“If they don’t like the way things are (i.e. policy, regulations, supervisors) no one is forcing them to stay hear.” I cringe because this is not reality.

There is choice and there is CHOICE.

Choice is things that have minimum impact on your life and other commitments – call these secondary choices; what shirt to wear, food for lunch, route to work, whether to brush your teeth, etc…

For example a secondary choice is “where are we going for lunch today?”

There is CHOICE. CHOICE has a MAJOR impact on your life other commitments – call these primary choices; family, lifestyle, future employment, health, breaking the law, etc…

For example a primary CHOICE is “Even though I am miserable here, should I stay? How will that impact my life, my family?”

If a team member feels Hand-Cuffed and forced to remain with your company then they are not capable of doing there best work. The “you can leave anytime mentality” does not drive up productivity and employee engagement.

It actually works to sabotage and rot from the core.

Managers have to be critical and reflective of this fact and consciously take steps to improve their own performance & be thoughtful of team members primary CHOICES.

Here is Some great advice from Will at Work Learning from his friend Charley Morrow

How Managers Can See the Light

  • Managers have to ask for feedback from a place of authenticity. They have to want to improve their own performance. This just can’t fake it.

Managers have to listen to any feedback they get.

Managers have to make changes/improvements in what they do.

Managers have to avoid being defensive—even when the feedback is harsh, cutting, or wrong.

Managers have to thank those who give them feedback.

Managers have to be patient. Your folks don’t trust that you’re not going to retaliate. It will take time to build that trust.

Managers have to ask for feedback routinely, not just at performance-review time.

Managers have to be available. So many managers are just too busy to be available. Stop going to all those meetings with folks senior to you!! Your job is to get work done through your direct reports—you need to be there for them.

Managers may benefit from multi-rater 360-degree assessments or other assessment-like interactions.

How are you, as a leader, seeking feedback?

In what ways are you gathering an accurate read of team members wanting to stay with you?

What can be done to ensure that these handcuffs can be removed?