As a traveler, I have worked with and for many managers in the past few years. You could call it the good, the bad and the ugly. There were some places where I couldn’t wait to leave. Some of that could be attributed in part to the upper management, some to the doctors and some to the co-workers. Well, it seems like it was the co-workers. We all know that the management affects the attitudes of the line workers. They can’t do much about the doctors…or can they?
However, I am seeing at my current position the power of a good manager. This manager has built a great lab using travelers to fill in while they train new employees to accommodate their growth. And many of the travelers are asking to stay as permanent employees…a testament to the good management. A big part of the success of this lab is boundaries. There are strict boundaries placed on the manager and employees. However, within those boundaries, the management is allowed to work as they see best. They can be flexible and laid-back, making the employees comfortable. The boundaries keep them from playing favorites, so everyone trusts the managers. If I wanted to stay in a place permanently, I would choose this place; or a place like this one.
So the answer to the question? I would like to work for a manager who sets expectations and boundaries early, and sticks to them. I would also like to work for a manager who is allowed by their managers to be flexible and lenient. This doesn’t require a union contract; it only requires management that understands that the way to keep turnover low is to keep employees happy. And that doesn’t require lax expectations; it only requires flexibility.