Why Your Boss Is Burnt Out And Looking For A New Job

We Love To Hate Managers

It’s easy to lampoon your boss. Almost everyone complains about their manager saying they are terrible at their jobs, wonder how they got the position, and couldn’t care less about the workers. They are perceived as sucking up to senior leadership, taking credit for everything good, and quickly blaming the employees when things go wrong.

Bosses Are Looking To Leave Their Jobs

I recently wrote about the emerging trend of CEOs quitting. According to a Deloitte study, nearly sixty percent of the top executives said they had enough and were ready to step down. Around seventy percent of high-level executives attribute their mental health and emotional well-being as the reason for contemplating or actually leaving.

The stress from the pandemic, coupled with being responsible for bringing people back to the office and implementing hybrid and remote work options, weighed heavy on them. More than eighty percent of the upper echelon felt that their mental health was more important than their career.

The Society of Human Resource Management, the largest membership group of HR professionals, pointed out that managers are experiencing a tough time. They say they are burnt out and worn out. It appears that managers are also frustrated and looking to leave their jobs.

The Burdens Placed On Managers

The middle manager, stuck between the staff and executives, is feeling the strain from two long years of dealing with the effects of the pandemic. At first, they scrambled to get everyone working from home safely. It was an unprecedented monumental task that many managers were never equipped or trained to handle.

As the economy reopened, managers needed to figure out how to oversee a distributed workforce operating remotely, hybrid or in the office. Some staff wanted to become digital nomads working anywhere in the world, and others desired to leave high-cost cities in favor of locations that offered affordable housing, lower taxes, pleasant climates and a good school system for the same pay.

The workload is overwhelming without end. Nevertheless, the C-suite executives demand that managers need to become overnight experts in training, upskilling, coaching, cheerleading, recruiting, interviewing, and motivating their staff.

The managers were put into the uncomfortable position of juggling all the wants and needs of their team. It became even more difficult as the hot job market made companies intensely compete against each other to attract, recruit, hire and retain the best talent.

The Great Resignation trend created months when four million workers left their jobs to pursue better opportunities. This left managers in a bind. Employees had the upper hand. They know that they have the power. If a person doesn’t get the raise or promotion, they’ll leave to a competitor. This forced managers to offer more money and a higher corporate title to someone who may not deserve it and doesn’t possess the requisite skills.

Placing people in roles, they don’t have the appropriate background for will likely lead to future problems. The lack of qualifications, and the high probability of creating more issues than solving them, adds another headache for the manager. It’s the Peter principle in action; workers are promoted until they hit their peak level of incompetence.

Supervisors Are Thrust Into A New World That They May Not Understand

Just because a person is a manager, it doesn’t mean they are tech-savvy. The virus outbreak accelerated the move toward technology and moving nearly everything online. In this new era of online communications, productivity apps, platforms and software, the manager may feel like a dinosaur unfamiliar with the new work world and unsure what to do about it.

Like the challenges of implementing the new technologies, managers needed to help workers with mental health issues, anxiety, fear, angst, and depression. With the whiplash of going from remote to hybrid and in-office work, supervisors had to offer solutions for working parents with young children and caregivers for old or sick relatives.

Not every boss is empathetic and understanding. It is not easy for them to help with team members’ emotional well-being. It’s only recently become acceptable to discuss these matters in a business setting openly.

Managers Are In A No-Win Situation

Despite their best efforts, executive management and staff accuse managers of not offering career growth for their teams, creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, and filling empty seats when workers leave.

Managers feel micromanaged when their supervisors are too demanding and breathing down their necks to increase sales and profits. They weren’t offered a choice of people as the staff was already in place.

The boss has to oversee these folks who are not proficient in their roles but can’t fire them for fear of being accused of discrimination. The supervisor also recognizes that it will take months to find a replacement who will demand higher compensation than the person who left. There is no guarantee that they’ll perform better.

Humu, a workplace people analytics company, surveyed managers and human resources leaders and found that managers are twice as likely to be looking for new jobs compared to individual workers.

The study also found that managers reported higher stress levels over the past year. The managers self-reported that leading remote teams, establishing work-life boundaries and maintaining their wellbeing as the pandemic continued were crucial issues contributing to them considering making a job switch.

What Can Be Done To Improve The Situation

Managers can prioritize what is mission-critical and hyper-focus on these essential core matters. They should ensure that everyone in the division clearly understands what is expected of them and is aware of their individual expectations. It is also essential that the workforce knows why they are doing specific tasks and how they fit into the bigger picture. The workers also want to feel comfortable knowing the firm’s direction.

Bosses must take prompt actions to make their people feel valued, heard, and empowered to succeed. Their team needs to know how they can positively impact the company, its customers and the world. They should be engaged with the company and feel proud that their role has meaning and purpose.

It is the boss’ job to ensure that their team members are fully equipped with the skills, training and knowledge to succeed in this new post-pandemic environment. Effective managers need to offer continuing education, career development, and upskilling. Supervisors must regularly exhibit behavior that demonstrates the trust and support of their staff.

Corporate leadership should support and stand by their managers. In the same way, that managers trust their team, C-Suite and senior-level executives must also empower managers. The executives can help managers by simplifying policies and programs. The execs could offer training, coaching, bespoke advice, and guidance to help them in their jobs.

The C-suite needs to be connected with what is happening outside the board room. They must recognize the challenges that managers face daily. Managers need to be treated with empathy, respect, dignity and compassion. It’s a no-win job as they take heat from all sides.

When a manager leaves, it could create a domino effect. If their needs are not met, managers will quit in pursuit of finding roles at companies that appreciate them. The workers will be concerned about why their boss moved on. The remainders will worry that something is wrong with the firm. This mindset could lead to a disengaged team. People who feel there is too much uncertainty will promptly start searching for a new job.

Sadly, this is when the executives and workers will notice that the manager wasn’t that bad after all, and they did a pretty good job during some of the most challenging times in modern corporate history.

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