On this episode of the Radical Candor Podcast, Kim, Jason and Amy discuss the clear message quiet quitting is loudly sending to bad bosses and managers of managers. We know that relationships don’t scale, but culture does. This means that while you can’t have a close relationship with every person who reports to the people who report to you, practicing Radical Candor with the people you manage can impact how they interact with the people they manage and so on. On the other hand, if toxic stew is flowing from the top and being passed down from executives to managers of managers to individual contributors it should come as no surprise that people in this type of environment are disengaged at work. So, how do you fix it? Listen to find out!
Listen to the episode:
Radical Candor Podcast Episode At a Glance
A recent piece in Harvard Business Review by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman Quiet Quitting Is About Bad Bosses, Not Bad Employees shares data they gathered on almost 3,000 managers who were rated, by five direct reports on average, on two data points:
- Employees’ ratings of their manager’s ability to “balance getting results with a concern for others’ needs.”
- Employees’ ratings of the extent to which their “work environment is a place where people want to go the extra mile” — what they called “discretionary effort.
Managers who were rated the highest at balancing results with relationships saw 62% of their direct reports as willing to give extra effort, while only 3% were quietly quitting. Whereas the least effective managers had three-to-four times as many people who fall in the “quiet quitting” category compared to the most effective leaders.
They found that: “Quiet quitting is usually less about an employee’s willingness to work harder and more creatively, and more about a manager’s ability to build a relationship with their employees where they are not counting the minutes until quitting time.”
On this episode of the Radical Candor Podcast, Kim, Jason and Amy pose a few questions to managers of managers:
- Are you holding managers accountable for the engagement of their team members?
- Are you looking at relative engagement scores? Even if engagement scores for your company are lower than average deviations from the mean within your organization matter.
If you have managers reporting to you who are underperforming on team engagement in comparison to their peers, you should be treating this as an urgent situation.
Radical Candor Podcast Checklist
- Get curious about why some people on your team are disengaged. If you have managers reporting to you who are underperforming on team engagement in comparison to their peers, you should be treating this as an urgent situation. Ask yourself whether or not you have truly fostered a culture of Radical Candor. Do your employees feel valued, cared for and appreciated? Are their roles clearly defined? Are there opportunities for them to learn and grow? Do they feel like they can come to you with concerns? If the answer is no, you need to focus on building a culture of trust.
- Have “speak-truth-to-power” meetings. If you’re a manager of managers, it’s difficult to have visibility into every single thing that’s going on. Speak-truth-to-power meetings where people get to speak privately with their manager’s manager are an effective way to get clear information from the people who report to the people you manage.
- Remember, relationships don’t scale, but culture does. This means that while you can’t have a close relationship with every person who reports to the people who report to you, practicing Radical Candor with the people you manage can impact how they interact with the people they manage and so on. Without a culture of trust, which has been identified as the most important factor in determining engagement, you’ve already failed.
- Sometimes it’s not you, it’s every authority figure ever. As the boss getting feedback from employees you might often feel like a projection screen for everyone’s unresolved authority issues. When it comes time to give feedback to your boss, it can be helpful to remember that. Take a step back from both roles and try to see everyone you’re working with as simply people. When you remove hierarchy from the situation, it all looks and feels much more straightforward.
Radical Candor Podcast Resources
- Quiet Quitting Is About Bad Bosses, Not Bad Employees
- Is Quiet Quitting Real?
- How to Manage Managers
- Don’t Care About Your Employees? They May Be Quiet Quitting
- 6 Ways to Roll Out Radical Candor Like a Boss
- 2 Questions To Ask To Avoid Working For A Bad Boss
- Skip Level Meetings: A Quick Start Guide
- The Asshole Survival Guide: How to Deal with People Who Treat You Like Dirt: Sutton, Robert I.: 9781328695918
- Acceptance: A Memoir Hardcover – Nietfeld, Emi
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The Radical Candor Podcast is based on the book Radical Candor: Be A Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott.
Episodes are written and produced by Brandi Neal with script editing by Amy Sandler. The show features Radical Candor co-founders Kim Scott and Jason Rosoff and is hosted by Amy Sandler.
The Radical Candor Podcast theme music was composed by Cliff Goldmacher. Order his book: The Reason For The Rhymes: Mastering the Seven Essential Skills of Innovation by Learning to Write Songs.
Sound editing by PodcastBuffs.