How Great Managers Create the Workplace Culture You Want

As a leader, you know that today’s employees are looking for a great culture when shopping for a new job — and that culture matters to younger generations especially.

But it goes beyond that — culture has a direct impact on every outcome you measure.

Culture has a direct impact on performance.

One in three employees worldwide strongly agree with the statement “The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important.” By doubling that ratio, business units have realized a 34% reduction in absenteeism, a 42% drop in safety incidents and a 19% improvement in quality.

In your ideal culture, all employees connect with the company’s mission and show up every day eager to produce quality work — and your business outcomes show it.

To get from your current situation to that ideal outcome, you’re going to have to change some things. But how?

Following record levels of mergers and acquisitions, many organizations around the world are trying to blend cultures and brands. Merging cultures rarely works because tribes, by nature, want to maintain their identities.

What has to happen to change a culture?

1. Identify your purpose and brand.

The CEO, CHRO and executive committee need to clearly identify your purpose — why you are in business — and how you want applicants, employees and customers to perceive your brand. Purpose and brand set the stage for everything else. The employee experience starts with applicants’ first impression of your organization — how they perceive your culture and brand — and then how their employee journey, from onboarding to development and eventually departure, validates those impressions. Top executives need to be aligned, consistent and committed to the purpose and brand. That is the starting point for bringing teams together and effective decision-making.

2. Audit all programs and communications …

… including human capital practices, performance management, values and rituals, and team structures — for alignment and consistency with your organization’s purpose and brand. Gallup has found that this can be a quick process and recommends performing this audit annually.

3. Reposition your managers as coaches.

Only your best managers can implement the culture you want. A great culture is one of the few things an organization can’t buy. Managers at all levels make or break your culture change. And traditional performance management systems have struggled to inspire and develop employees, which can result in billions of dollars in lost productivity today’s employees want a coach, not a boss. Moving your managers from boss to coach not only increases employee engagement and improves performance, but it’s also essential to changing your culture.

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Win the War for Teacher Talent With Performance Development

Wondering why your school district is hemorrhaging its best teachers?

Chances are, your teachers are on the hunt for career development.

In fact, 60% of teachers left their last job for reasons related to career advancement or development. Worse, only 18% of teachers strongly agree that they are motivated by their performance management practice at work. In other words, even if you have invested heavily in your development program, it’s probably not meeting teachers’ needs.

Too often, districts offer nothing more than annual, one-size-fits-all teacher evaluations. Just as problematically, tenure and certifications are the primary avenues for advancement — an approach that doesn’t reward high performance.

Teachers need more. They need principals who truly care — who never stop helping them reach their potential. They need a career pathway that celebrates and incentivizes exceptional performance. They need individualized opportunities to grow and a school culture that promotes excellence, not mediocrity.

How can district leaders meet these needs? Gallup analytics suggest that the solution lies in empowering and educating principals to coach teachers to excellence.

Insights from The New Teacher Project (TNTP) also indicate that principal development is the answer to the teacher retention crisis. TNTP is an organization that works to ensure all students get equal access to effective teaching. According to TNTP, principals are not equipped with proven retention strategies or policies that encourage them to make smart decisions about teacher development.

In turn, teachers’ needs are neglected — and they’re flocking to the nearest exit.

Why Principals Are the Difference-Maker

Just as great managers are instrumental in the engagement and performance of their employees, principals are essential to building engaged, thriving schools and creating a great teacher experience.

Gallup data prove that the more principals coach their teachers (i.e., listen, provide feedback and celebrate exceptional performance), the better those teachers perform and the more engaged they are.

Teachers need feedback. They need to develop and grow — and they want to know what value they bring to the table.

And teacher engagement quickly translates to student engagement and success. By coaching and engaging their teachers, principals can organically improve their school because teacher engagement is the critical link to student engagement — which correlates with subject-matter achievement, graduation rates and college readiness.

