The number one reason that employees that are good at their job leave a workplace is the boss. Managers control the atmosphere in a workplace and if that atmosphere is not good, it can cause dissatisfaction, stress, conflict, and eventually turnover. Bosses can make a workplace experience less than desirable with what they say, do, and with what they don’t do.
Communication is key in every area of life, but even more so in a workplace. If managers fail to communicate goals and expectations, or fail to listen to what employees have to say about roadblocks to accomplishing goals or suggestions, it can frustrate employees and impede success. If managers are unapproachable, do not act on what employees say, or continuously push employees away because they are busy, employees will eventually give up on communicating.
Fail to Develop People
Top employees want to learn, develop, and promote, so failing to provide training opportunities and teach them skills that they will need to move forward can kill their motivation. In many cases, employers don’t work to make time for employees to train because they get caught up in daily operations and simply leave the employees to do the things that they are good at day after day. Even worse, some managers feel like they are “saving costs” by cutting back on training programs.
Every single person that works at a job has a life outside of work, and sometimes that life gets in the way of work. A good way to drive top talent from a workplace is to refuse to be flexible when those employees need to handle outside issues or wish to divert slightly from the normal work hours. It is better to work with employees to help resolve their outside issues so that they can focus fully and completely on their work when they come back.
Feed Into Office Gossip
Managers sometimes get into the bad habit of feeding into office gossip, asking personal questions about another employee or spreading rumors. The intent is to build camaraderie, but it actually erodes trust with employees and shows weak leadership. Employees will not trust a person that they hear spreading rumors about others, and though this may not be a reason for leaving on its own, it can begin to sow seeds of dissent.
Display Laziness or Incompetence
Even if a manager is easy to communicate with, flexible, and doesn’t feed into rumors, if that manager is lazy or cannot perform the job, he or she may lose the respect of employees and eventually lose the employees. Employees expect a manager to be capable and to guide them, so a display of laziness or incompetence is frustrating.
How to Break the Cycle
Managers should inspire employees to do their best, guide and coach when needed, and continuously look at how to develop the team. If the managers in a workplace don’t fit the bill, they should be given leadership training and should be demoted or fired if management skills don’t improve. Before being promoted to management, employees should display good leadership and communication skills, in addition to talent.