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Does your Manager Really Care? Here's Six Signs They Do

Published 3rd October 2016 by Thomas Bale
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How do you know your manager actually cares about you and your development? The annual Investors in People employee sentiment research reveals major trends across the UK workforce. This year the poll showed that nearly 50% of employees will be looking for a new job in 2016 and 1 in 3 saying that they are unhappy in their roles. Investors in People found that the top 2 causes for employee unhappiness were poor people management and not feeling valued – followed closely by bad pay.

A large contributing factor to job happiness is quite clearly great management. When the boss cares about you, the job is made a whole lot more enjoyable. So have you got a bad boss or a dream leader? Check down our list of traits and make your own mind up.

Our research showed the following traits are rated most highly by employees.

Top traits of managers who care

1. They encourage your personal development as much as your professional development.

A manager who wants to see you succeed not just in the role you’re being paid for, but through your learning, development and wider skillset is a manager that genuinely cares. Whether this means providing opportunities to boost confidence levels, public speaking skills or simply cheering you on for a hobby you have, this shows they want you to be a well-rounded, happy individual.

2. They don’t tiptoe around your weaknesses.

No one wants to be told they suck at something. But a manager who skirts around the issue, or makes you believe you’re making progress in areas you aren’t is just unhelpful. A boss that truly wants you to learn and improve will acknowledge the areas you need help on – without coming across as over critical – and proceed to give support.

3. They’re supportive if/when you decide you want to leave

Research* shows that great people management leads to higher staff retention rates, but great people management also involves encouraging staff to be the best they can be – and this includes being open for discussion about other opportunities. When an employee leaves, the best managers are encouraging, supportive and provide a strong reference to help them in their next career move.

4. They make you feel like a valuable member of the team

Whether an employee has been at the job for 3 weeks or 3 years, a manager who cares will always make the effort to include staff in the team – and knows how to recognise if someone might be feeling excluded. Team work is essential to driving a business forward, and the best managers know this and act on it.

5. They take the time to learn about you and your quirks.  

Everyone is different, and everyone works differently – even when in the same environment. A sign of true respect for staff is if a manager takes the time to understand their people and learns quickly how they work. This beckons for a more open, accepting environment and allows for staff to feel comfortable knowing they can be themselves.

6. They say thank you!

Easily forgotten and often not said enough. According to the employee sentiment poll, the one thing employees said that all managers can do to increase overall happiness, is ‘say thank you more.’ If your manager makes the effort to do this often, they’re looking out for you.

*2015 People Management Benchmark report