In other words, district leaders can encourage student success by giving principals the tools and equipment they need to excel.

What District Leaders Can Do

Consider three ways that district leaders can position principals and teachers to thrive:

  1. Hire talented principals and teachers. All employees — includ

What District Leaders Can Do
Consider three ways that district leaders can position principals and teachers to thrive:

Hire talented principals and teachers. All employees — including principals and teachers — perform better when they possess the right talents for their role.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

In fact, Gallup research found that schools that hired talented principals, based on an objective talent assessment, were 2.6 times more likely to have above-average teacher engagement.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

Offer transformative learning experiences. Before expecting principals to lead with excellence, district leaders must empower their principals with the right professional development and training.

Instructional leadership training can be helpful, but it won’t transform principals into change agents who know exactly how to revitalize their school culture.

At a minimum, principals need a clear picture of their responsibilities — from incentivizing exceptional teacher performance to creating a school culture that attracts top-talent teachers. Practical insights, strategies and solutions are just as critical, including tools for conducting meaningful conversations with teachers that inspire excellence and foster trusting relationships.

District leaders should enroll principals in leading-edge leadership courses — the kind of courses that give principals everything they need to reinvent performance management and build extraordinary school cultures that teachers love to call home.

Support principals with proven systems and processes. Broken, obsolete school policies are major barriers to any principal’s success.

For example, how can principals help teachers grow if the only option for advancement is non-teaching, administrative work?

District leaders must demolish procedural obstacles and implement proven-effective methods — like analytics-based attraction and performance development systems that meaningfully drive performance. Just as important, district leaders should hold principals accountable for measurable outcomes such as teacher engagement and retention.

  1. ing principals and teachers — perform better when they pos

What District Leaders Can Do
Consider three ways that district leaders can position principals and teachers to thrive:

Hire talented principals and teachers. All employees — including principals and teachers — perform better when they possess the right talents for their role.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

In fact, Gallup research found that schools that hired talented principals, based on an objective talent assessment, were 2.6 times more likely to have above-average teacher engagement.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

Offer transformative learning experiences. Before expecting principals to lead with excellence, district leaders must empower their principals with the right professional development and training.

Instructional leadership training can be helpful, but it won’t transform principals into change agents who know exactly how to revitalize their school culture.

At a minimum, principals need a clear picture of their responsibilities — from incentivizing exceptional teacher performance to creating a school culture that attracts top-talent teachers. Practical insights, strategies and solutions are just as critical, including tools for conducting meaningful conversations with teachers that inspire excellence and foster trusting relationships.

District leaders should enroll principals in leading-edge leadership courses — the kind of courses that give principals everything they need to reinvent performance management and build extraordinary school cultures that teachers love to call home.

Support principals with proven systems and processes. Broken, obsolete school policies are major barriers to any principal’s success.

For example, how can principals help teachers grow if the only option for advancement is non-teaching, administrative work?

District leaders must demolish procedural obstacles and implement proven-effective methods — like analytics-based attraction and performance development systems that meaningfully drive performance. Just as important, district leaders should hold principals accountable for measurable outcomes such as teacher engagement and retention.

  1. sess the right talents for their role.

    By selecting principals with the ideal talents for

What District Leaders Can Do
Consider three ways that district leaders can position principals and teachers to thrive:

Hire talented principals and teachers. All employees — including principals and teachers — perform better when they possess the right talents for their role.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

In fact, Gallup research found that schools that hired talented principals, based on an objective talent assessment, were 2.6 times more likely to have above-average teacher engagement.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

Offer transformative learning experiences. Before expecting principals to lead with excellence, district leaders must empower their principals with the right professional development and training.

Instructional leadership training can be helpful, but it won’t transform principals into change agents who know exactly how to revitalize their school culture.

At a minimum, principals need a clear picture of their responsibilities — from incentivizing exceptional teacher performance to creating a school culture that attracts top-talent teachers. Practical insights, strategies and solutions are just as critical, including tools for conducting meaningful conversations with teachers that inspire excellence and foster trusting relationships.

