A while ago, Barbara told me that she has been waiting four months to talk to her manager. She wanted to talk about her future development and position in the company. She wanted to talk because a nice position recently became available, and Barbara felt that she was a perfect fit for it. She asked her manager for 30 minutes to have a conversation.
“Do you have 30 minutes for me?”
At first, she was told that it was not a good time to meet. The second time, she was informed that the manager was going on a holiday next week. The third time, she was told to wait until next month, as the yearly review would be taking place.
Time passed and the manager seemed to be avoiding her. Even the yearly review was done by the co-manager, and she was told that she was great at her job
“What is wrong with me?” she asked me. “Why are they avoid answering a simple question? Will they promote me or not? I think I should start looking for another job.”
Who is Barbara??
Let me give you some more details about Barbara’s job. She had been with this company for over three years, and always received high marks on her yearly performance review. Clients love her and co-workers are happy to have her as a teammate. All of the projects that she runs end in great success.
You could say that she is an employee that you would like to keep inside your company, instead of letting the competition snatch her up.
I wonder how many of you had just such a situation in your own lives? How often has it happened that your manager avoids a conversation?
What about her manager?
You may say that managers are busy with many tasks, but as a manager, you have to find time for your team. Team meetings are always a great solution, but if you want your employees to be happy, find time to talk to them face-to-face when they need you.
You may say that the manager was scared that she would want to quit. If she wanted to do that, she would have gone to the Personnel Department and given her letter of resignation without even bothering you.
You may say that she could want a pay raise or (as she wanted) talk about her development. Many managers feel that a meeting once or twice a year is enough to evaluate employees and discuss their development. But is it? If you look at your friends, would you like to help them only once or twice a year, or would you be there for them when they need you?
Your employee needs you…
Yes, your employees need you. Your support is valued and they expect you to be honest with them. So, if you suspect that an employee wants to talk about an open position or pay raise, and you know it is not possible at the moment, take the meeting. Listen to what they say. Support their decision. Do what you can to deliver. And, in the end, if nothing can be done, Be Honest with them, and assure them of how valuable they are to you.