Leadership Insights


Michael is Struggling – Manager/Supervisor

Hire to Retire, Part 3/4

In our first look at Michael’s career, he had gotten a new job and was learning his way through the first nine months. We looked at a couple of scenarios and discovered that with intentional onboarding, team involvement and one-on-one feedback, Michael learned a lot and was given a small promotion to celebrate his success. 

In this segment, we’ll again look at two sceneries that play out over the next few years of Michael’s employment.

Michael has been on a rollercoaster these last few years. Some days are good, but most are filled with angst and worry. Michael is a part of a team that tends to all stay in their respective corners and keep their noses down. The senior leaders are known for dressing down employees and they all just want to avoid the embarrassment of this experience. His boss is a nice guy but is in his own corner too and doesn’t really see himself as a leader.

While this has been a decent first job out of college, Michael is ready to move on. He isn’t sure what’s next and is generally insecure about his resume and skills. Given this experience, Michael lacks leadership ability and, frankly, isn’t even sure what a good leader looks like. 

Michael’s friends advise him to have an honest conversation with his boss, but when he does, the response is uninspiring and lacks anything to move forward with. Michael is frustrated.

The last few years have been good for Michael. He has developed some good relationships at this job. He trusts his boss and sees him as a mentor. He enjoys most of his days at work, but he just isn’t feeling like his skills are growing and he wants to make sure his resume is solid in case he wants to move on to another position in the future.

During their bi-weekly one-on-one, Michael shares his concerns with his boss and they create a plan for some new opportunities. There isn’t a budget to support all of the things he wants to do all at once, but his boss is committed to supporting him as much as possible. Next quarter, Michael is going to head to a new conference for some specific training. He is also going to be given some new responsibilities that allow him to practice his leadership skills more. Michael feels great about these new developments and knows he will be supported as he grows.

When individuals are promoted, it is often because they have shown good work ethic, positivity and potential for leadership. But they still need training and support. Just because they got to this position, doesn’t mean they know how to do it well. As with Michael, a key to success is regular and open communication, training and mentorships. 

As the infographic shows, employees gain competencies at each stage of development. If you can support their individual and team growth, retention is higher, morale is higher and the bottom-line soars. 

The Conversations That Matter works with exceptional companies every day to provide assessments, training, and coaching. The leaders in these programs have a higher level of engagement in their work, better connections with their teammates and less stress all around. 

Let’s start a conversation and see how we might help you support employees, from new hires to retirees!