District leaders should enroll principals in leading-edge leadership courses — the kind of courses that give principals everything they need to reinvent performance management and build extraordinary school cultures that teachers love to call home.

Support principals with proven systems and processes. Broken, obsolete school policies are major barriers to any principal’s success.

For example, how can principals help teachers grow if the only option for advancement is non-teaching, administrative work?

District leaders must demolish procedural obstacles and implement proven-effective methods — like analytics-based attraction and performance development systems that meaningfully drive performance. Just as important, district leaders should hold principals accountable for measurable outcomes such as teacher engagement and retention.

  1. the job, district lea

What District Leaders Can Do
Consider three ways that district leaders can position principals and teachers to thrive:

Hire talented principals and teachers. All employees — including principals and teachers — perform better when they possess the right talents for their role.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

In fact, Gallup research found that schools that hired talented principals, based on an objective talent assessment, were 2.6 times more likely to have above-average teacher engagement.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

Offer transformative learning experiences. Before expecting principals to lead with excellence, district leaders must empower their principals with the right professional development and training.

Instructional leadership training can be helpful, but it won’t transform principals into change agents who know exactly how to revitalize their school culture.

At a minimum, principals need a clear picture of their responsibilities — from incentivizing exceptional teacher performance to creating a school culture that attracts top-talent teachers. Practical insights, strategies and solutions are just as critical, including tools for conducting meaningful conversations with teachers that inspire excellence and foster trusting relationships.

District leaders should enroll principals in leading-edge leadership courses — the kind of courses that give principals everything they need to reinvent performance management and build extraordinary school cultures that teachers love to call home.

Support principals with proven systems and processes. Broken, obsolete school policies are major barriers to any principal’s success.

For example, how can principals help teachers grow if the only option for advancement is non-teaching, administrative work?

District leaders must demolish procedural obstacles and implement proven-effective methods — like analytics-based attraction and performance development systems that meaningfully drive performance. Just as important, district leaders should hold principals accountable for measurable outcomes such as teacher engagement and retention.

What District Leaders Can Do
Consider three ways that district leaders can position principals and teachers to thrive:

Hire talented principals and teachers. All employees — including principals and teachers — perform better when they possess the right talents for their role.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

In fact, Gallup research found that schools that hired talented principals, based on an objective talent assessment, were 2.6 times more likely to have above-average teacher engagement.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

Offer transformative learning experiences. Before expecting principals to lead with excellence, district leaders must empower their principals with the right professional development and training.

Instructional leadership training can be helpful, but it won’t transform principals into change agents who know exactly how to revitalize their school culture.

At a minimum, principals need a clear picture of their responsibilities — from incentivizing exceptional teacher performance to creating a school culture that attracts top-talent teachers. Practical insights, strategies and solutions are just as critical, including tools for conducting meaningful conversations with teachers that inspire excellence and foster trusting relationships.

District leaders should enroll principals in leading-edge leadership courses — the kind of courses that give principals everything they need to reinvent performance management and build extraordinary school cultures that teachers love to call home.

Support principals with proven systems and processes. Broken, obsolete school policies are major barriers to any principal’s success.

For example, how can principals help teachers grow if the only option for advancement is non-teaching, administrative work?

District leaders must demolish procedural obstacles and implement proven-effective methods — like analytics-based attraction and performance development systems that meaningfully drive performance. Just as important, district leaders should hold principals accountable for measurable outcomes such as teacher engagement and retention.

  1. ders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximize

What District Leaders Can Do
Consider three ways that district leaders can position principals and teachers to thrive:

Hire talented principals and teachers. All employees — including principals and teachers — perform better when they possess the right talents for their role.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

In fact, Gallup research found that schools that hired talented principals, based on an objective talent assessment, were 2.6 times more likely to have above-average teacher engagement.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

Offer transformative learning experiences. Before expecting principals to lead with excellence, district leaders must empower their principals with the right professional development and training.

