Does Your Boss Support You and Your Career?

by Stacy Pursell, The VET Recruiter®

The title of this article poses an important question. However, as important as it is, I would be willing to bet that not many professionals in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession ask it. But they should be asking it.

You’ve probably heard this phrase before, or some variation of it: “People don’t quit their job because of their job. They quit their job because of other people.”

And when we say “other people,” what we’re really talking about are managers and supervisors. In other words, we’re talking about bosses.

Revealing the problems

The wisdom of this saying is illustrated in a recent Gallup poll and corresponding report. The poll (and the report) focused on the Millennial Generation. This makes sense, since Millennials now constitute the largest portion of the workforce, more than any generation. Below are some of the main takeaways from this endeavor:

  • 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.

Those statistics do not paint a pretty picture, do they? In fact, it looks rather grim, especially the second statistic listed above, the one about half of Millennials not planning to be with their current employer one year from now. How about you? If you’re a Millennial, do you plan to be with your current employer in 12 months? That’s a good question to ask yourself even if you’re not a member of the Millennial Generation.

But wait, there’s more! There’s more from the Gallup report, to be precise. According to the report, 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.

Once again, think about your current employment situation. How often do you meet with your boss? How often do you receive “meaningful feedback” from them? The answers to these questions will help you to answer the main question . . . which just so happens to be the title of this article.

Introducing the solutions

However, the Gallup report does offer some good news, specifically that engaged bosses are 59% more prone to having and retaining engaged employees. So if a boss is better at engaging with their employees, that boss is also better at retaining those employees. That, as you might agree, makes perfect sense.

So how does a good boss engage with their employees? The Gallup report provides more information in this area:

  • Being accessible for discussion
  • Helping to set goals
  • Motivating by emphasizing strengths as opposed to pointing out (and even criticizing) weaknesses

To better engage employees, bosses must meet with them on a weekly basis and provide “meaningful feedback.” What are the specific benefits of an organization that has managers and bosses who engage with employees in the correct fashion? Below are some of the biggest benefits:

  1. Greater employee satisfaction
  2. Enhanced performance
  3. More productivity
  4. Better rates of retention

These are primarily the benefits for the employer. What about YOU, the employee? How do you benefit from all of this? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to explore in the next section of this article.

(By the way, the Gallup report is titled “How Millennials Want To Work and Live,” and you can access it by clicking here.)

Considering the options

This is where everything comes full-circle, and I’ll explain what that means in just a minute. First, as you can see, how much bosses engage with employees is crucial for organizations. That’s because it leads to higher rates of retention. But why does it lead to higher rates of retention?

In a nutshell, the answer is as follows: because it shows that the boss—and by extension, the organization—cares about and supports the employee.

Feeling as though your boss cares about you and supports you goes a long way. And I don’t mean that they just care about how much work you do or whether you meet your quota for the month. I mean genuinely caring about you in two crucial categories:

#1—Your employment with the organization

Once again, this is not merely relegated to how productive you are (although your boss certainly does care about that). No, this relates to how much your boss cares about what YOU think about your current employment situation. They care about how much you are engaged in your position and with the people around you. They care about whether you actually enjoy your job and the duties that you carry out on a daily basis. In short, they care about how you feel about your job.

#2—Your career

This is even more important, for a number of reasons. First, you care about your career, the same as you care about your current employment situation. Second, you’re going to have a professional future. The only question is where you’ll be spending that professional future—with your current employer or with another organization. Third, if your boss does not care about your career, it means they essentially don’t care about your professional future. And if they don’t care about your professional future, then they don’t care about whether or not your future includes continued employment with the organization. The question becomes this: if your boss doesn’t care about your continued employment with the organization, then why should you?

So do you believe that your boss supports you and your career? If you believe that they do NOT, then you should know that you have options.

That’s because this is a very hot marketplace right now. This means that employment opportunities and job openings are plentiful and the candidates needed to fill them are scarce. As a result, employers are highly motivated to find candidates who can fill those 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 and who cares about and supports both you and your career. When you think about it, there is really no reason to settle for anything less.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1.By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2.By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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