Poor leadership is the number one reason your employees quit

5 reasons you managers could be driving your employees elsewhere

In 2017, Gallup estimated that employee turnover costs the United States’ businesses a trillion dollars each year. According to research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), replacing an employee who leaves lies anywhere between 90% and 200% of that employee’s salary.

In 2018, a Work Institute study found that 27 out of every 100 employees in the United States left their jobs voluntarily. They have forecast that employee turnover could hit 35% by 2023. 

Extrapolating findings from the research, an organization with 100 employees and an average salary of $50,000, employee turnover could cost between $1.57 million and $3.5 million each year by 2023.

Clearly, managing employee turnover and retention effectively is a game changer.

Employees don’t leave their employer, they leave their manager

As true today as it has ever been is the saying that employees don’t leave their employer, they leave their manager. Indeed, in its studies on employee turnover, Gallup found that the reasons people quit jobs are mostly within the remit of managers to influence. It found that at least 75% of voluntary turnover is because of factors such as:

  • A lack of opportunity for career progression

  • Poor fit to the role

  • Flexibility and scheduling

  • The environment or management directly

Here are some types of poor leadership that ‘persuade’ talented employees to quit their jobs.

1. Managers who don’t offer feedback

Your most talented employees will be career minded. They want to develop and grow professionally, and to take on bigger projects and more responsibility. Employees who aren’t provided the vision of career advancement are more likely to leave to advance their careers elsewhere.

Poor leaders offer little to no regular feedback. They fail to discuss individual progress, don’t encourage development, and appear to ignore their employees’ opinions and ideas.

2. Managers who don’t know their employees’ strengths

People want to do work that they enjoy and tasks in which they excel. Effective managers understand the strengths and weaknesses of their team’s members. They take time to learn about their people, and help them develop by providing work that makes them happy and helps them develop their weaknesses while benefiting from their strengths.

People who are in roles that utilize their strengths and engage them in tasks they find interesting are more likely to be connected to their work and engaged with their team and their employer. This helps to improve performance and productivity, as well as developing loyalty.

3. Managers who micromanage

Employees desire autonomy in their roles. They want to be trusted to do their jobs well. Those who micromanage their teams will find that they suffocate their people. Employees under this type of manager will feel stifled. They will stop searching for creative solutions and soon become demoralized.

4. Managers who encourage a toxic workplace

A boss who micromanages tends to shape a toxic workplace. Fear replaces motivation and innovation. Work colleagues stop collaborating and a culture of blame evolves. 

When good work is not recognized or rewarded, people will stop putting in the effort to work to the best of their ability. Managers who don’t appreciate their employees will be blamed for a lack of career progression and poor pay. It is essential that managers make their people feel their contributions are appreciated, otherwise those employees will look elsewhere for the challenge and recognition they desire.

5. Managers who are simply bad at managing

Many organizations promote their best-performing employees to management and leadership positions, believing that they will naturally make good leaders.

The art of management must be learned, and poor managers are often those who have had no training in leadership – excelling at task execution does not translate to excelling at man-management.

Managers must understand their employees, adapting leadership style to individuals and influencing outcomes. They use their knowledge of their employees to delegate work that suits individuals, and act as a mentor and guide to motivate engagement.

Often, bad managers suffer because of their lack of ability to communicate effectively. A lack of clarity in messages causes confusion and is often a key factor in toxic workplaces. It also leads to higher stress levels.

To drive higher staff retention, drive leadership capability

The bottom line is that employees will leave if their boss does not deliver a workplace in which they feel respected, appreciated, and challenged. People want to do work they enjoy, with greater autonomy and accountability. They want to develop careers, and benefit from professional advancement.

A good manager understands his or her employees, their individual situations, strengths, weaknesses, and ambitions. They then use this knowledge to help encourage professional development and foster engagement via values-based leadership that helps to transform workplace culture.

Good managers may be born. Great managers are developed. To learn how we can help you develop your managers to lead more effectively and reduce damaging employee turnover in your organization, contact Forward Focus today.

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