Instructional leadership training can be helpful, but it won’t transform principals into change agents who know exactly how to revitalize their school culture.

At a minimum, principals need a clear picture of their responsibilities — from incentivizing exceptional teacher performance to creating a school culture that attracts top-talent teachers. Practical insights, strategies and solutions are just as critical, including tools for conducting meaningful conversations with teachers that inspire excellence and foster trusting relationships.

District leaders should enroll principals in leading-edge leadership courses — the kind of courses that give principals everything they need to reinvent performance management and build extraordinary school cultures that teachers love to call home.

Support principals with proven systems and processes. Broken, obsolete school policies are major barriers to any principal’s success.

For example, how can principals help teachers grow if the only option for advancement is non-teaching, administrative work?

District leaders must demolish procedural obstacles and implement proven-effective methods — like analytics-based attraction and performance development systems that meaningfully drive performance. Just as important, district leaders should hold principals accountable for measurable outcomes such as teacher engagement and retention.

  1. s teacher success.

    In fact, Gallup research found that schools that hired talented principals, based on an

What District Leaders Can Do
Consider three ways that district leaders can position principals and teachers to thrive:

Hire talented principals and teachers. All employees — including principals and teachers — perform better when they possess the right talents for their role.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

In fact, Gallup research found that schools that hired talented principals, based on an objective talent assessment, were 2.6 times more likely to have above-average teacher engagement.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

Offer transformative learning experiences. Before expecting principals to lead with excellence, district leaders must empower their principals with the right professional development and training.

Instructional leadership training can be helpful, but it won’t transform principals into change agents who know exactly how to revitalize their school culture.

At a minimum, principals need a clear picture of their responsibilities — from incentivizing exceptional teacher performance to creating a school culture that attracts top-talent teachers. Practical insights, strategies and solutions are just as critical, including tools for conducting meaningful conversations with teachers that inspire excellence and foster trusting relationships.

District leaders should enroll principals in leading-edge leadership courses — the kind of courses that give principals everything they need to reinvent performance management and build extraordinary school cultures that teachers love to call home.

Support principals with proven systems and processes. Broken, obsolete school policies are major barriers to any principal’s success.

For example, how can principals help teachers grow if the only option for advancement is non-teaching, administrative work?

District leaders must demolish procedural obstacles and implement proven-effective methods — like analytics-based attraction and performance development systems that meaningfully drive performance. Just as important, district leaders should hold principals accountable for measurable outcomes such as teacher engagement and retention.

  1. objective talent assessment,

What District Leaders Can Do
Consider three ways that district leaders can position principals and teachers to thrive:

Hire talented principals and teachers. All employees — including principals and teachers — perform better when they possess the right talents for their role.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

In fact, Gallup research found that schools that hired talented principals, based on an objective talent assessment, were 2.6 times more likely to have above-average teacher engagement.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

Offer transformative learning experiences. Before expecting principals to lead with excellence, district leaders must empower their principals with the right professional development and training.

Instructional leadership training can be helpful, but it won’t transform principals into change agents who know exactly how to revitalize their school culture.

At a minimum, principals need a clear picture of their responsibilities — from incentivizing exceptional teacher performance to creating a school culture that attracts top-talent teachers. Practical insights, strategies and solutions are just as critical, including tools for conducting meaningful conversations with teachers that inspire excellence and foster trusting relationships.

District leaders should enroll principals in leading-edge leadership courses — the kind of courses that give principals everything they need to reinvent performance management and build extraordinary school cultures that teachers love to call home.

Support principals with proven systems and processes. Broken, obsolete school policies are major barriers to any principal’s success.

For example, how can principals help teachers grow if the only option for advancement is non-teaching, administrative work?

