Episode #113 – Why It’s Important for Your Boss to Support Your Career

Samantha: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive recruiter Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary employers hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast, we’ll be talking about why it’s important for your boss to support your career. Hello, Stacy, and that you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Samantha. As always, I’m glad to be here.

Samantha: Stacy, when I think about the title of this podcast episode, I ask myself whether professionals ask themselves if their boss supports their career. Is this something that they think about?

Stacy: That’s a great question, and a good one to ask. I believe that many professionals do not think about this question much at all including some in the Animal Science industry and Veterinary profession. However, I think that’s a mistake. This is something they should definitely be thinking about.

After all, there’s a popular phrase that’s used to describe a situation in which people quit their jobs.

Samantha: What saying is that?

Stacy: “People don’t quit their job because of their job. They quit their job because of other people.” Most of the time, those “other people” are their manager or supervisor. Or their boss.

A recent Gallup poll and corresponding report illustrates this well. The poll and the report focused on the Millennial Generation. In fact, the title of the report was “How Millennials Want To Work and Live.”

Samantha: Don’t Millennials now make up the largest portion of the workforce, more than any other generation?

Stacy: Yes, that’s the case. In fact, this study and report revealed quite a few interesting things. For example:

  • 71% of Millennials aren’t engaged at work, the most of any generation.
  • Half of all Millennials don’t plan on being with their current company in a year.
  • Bosses carry the responsibility for 70% of employee engagement variances.

Samantha: Wow, half of all Millennials don’t plan on being with their current employer in a year? That’s rather eye-opening.

Stacy: It is! But the Gallup poll and report revealed even more than that. For example, only 21% of Millennial employees meet on a weekly basis with their boss and just 17% indicated that they receive “meaningful feedback” from their boss.

Samantha: Those numbers are eye-opening, as well.

Stacy: If an employee does not meet with their boss on a regular basis, how can they know whether their boss supports them or their career? And what does “meaningful feedback” mean? That varies from person to person. What one person considers “meaningful feedback” another person might not. There are a number of factors to consider when addressing this topic.

Samantha: Does the Gallup poll have any good news to report?

Stacy: Actually, it does. According to the poll, engaged bosses are 59% more prone to having and retaining engaged employees.

Samantha: So if a boss is better at engaging with their employees, that boss is also better at retaining those employees?

Stacy: Yes, and that makes sense.

Samantha: The question I have, though, is how does a good boss engage effectively with their employees? What does that look like?

Stacy: Well, there are a few different ways. First, they need to be accessible for discussion. Then, when they do sit down with their employees, they need to help set goals for those employees. And finally, they must motivate their employees, namely by emphasizing their strengths, as opposed to pointing out their weaknesses.

Samantha: Stacy, if a manager or supervisor engages in this type of activity, how does that benefit the employees and the organization?

Stacy: There are a lot of different benefits, starting with better rates of retention. Other benefits include greater employee satisfaction, enhanced performance by the employees, and more productivity. And of course, with more productivity comes more profitability.

Samantha: Stay, correct me if I’m wrong, but those benefits seem to be more about the employer than the employees. Although greater satisfaction does seem to be a benefit for the employee. What are some other benefits for employees?

Stacy: All employees want to feel as though they’re valued and wanted by their employer and that their employer cares about them. And that includes their boss or supervisor. It goes beyond just feeling satisfied. It involves a sense of belonging and feeling as though you’re working for the right organization.

Samantha: You just mentioned that employees want to feel as though their employer cares about them. In what ways do they care about them?

Stacy: Well, there are two main areas that managers and supervisors should care about in regard to their employees.

The first area is the person’s employment with the organization. And when I say that, I don’t just mean how productive the person is or how productive they’re perceived to be. No, I mean how much the person’s boss cares about what the person thinks about their employment situation. Ideally, the person’s boss should care about how much the person is engaged in their position. They should also care about whether or not the person enjoys their job on a daily basis.

Samantha: What’s the second area?

Stacy: The second area, as the title of our episode indicates, is the person’s career. After all, most people care about more than just their current job. They also care about their career. They want to develop their career and grow it. The only question is where they’re going to develop and grow it. They could do so with their current employer or they could do it with some other employer.

If your boss does not care about your career, it means they essentially don’t care about where you spend your professional future. They should want you to spend it with their organization. That makes the most sense.

The bottom line is this: if your boss doesn’t care about your continued employment with the organization, then why should you?

Samantha: That’s an excellent point. What effect does the current marketplace have on this issue?

Stacy: It has a lot of impact! This is a very hot job marketplace right now. This means employment opportunities and job openings are plentiful. On the other hand, the candidates needed to fill some of the roles are scarce. As a result, employers are highly motivated to find candidates who can fill these positions and provide the value that they’re seeking.

If you are such a candidate, then you need a boss who keeps you engaged and satisfied. You also want a boss who cares about and supports both you and your career. If you’re a top candidate and you have options, there’s no reason you should not try to get those things.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re a Millennial or if you’re a member of another generation. This is something that is important to everyone and should be important to everyone. You career is not important just because of your generation.

Samantha: That also makes a lot of sense. Thanks so much for joining us today and providing all of this great information.

Stacy: You’re very welcome, Samantha, and thank you. It’s been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health Employment Insider!