It’s a well-established career reality that the higher you climb the corporate ladder, the thinner you end up spreading yourself. When your days are jam-packed with meetings, lunches, more meetings, speaking appointments, deadlines, and more meetings, it can be tough to find time to regularly meet with your employees, let alone mentor and coach them on an ongoing basis.
As we discussed yesterday, the best managers are not bosses but, instead, supportive and engaged coaches. They are constantly dedicated to driving improvement, offering guidance and support, and staying engaged. They’re also mentors who assist their employees with long-term career goals, not just their daily work.
But coaching and mentoring require time. And considering studies have shown that the #1 reason people leave their job is because of their boss, it’s vital that managers find ways to be present for their employees – if not physically, then supportively and emotionally.
Take the time to meet 1:1
The most obvious way to make time for your employees is to schedule regular meetings. In order to meet the daily needs of your team as well as engage in individual coaching, consider setting both team-wide meetings as well as regular 1:1s. But it’s one thing to schedule these meetings – it’s another thing to keep them, especially when you know you have another meeting with them scheduled soon. When you’re pulled in many different directions, your employees may be the ones to whom your hectic schedule proves the most detrimental.
Lunch and Learn
Another great way to make time for your employees is to schedule lunches and other time away from the office to have a discussion that is not centered on imminent work. Ask them about their career goals and how they see themselves growing, either within the company or elsewhere. Make it apparent that you’re there for them both as a mentor as well as a manager. Then, even if you aren’t physically present in the office, your employees know you’re dedicated to their success both as a member of their team and a mentee.
Share your calendar
Additionally, you should consider sharing your schedule with your employees. That way, they can see in advance what your schedule looks like and pencil in meeting time accordingly. Since 38% of employees who were dissatisfied with their boss stated failure to keep promises as the primary reason for their discontentment, it’s imperative that successful bosses work hard to build trust and be transparent with their employees. And if you can’t keep meetings 100% of the time, well your employees can just take a peek at your schedule and come find you.