District leaders must demolish procedural obstacles and implement proven-effective methods — like analytics-based attraction and performance development systems that meaningfully drive performance. Just as important, district leaders should hold principals accountable for measurable outcomes such as teacher engagement and retention

What District Leaders Can Do
Consider three ways that district leaders can position principals and teachers to thrive:

Hire talented principals and teachers. All employees — including principals and teachers — perform better when they possess the right talents for their role.

By selecting principals with the ideal talents for the job, district leaders lay the foundation for a school culture that maximizes teacher success.

In fact, Gallup research found that schools that hired talented principals, based on an objective talent assessment, were 2.6 times more likely to have above-average teacher engagement

  1. Offer transformative learning experiences. 

Offer transformative learning experiences. Before expecting principals to lead with excellence, district leaders must empower their principals with the right professional development and training.

Instructional leadership training can be helpful, but it won’t transform principals into change agents who know exactly how to revitalize their school culture.

At a minimum, principals need a clear picture of their responsibilities — from incentivizing exceptional teacher performance to creating a school culture that attracts top-talent teachers. Practical insights, strategies and solutions are just as critical, including tools for conducting meaningful conversations with teachers that inspire excellence and foster trusting relationships.

District leaders should enroll principals in leading-edge leadership courses — the kind of courses that give principals everything they need to reinvent performance management and build extraordinary school cultures that teachers love to call home.

Support principals with proven systems and processes. Broken, obsolete school policies are major barriers to any principal’s success.

For example, how can principals help teachers grow if the only option for advancement is non-teaching, administrative work?

District leaders must demolish procedural obstacles and implement proven-effective methods — like analytics-based attraction and performance development systems that meaningfully drive performance. Just as important, district leaders should hold principals accountable for measurable outcomes such as teacher engagement and retention

How To Get The Most Out of Baby Boomers

Baby boomers are often highly experienced and capable employees.

Over time, these seasoned workers tend to have cultivated deep organizational expertise — tacit knowledge that helps them accomplish tasks with minimal friction.

But baby boomers’ tenure doesn’t automatically result in performance excellence.

Like all employees, baby boomers have basic psychological needs, like knowing what’s expected of them at work and feeling like their opinions matter. If these engagement needs are met, baby boomers will create more, do better work and go the extra mile to win business.

That is, they’ll be highly engaged in their work.

On the other hand, if baby boomers’ needs are ignored, their performance will diminish — no matter how much experience they have.

In fact, without engagement, tenure has a relatively small effect on performance, according to Gallup analytics.

This means that baby boomers’ decades of expertise can only result in world-class performance if they have high engagement.

Here’s the problem: Only about one-third of baby boomers are engaged at work.

So, how can leaders engage baby boomers and make the most of their experience?

Invest in Your Managers

Managers — through their strengths, their own engagement and how they work with their teams every day — account for 70% of the variance in team engagement. In other words, managers make or break team engagement.

Great managers stoke performance by serving as coaches who meet employees’ needs. They continually develop their people and maintain accountability. They focus on what each team member does best — an approach that’s proven to amplify productivity and performance.

Consider, for example, baby boomers’ glaring need for more opportunities to learn and grow at work. Just three in 10 baby boomers strongly agree they receive such opportunities. Further, baby boomers are the least likely generation to strongly agree they learn new things at work (only 14% strongly agree).

Just three in 10 baby boomers strongly agree they receive opportunities to learn and grow at work.

A well-equipped manager understands how to provide individualized coaching opportunities that are tailored to baby boomers’ strengths, passions and goals. He or she helps baby boomers grow by engaging in frequent coaching conversations, asking questions like:

  • How would you like to make a bigger difference?
  • What knowledge and skills do you need to reach your goals?
  • How would you like to use your strengths in the future?

With the backing of a great manager, all employees thrive — from tenured baby boomers to green Generation Z employees.

In turn, outcomes like performance and productivity boom. Just as important, leaders can better attract talented workers who are looking for a development-rich employee experience.

