Are women better employers than men?
I approach a lot of agency principals to discuss their approach to their company cultures, personnel and the benefits of sound talent management policies on their staffs and their businesses. I ask questions like, “does your staff have clear expectations in their roles and do you provide on –going performance management and development to help them achieve those goals? “Are their goals in alignment with your business goals?” A get a lot of blank stares, nods to let me know they realize I’ve stopped talking and a lot of “oh yeah, we do that” responses when in reality I know they don’t do that. Many of these responses, or similar ones, come from men.
But I started to notice something interesting when I brought up the same questions with female agency principals. A lot of them said that they do in fact have performance management systems, that they have someone on staff who guides and nurtures their staff and the culture of the agency, or they have consulted with someone like me in the past. They tell me they talk about this stuff internally all the time. That it’s a big part of their business.
Do women get the concept of culture and sound talent management driving business success better than men? Are women more in tune to the needs of their employees? Is their inherent nurturing behavior creating more nurturing places to work? As a guy I understand the typical responses of male business owners. “they’re lucky they get a paycheck.” “I pay them for their work, and pay them well. What more do they need?” Men aren’t always as interested in the “soft” sides of their business. Bad mistake.
Employees want to feel like they are taken care of. That they are appreciated. Women might naturally do this better than men. Of course, I’ve seen women who were terrible managers and those who don’t pay much attention to the happiness of their employees. And I’ve seen men who were great at people skills, and great at supporting and empowering employees to succeed through sound management and growth. Some of them are clients and they get it.
It just seems to me in my current travels that I’ve seen more agencies run by women that had a better handle on their people issues than agencies run by men. Sorry guys, you’ve got some work to do.