Ask Me Anything

Management strategies for employee retention, with Jocelyn Scheirer

Leadership

February 15, 2022
·
4
min read
An image of Jocelyn Scheirer, co-founder and CTO of ImmerSphere.

Jocelyn Scheirer, co-founder and CTO of ImmerSphere, on building trust and increasing talent retention.

This AMA was edited for brevity.


Jocelyn Scheirer is the co-founder and CTO of ImmerSphere.


What management approach have you found most effective?

I've managed a lot of people in different situations and my approach to it is instinctual, very hands-on, and direct. I tend to be in the company when it's small and in that phase, building relationships and trust with your constituents has to be the most important part of management. When I join or start a company, building the relationships has to far outweigh getting anything done at first. You have to allow people to build their own way of doing their job. Give them space to develop their own working style rather than giving them marching orders right away.


What’s your management approach? Comment on this post in the Pulse community.


“Give them space to develop their own working style rather than giving them marching orders right away.”



How much time do you invest in building trust when managing people at a new organization?

I try to meet with my constituents on a weekly basis to hang out and get to know them. When somebody is getting involved in a new job, I really don't expect that much for their first few weeks. It's great when something reasonable comes out of it, but you have to allow people to build a life for themselves at their job so they enjoy coming in every day, or logging in every day. 


How much time do you spend on relationship building at a new organization? Comment on this post in the Pulse community.



How can managers increase retention in their organization?

Making a personal connection creates cohesion and leadership, and it gives the group the ability to focus. There has to be a reason why they want to do work for you, even the things that are boring. What will keep people going is wanting to do their work not necessarily to please their boss, but because they think their boss is awesome.


“Making a personal connection creates cohesion and leadership, and it gives the group the ability to focus.”


I think most of my team today would say, "Yes, she's awesome to work for." That's the kind of relationship you want to have. It’s taken me many years and mistakes to get to this place. You want them to feel like you have their back and that you'll fight for them if they're having any issues. I've been in a situation where I was somebody's manager but they still needed to report to the CEO, and it's always best to be the good cop in that dynamic.  


What are your strategies for increasing retention? Comment on this post in the Pulse community.



What influences your management style the most? 

I treat employees like I would treat any family member or friend—with care. A lot of the disgruntlement that people have with their jobs is because they don't feel like somebody is looking out for them, or that they're appreciated and have someone that they can depend on. They don’t feel like they're working for someone who really gets them and it creates apathy.


“I treat employees like I would treat any family member or friend—with care.”


There's a chance for the manager to always be the hero in somebody's life. There's a potential for you to play an important role in that person's life as a mentor. A lot of people don't realize that and they dislike the management part of their job. They see it as a chore, because they'd rather be doing individual contribution work. But management is a way to foster people's growth. It can be a very nurturing yet creative role.


What has the biggest influence on your management style? Comment on this post in the Pulse community.



How can you make your direct reports feel like you support their growth trajectory when it comes to their career?

You have to demonstrate that support. It's important to go to bat for people in a way that they can see. Show that you're talking about them to other people in a visible way by complimenting them to others and cc’ing them. People need a lot of positive feedback. They need 10 positive comments for every one negative one. People don't realize how much folks need to hear “Great,” or, “Super.” It needs to happen a lot and inexperienced managers will say it a few times, but then forget. Most managers don't realize how often silence is interpreted as displeasure. 


“Most managers don't realize how often silence is interpreted as displeasure.”


It's also important for managers to be quick to take the hit when something doesn't go well. Managers need to let their employees know that when something goes wrong, they're willing to take responsibility and not shift blame; it's okay to not get something done on time. It's always great to show yourself as an example, so that there isn’t a competitive environment of perfectionism. There has to be a safe environment.


What do you do to make your employees feel supported in their career growth? Comment on this post in the Pulse community.


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