How to Develop Managers Into Coaches

Preparing managers to coach goes beyond telling them to coach. Leaders need to:

1. Redefine managers’ roles and expectations.

Most companies don’t require managers to provide frequent, ongoing performance coaching. On the contrary, managers’ administrative responsibilities often make it difficult to prioritize employee conversations.

It’s incumbent on leaders to evolve managers’ role expectations to emphasize employee development — and ensure managers understand these expectations with perfect clarity.

2. Provide the tools, resources and development managers need to satisfy role expectations.

Without the right materials and training, managers will struggle to coach their people with excellence. For example, managers need practical advice and solutions for leading meaningful coaching conversations with employees.

Leaders should make manager development a never-ending priority — delivering everything from ongoing strengths-based development to transformative learning experiences that teach managers how to be coaches.

3. Support managers with world-class leadership.

Leaders of exceptional workplaces own their role as managers of managers. That is, they ensure managers have everything they need to flourish.

This means prioritizing manager engagement. It means empowering managers with proven systems and processes, such as employee analytics and proven performance management practices. It means cultivating a thriving workplace culture.

Without a doubt, positioning managers to coach will unleash baby boomers’ performance potential.

Leaders should make manager development a never-ending priority — delivering everything from ongoing strengths-based development to transformative learning experiences that teach managers how to be coaches.

But this is only the beginning.

When baby boomers are deeply invested in their work, they can better inspire younger workers. They can encourage creativity, innovation and excellence. They can enrich the development of future generations.

The end result is a workforce that’s motivated to stay and empowered to achieve unprecedented performance.

To Succeed in 2019, Make these 6 changes to your organization

1. Millennials and Generation Z don’t just work for a paycheck — they want a purpose.

For people in these generations, their work must have meaning. They want to work for organizations with a mission and purpose. In the past, baby boomers and other generations didn’t necessarily need meaning in their jobs. They just wanted a paycheck. Their mission and purpose were their families and communities. For millennials and Generation Z, compensation is important and must be fair, but it’s no longer their primary motivation. The emphasis for these generations has switched from paycheck to purpose — and so should your culture.

2. Millennials and Generation Z are no longer pursuing job satisfaction — they are pursuing development.

Most members of these generations don’t care about the bells and whistles in many workplaces today — the pingpong tables, fancy latte machines and free food that companies offer to try to create job satisfaction. Giving out toys and entitlements is a leadership mistake. And worse, it’s condescending.

3. Millennials and Generation Z don’t want bosses — they want coaches.

The role of an old-style boss is command and control. But millennials and Generation Z care about having team leaders who can coach them, who value them as individuals and employees, and who help them understand and build their strengths.

4. Millennials and Generation Z don’t want annual reviews — they want ongoing conversations.

How these generations communicate — texting, tweeting, Skype, etc. — is immediate and continuous. Millennials and Generation Z are accustomed to constant communication and feedback, and this dramatically affects the workplace. Annual reviews on their own have never worked.

5. Millennials and Generation Z don’t want a manager who fixates on their weaknesses.

Gallup research shows that weaknesses never develop into strengths, while strengths develop infinitely. Your organization should not ignore weaknesses. Rather, you should understand weaknesses but maximize strengths. A strengths-based culture also helps you attract and keep star team members.

6. It’s not my job — it’s my life.

As we noted earlier, one of Gallup’s discoveries is that what everyone in the world wants is a good job. This is especially true for millennials and Generation Z. More so than ever in the history of corporate culture, employees are asking, ‘Does this organization value my strengths and my contribution? Does this organization give me the chance to do what I do best every day?’ Because for millennials and Generation Z, a job is no longer just a job — it’s their life.

The Leadership Style That Companies Often Overlook, but Shouldn’t

Have you ever heard somebody say one of these things?

I can’t wait to downgrade my car!

I’m glad everyone will know I didn’t succeed on that project.

I hope we get to the concert late so we don’t get the best seats.

