“Muttley! Do something!”
If you’re a child of the 70s and 80s – or you’ve got a fondness for retro cartoons – you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to. It’s the iconic and somewhat panicked request yelled by Dick Dastardly when he needs his trusty sidekick Muttley to save him.
And, of course, Muttley always rose to the challenge.
His ability to act is the only reason we got 17 episodes of Dastardly and Muttley. Without Muttley saving the day, Saturday mornings would have been a lot less fun!
Why am I talking about this Hanna-Barbera show? Because your managers are Muttleys. Or at least, they could be.
Managers are your secret weapon that can keep your people happy, and your business thriving. The only problem? Many managers today are failing to act when things are heading in the wrong direction. They’re not ‘doing something’. They’re burying their heads in the sand – ignoring concerns from their teams – until a problem simply becomes too big to bear.
The impact of avoidance
There are two employees in a team – both brilliant, yet struggle to work collaboratively. They’re both headstrong, confident, and unwilling to see the other’s point of view. They clash, but their manager has been able to work around this and get by. Suddenly, one resigns.
In their exit interview, they say they just don’t feel their ideas are heard or valued within the team. You’ve lost a valuable employee, simply because your manager, failed to address the problem.
If the issue had been addressed head-on, developing cooperation across the team, the scenario could have been prevented. But it wasn’t. And it’s not just staff turnover this impacts…
Does your business experience these challenges?
- Increased absenteeism?
- Low productivity?
- A rise in errors and mistakes?
- Declining satisfaction?
- Loss of quality?
- High levels of disengagement?
All these challenges can be addressed simply by building a stronger, more powerful team, with the confidence to act.
How can you instil confidence, helping your managers become the people leaders your business needs?
1. Really get to know them
Every manager has their own unique strengths, vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Understanding what each is capable of, and where they could use some help, is essential. Embrace their strengths but see their weaknesses as opportunities to coach, develop skills, and grow their confidence, enabling them to better handle issues as they arise.
2. Encourage active discussion
Resolutions are like pancakes; the first one is rarely the best. Encourage your employees to speak up if something isn’t right. Perhaps a problem was highlighted, a solution implemented – but nothing’s changed? Let your employees know they can discuss issues and re-think solutions – even for ‘closed’ issues – at any time.
3. Lead by example
If you want your managers to become more aware of what’s going on within their teams, and more engaged with the business, lead by example. Demonstrate your own awareness and engagement by checking in with your managers regularly, taking action when needed. Not only great for building trust, but this active approach also helps managers understand what you expect of them.
Take your management team to the next level
As a business leader or senior executive, you recognise employees who feel valued can have a positive impact on both costs and profitability. That doesn’t just mean rewarding their strengths. It also means being able to recognise their weaknesses and give them the tools they need to start building high-performing teams that are happy, satisfied and productive.
If your managers are burying their heads in the sand, it’s time to help them become Muttleys that act. That’s where we can help. As a top leadership development partner, we specialise in developing disengaged managers into effective people leaders to build high-performing teams. Get in touch with us to book a FREE discovery call.