It’s not uncommon to hear managers complaining about their best employees leaving, and for good reason. Losing employees is very disruptive and costly for businesses. That said, managers tend to blame their turnover rate on a multitude of reasons while failing to see the root of the problem: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers. The good news is that all of this can be avoided if managers are willing to take on a new perspective and put in a little extra effort. Nearly 70% of an employee’s motivation is influenced by their manager, so when managers fail, their employees begin heading out the door. Let’s examine three of the biggest mistakes managers make that send their best employees packing.
They Overwork their Employees
It can be very tempting for managers to work their best employees harder. They pile more tasks on their plate and give them more work to do because, after all, they know these people are capable of doing it right. The problem with this theory is that nothing burns good people out faster than overworking them. It can oftentimes be confusing to the employee because they end up feeling like they are being punished for doing a great job. It also tends to be counterproductive, because productivity begins to decline if an employee works more than 50 hours a week. The bottom line is this: If it’s necessary to increase the workload of your best employees, you need to increase their status as well. Promotions, salary increases, or new job titles are all ways for letting your employees know that you appreciate the extra work they are putting in. If you simply increase their workload without changing anything else, they will look for another job that will reward them for their hard work.
They Don’t Recognize or Reward Good Work
A little pat on the back can go a long way when it comes to motivating your employees. Even for employees who are intrinsically motivated, encouragement, appreciation, and recognition are not to be underestimated. Everyone likes to be acknowledged, especially those who work hard and give their all. Managers need to come up with ways to show their appreciation for a job well done. In some instances it might be acceptable to give public recognition at a meeting or on a monthly newsletter. Other times a raise or bonus might be more appropriate. It can even be something as small as saying “thank you” or sending an email expressing appreciation. When employees feel like they are appreciated, they are more likely to stick around and continue working even harder.
They Don’t Care About their Employees
More than half of the people who quit their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Good managers understand the importance of being able to balance their professional relationship with their personal relationship. These managers celebrate the successes of their employees and are genuinely happy for them during exciting times in their life such as getting married, the birth of a child, or moving to a new home. Likewise, they empathize with those going through difficult times. Furthermore, they aren’t afraid to challenge their employees and really push them to higher limits. Bosses who fail to have a genuine relationship with their employees will always have higher turnover rates than those who really care. It is impossible to work with someone every day that doesn’t care about anything other than your productivity at work.
If managers want their best employees to stick around they need to examine how they are treating them. Remember that a manager’s job is to make these great employees want to work for them.