You probably haven’t, because that’s not how people think.

Instead, they strive for better status — they seek to improve their standing in life. And, naturally, they want to be surrounded by leaders who can help them achieve the status they believe they deserve.

Unfortunately, appointing managers and leaders who understand this — people who know how to set others up for success — is a leadership approach that organizations often overlook.

The Typical Leadership Choices Companies Make Instead

First, let’s start with how people usually end up in leadership and management positions.

The top two reasons thousands of people in a Gallup study gave for being promoted to manager were: 1) success in a prior nonmanagement role and 2) tenure.

That seems … fair. When taken at face value.

It’s normal to think that people who are highly competent in a hard skill, who articulate their own contributions and who have been around the longest are the best choice to put in a management or leadership position.

It’s hard to argue that those aren’t good qualities, because they are.

But this way of promoting hasn’t led to the era of the amazing manager.

One in two employees have left a job to get away from a bad manager, and just two in 10 employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work, according to Gallup’s research.

So, what kind of leader won’t send your star employees running for the door? Who can best motivate your teams and keep your people working together productively?

The Leadership Style That Is More Motivating

The reason you never hear people say the quotes at the beginning of this article is because people don’t seek to move their status down in life (and they definitely wouldn’t brag about it).

Even if someone, say, downsizes their house on their own volition, most likely it’s to earn a new status (minimalist, recycler, Dave Ramsey follower) that they think is more prominent.

What this means: Your employees will naturally gravitate to someone who improves their status. A manager who knows how to set them up for success — whatever that might mean to the employee.

Managers play a huge role in your employees’ daily experience and engagement level. So, doesn’t it make sense to give your people the kind of leader who will lift them up, day in and day out? To give them a coach, not a boss — one who is hired for their innate leadership qualities and not promoted solely based on time served?

This isn’t a new concept, but for some reason it’s still not common practice.

Your employees will naturally gravitate to someone who improves their status.

Clearly, some companies haven’t moved past traditional management and promotion practices. And some leaders just aren’t sure how to really develop their people, other than a promotion or big pay raise — and their companies don’t encourage it.

You Can’t Give Everyone a Promotion, So How Do You Bring People Up in Status?

Bringing someone up in status would be impossible if a promotion or big raise was the only way to do it. Not every one of your employees can become the top dog or even be promoted anytime soon, but they still want the opportunity to grow.

And they’re likely to leave if they don’t get it — the No. 1 reason people change jobs today is “career growth opportunities.”

Luckily, not everyone needs a promotion to feel elevated in status or to bring a renewed passion to their job every day.

Not every one of your employees can become the top dog or even be promoted anytime soon, but they still want the opportunity to grow.

One way that managers can improve people’s status is to help them discover and become known for what they’re good at. Employees are twice as likely to be engaged at work if they have a manager who focuses on their strengths or positive characteristics.

Managers can build relationships based on trust when their companies equip and encourage them to prioritize strengths-based development and employee engagement. They can give more meaningful recognition, create work goals built on each team member’s unique capabilities, and help their employees learn and grow — instead of leave.

Your company needs all of its employees working at full steam to stay productive and to reduce turnover, not just the ones who land a promotion.

How to Up Your Leadership Game and Create Loyal Followers Today

Instead of expecting managers to rely on company policies and handbooks to figure out how to get by (scaring off half your workforce in the meantime), what if they were encouraged to get to know their employees and come up with creative ideas for empowering, developing and engaging them?

If you’re a company leader, you can start by empowering managers to develop employees based on their strengths — and by taking a hard look at who you’re hiring and promoting.

Do you want someone who is exceptionally good at a hard skill or someone who knows how to position others to play to their strengths and ultimately improve workplace performance?

If you’re a manager (or want to become one), you can start by creating opportunities for meaningful growth for your team members, and by recognizing people authentically based on their strengths and giving them the freedom to do what they do best every day.

You’ll bring them up in status.

And they’ll follow you.