 100 years of recruiting studies in the field of business psychology.

The first things to check when you hire for a position are the past accomplishments and workplace experiences of your applicants. Try to learn as much about their qualifications and history as you can and how they correspond to the work requirements.

Secondly, you should assess the future recruits into five different qualities: motivation, style of work, initiation, teamwork, and mindset. Consider if they are motivated to succeed, whether they are coordinated and successful in all they do and whether they have the personality who can encourage others to move. Finally, check if they can easily take on new data and use it to solve issues.

When you have measured the characteristics of your candidates, the third thing to do is hold several interviews for every one of them. This is because you may fall to bias if you choose to use one interview and one interviewer. Every interviewer will have an assessment of the candidates when you keep many of them. Bias is minimized when these tests are integrated. In the end, you will see a clearer picture to help you determine who is right for your company.

The fourth and last thing to keep in my mind is that good recruiting is more than testing CVs and conducting interviews. Sometimes, when you see them at work, you may know who the right person is. The authors recommend using internships or programs as an alternate entry point to your business to put on-the-work insights into your recruiting mix. Throughout the recruitment, collecting input from managers and colleagues will tell you whether an applicant is a good long-term match or not.

Chapter 5 – By learning how to have the right conversations at the correct time, you can develop your communication.

You are likely to know that effective communication is the key to a great relationship. Yet coordination can be sadly missing when it comes to the relationship between juniors and managers.

Research by Gallup shows that only about a third of workers agree that their supervisors know what tasks they are working on, and almost half say that their bosses send them input rarely a few times each year.

This is an issue because studies indicate that their work performance increases when workers receive daily input and coaching. It all depends on what the researchers call ‘coaching conversations.’

The first discussion you should have is in the category of role orientation.  It is the first conversation when a subordinate is getting a new role and can help you get an idea of his character, abilities, and priorities.  Set some clear goals about results during this talk and clarify what achievement in this job looks like.

The second conversation is called the quick connect by the authors and this is something you should have regularly.  This is a brief interaction that you and the worker may have via email, on the phone, or even in the corridor, usually between one and ten minutes. A quick connection helps you to touch the center, address any problems casually, and give praise and appreciation for good tasks. It also decreases the likelihood of being overlooked by the staff, which is a big deal because research indicates that employees don’t like to be ignored and would prefer to have a hostile conversation with a supervisor.   At least once per week, try to have a quick connection with one of your teammates.

A form of conversation known as developmental coaching is the last tool in your communication collection, and it’s priceless. It would be just 30 minutes for a developmental coaching conversation but can change the direction of somebody’s entire professional career. That’s why, your manager offers you the ability to provide guidance, advice, and support. Try to use it to support the members of your team find opportunities for advancement or training to help them achieve their specific career goals.

Chapter 6 – In the office, you can’t tolerate any abuse. No ifs, no or but’s, no excuses at all.

It’s simple to believe that the world of work has changed in a good way in the aftermath of the worldwide outcry against sexual assault and violence, defined as the #MeToo movement. Yet, for so many women, the journey towards workplace equality is far from over.

Over 40 percent of American women have suffered sexual harassment at work, according to Gallup’s survey, and almost 70 percent of Americans assume sexual harassment is still a massive issue in the workplace.

As a leader and a boss, taking a zero-tolerance policy is the only path to do the right thing when it comes to reducing these troubling figures.

The expression “boys will be boys” should not be a part of the language of any boss. At work, there is no room for violence, whether in formal or informal environments.

Imagine a situation where a male boss is joking around with other male workers and a misogynistic remark is made by one of them. The manager must speak up and order the employee to stop, not laugh nervously or wait for the discussion to move on if that occurs. Even though at the moment it may not seem like it, it is in moments like this that the culture of an organization is formed.

You will need to develop those structures in your company if you’re going to root out the chance of violence.  For example, the organization would need a reporting system so that workers can inform the management team of any concerns they may have confidently.

You will need a procedure on how to manage these reports once you have got a structure in place. Think of the kind of cases that might be unintended and offer ways to teach workers how to do better about the topic versus the kind of abuse that would cause summary dismissal.

Whatever the rules and procedures for sexual harassment are, the most significant thing is that you have one. It seems to be the worst thing your business can do is nothing. As entertainment industry staff have found, it can be dangerous to look the other way while abusers hide in clear view. When abuse goes public and it is revealed that almost everyone knows about it, everyone ends up being disgraced for their role in the atmosphere of toxic work.

Chapter 7 – The conventional model employment model is broken by a modern army of gig employees.

A new kind of economy has arisen in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008 and has pissed some people off. This new economy is praised by some analysts as versatile and worker-friendly while others call it exploitative. The so-called gig economy is divisive, that’s for sure.

The gig economy consists of individual contractors who do not have a traditional arrangement with their employers. This economy is also broad, encompassing everything from contract nurses to replacement teachers, and Uber drivers to freelance graphic artists. It’s also big. It’s composed of more than a third of the working American people.

It used to be the situation that workers, even for their whole lives, were loyal to only one company. In exchange, companies had an obligation to look after them, and as workers retired, they got generous benefits. Today, workers often work for more than one company via online channels or temporary contracting companies and they are seeking their next position or gig online.

The gig economy is here to stay, but the question stands: is this work style helpful for employees? It turns out, yes, the majority are pleased with that. A McKinsey Global Institute researchers reported that it is preferred by 70 percent of gig staff, with just 30 percent saying they had no option.

Yet, there are disadvantages. Gig employees report having much less guidance and mentoring in conventional employment than their peers. They’re much less likely to be paid for their labor at the right time or correctly. However,  Gig employees are also much more likely to claim that their job suits their lifestyle.

The way gig employees feel can depend on the kind of job they are doing. While freelancers and people on online channels report reasonably high levels of involvement and strong social connections, for those in the permanent or on-call sector, the opposite happens.

There is a lot of things we don’t know about the impact on workers and corporations alike of the gig economy. But, whatever the advantages and disadvantages, what is obvious is that to help their business grow in this modern world of employment relationships, leaders need to find a way to adapt.

It’s the Manager: Gallup finds the quality of managers and team leaders is the single biggest factor in your organization’s long-term success. by Jim Clifton, Jim Harter Book Review

Managers need to give their workers a sense and intent at work, as well as a paycheck if they want to prove themselves. The leaders of today must also get rid of sexual harassment in their offices, and eliminate racism from the recruitment process. And with the increase of freelance jobs, it’s time for executives to exploit the advantages of the gig economy without losing the well-being of workers along the way.

Start now to build great connections.

Almost half of all US workers are predicted to be in danger of being automated in the next ten years. Any human workers remaining may be those that require real engagement and communication skills. In other words, the clients will expect your face-to-face interaction to be exceptional because robots seem to be doing everything else other than activities that necessitate social skills.

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