Rookie managers make nearly half of female employees want to quit

 According to recent research conducted by Oji Life Lab and Harris Poll, new managers who are unprepared for their roles are causing significant stress to their employees. The study revealed that approximately 20% of U.S. workers have difficulty sleeping when working under a newly promoted manager. Additionally, 40% of the 2,000 U.S. workers surveyed reported experiencing stress or anxiety about going to work and a decrease in motivation due to working under a first-time boss, leading one-third of them to reconsider their employment at their companies.

The negative impact of first-time managers is particularly prevalent among women. While just over one-third of male employees reported experiencing stress or anxiety when working for a newly promoted manager, this figure rose to almost half of female employees. Women also expressed more negative feelings about their career paths and reported poor quality sleep caused by these inexperienced managers. This situation is even more concerning for corporate leaders, as new bosses could unintentionally hinder efforts to close the gender gap and advance women through various career levels. In fact, 40% of women surveyed cited new managers as a reason fueling their desire to quit, compared to 29% of men. 

Furthermore, this experience worsens with age, with women over 55 being the most likely to rate new managers poorly in "handling difficult situations" and "providing feedback". Harvard University business administration professor Linda Hill suggests that this may be attributed to the belief held by many new managers that treating people fairly means treating them the same. However, different groups have specific needs and concerns, such as childbearing and menopause, which require targeted and individualized treatment from managers. 

The survey also found that first-time managers perform significantly worse than experienced leaders in decision-making, conflict resolution, running productive meetings, and providing quality feedback, making their employees' jobs unnecessarily difficult. 

The researchers attribute the skills gap and resulting stress and turnover to the lack of adequate training provided to newly promoted managers. According to Oji Life Lab CEO, Matt Kursh, promoting individuals into managerial positions without prior training is equivalent to asking a surgeon or a pilot to learn on the job. This lack of preparation unsurprisingly leads to newly minted managers struggling with essential leadership skills such as decision-making, effective communication, coaching, and other universal traits. As a result, their teams experience anxiety and desire to quit their jobs.

However, there is a silver lining. The good news is that these skills can be mastered with time and experience. Even if someone has the potential to become a good manager, they are likely to have a challenging first year. Harvard University professor Linda Hill emphasizes the importance of improving these skills over time to ensure managers can effectively lead their teams and reduce the negative impact on employees. 

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