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5 Signs Your Manager May Quit


Staff member
Dec 14, 2023
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5 Signs Your Manager May Quit

Good managers expect challenges at work. They don’t expect to feel voiceless, overworked, frustrated, alone, and stressed every day.

If you want to hold onto your culture carriers–don’t ignore these red flags.

#1: Constant firefighting

What you see: A high-performing employee who always keeps the ship afloat.

Manager POV: Monitoring email at all hours because something always needs their attention. Moving from task to task. Picking up other’s slack. Round-the-clock stress.

Causes: More problems than time to problem solve. Little time for strategy. Patchwork solutions. Organizational deficiencies: mediocre systems training, subpar onboarding, inefficient workflows, and poor predictability.

Consequence: The manager never gets above the noise. They remain distracted by tasks and miss the opportunity for meatier, strategic work. It hamstrings their career growth and leads to burnout.

#2: Feeling unheard

What you see: Repeated requests for information and updates from you. Making the point they do not have all the information needed to share with their teams.

Manager POV: They feel muted. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. Fear they appear inept to their team which fuels uncertainty. Perceive their (and their team’s) shared opinions and feedback aren’t addressed.

Causes: Making big announcements without warning. Failure to acknowledge feedback. Bypassing manager (or their team’s) opinions. Not getting buy-in and feedback from the beginning or at regular intervals.

Consequence: Managers are the connective points in your organization. If you leave them out of the loop, you risk leaving the entire organization in the dark.

#3: Every day is an uphill slog

What you see: No matter the workload—it always gets done.

Manager POV: They don’t have a full plate, they have a full buffet. Little to no rest or recovery time from an overwhelming workload. Operating at or above capacity every day.

Causes: Poor prioritization—everything can’t be important. Limited systems to gauge organizational bandwidth. Sustained “give 110%” culture. Lack of support (and modeling) to set healthy boundaries. Few reminders to take time off.

Consequence: Burnout. Exhaustion. Illness. Your manager no longer has the bandwidth to think creatively, strategically, and to plan for the future resulting in stagnation.

#4: Stifled growth

What you see: Continual training or development opportunities requests for themselves and/or their team.

Manager POV: They want solutions to resolve their concerns and wonder at leadership’s inability to notice the same. Feel like they’re being set up for failure. Perceive they are at cross purposes with leadership. See leadership as an obstacle.

Causes: The shift to hybrid/remote spotlighted concerns that weren’t visible before. Teams need training on tools and communication to work effectively. The changing workplace dynamics require new tools to instill a sense of belonging and foster a healthy team culture.

Consequence: Resentment that leadership is making them work harder, not smarter. Increased irritation and frustration at leadership’s lack of support for resources to address workplace issues.

#5: Not behaving like a team player

What you see: “Territorial” behavior. Reluctant collaboration. Using more “they” and “them” when speaking and less “we” and “us.”

Manager POV: They don’t see the upside. They get their job done, hit their targets. They know their lane.

Causes: It’s a learned behavior: it’s either incentivized or a developed defense mechanism. That sense of belonging is lacking. They raised their hands and collaborated before, but it wasn’t rewarded or acknowledged. They saw others they helped get ahead, but were left behind. They grew increasingly disconnected over time. They feel left on their own to operate in a silo.

Consequence: Your culture carrier becomes your culture killer. They fail to model and instill a collaborative culture. Without the flow of ideas between people, creativity and innovation suffer too.

Act before it’s too late

Managers get to their breaking—and quitting—point when they’re frustrated, stressed, ignored, overworked, and underappreciated. Take action before they walk out the door.

Drop what you’re doing and figure out what’s causing this behavior. First, talk to your manager to learn:

  • What are their frustrations?
  • Where are they challenged?
  • What support do they need?
  • What do they need from you?

Second, assess the effectiveness of current workplace processes, practices, and behaviors. Find solutions together.

Third, review policies to identify necessary changes, for example, check-ins, performance management, hiring, boundary setting, or learning and development.

An Achurch workplace assessment of management, staff, communications, operations, and culture can help you identify your organization’s strengths and areas for improvement.

The post <em>5 Signs Your Manager May Quit</em> appeared first on Achurch.
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