You read that right: employee turnover is a management problem. Yes, there are tons of employees out there who may not be worth the company shirt you have to provide them, but we’re not talking about them. We’re talking about the great employees; the one you wish you had ten more of.
The one who just walked out the door, while you’re left scratching your head as to why. There can be several of contributing factors people leave jobs or careers. However, the one that keeps coming up is problems with management.
Everyone in business has heard the saying, “Employees don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses.” Gallup has done extensive research on the effect of management on employee engagement, and employee engagement has a significant effect on employee turnover.
“Companies are constantly rating employee engagement as a top priority, but many have done little to improve in this area.” In Why Business Leaders Haven’t Come Around to Employee Engagement, Hunt Scanlon Media details the “pervasiveness of the problem,” including how “employee engagement has been identified as one of the leading challenges facing management today, but business leaders have been slow to respond (Cornerstone International Group).”
Thankfully, there are steps leaders can take to improve employee turnover, and the first one is knowing the root cause of the problem.
There are 5 Core Areas Where Management May Contribute to Your High Employee Turnover
1. Employees have a problem with communication from leadership
Masterful communication is vital for your success as a manager.
Motivating employees, sharing your vision, and interacting with customers all depends on your ability to properly communicate.
As a manager, you are in the business of human relationships.
You must learn how to communicate well if you are to lead your people in a clear, positive manner.
Yes, your priorities must revolve around pushing the business forward.
But initiatives are accomplished through people!
As such, you need to take care of your team and communicate effectively.
(For tips and tricks on effective communication, check out 5 Keys to fixing Communication Before You Lose ANOTHER Employee)
The way you give direction will determine how well your team members execute the tasks assigned to them.
And when they succeed, so will you!
There are always new things that you must be willing to change, adapt, and better yourself in in order to propel your team and business forward.
To stay at a place of excellence, you must continually train and work.
Remember: everything, even communication, is a skill.
If you practice, you WILL get better.
Use positive, powerful, and purposeful communication and you will soon be on your way to becoming a masterful communicator!
2. Employees don’t feel appreciated by management
You only have two kinds of employees: loyalists or mercenaries.
Loyalists know you genuinely care about them, they believe in your cause, and they bond with other employees. Mercenaries, on the other hand, are always looking for the next biggest check – whether it’s with your company or not.
If your only differentiator is you pay the most, don’t be surprised when they pick up and leave for $5 more an hour! Mary Kay Ash built a multi-level marketing empire based on this understanding. In her words, “There are two things people want more than sex and money, they are RECOGNITION and PRAISE.”
Yet Gallup Research found that 65% of American employees said they had received no recognition from their manager – IN A YEAR!
(For tips and tricks on rewards & recognition, check out our blog on Rewards & Recognition)
The difference between loyalists and mercenaries is based on their level of engagement. Employees that are engaged in their company – meaning they believe in the mission and they show up on time with a good attitude – catapult the business to success.
Employees with a loyalist mentality also have:
- lower turnover
- fewer excuses for missing
- rarer safety accidents
- produce better products
- have higher customer satisfaction
- send more profits straight to your bottom line
You have the responsibility to create an atmosphere that encourages your employees to give their best every single day. Your success as a manager depends on it.
If the majority of your employees are not engaged workers with loyalist mentalities, YOU NOT SUCCEED AS A MANAGER. You need to start recognizing your employees or you will continue to stall on the path to success. As a manager, the responsibility for your employees’ engagement rests directly on your shoulders.
You need to have a team that works together in order to be successful yourself. You can’t leave your company’s success or your achievements as a manager up to fate. Once you have the right team, it’s time to correctly reward them for their efforts.
3. Employees don’t believe management will help them develop
Deep down humans want to grow. If you don’t provide that for them, they are going to look for it somewhere else! They ache to work in an environment that champions their strengths, where they can contribute and make a lasting impact on the world.
They need to know where they are going, and how you plan to get them there. Where do YOU see them in five years? Your employees need you to help them grow. They need your connections, your encouragement, and your leadership.
(For tips and tricks on creating employee development plans, check out Retain & Grow Your Top Talent: 8 Steps for Employee Development)
Your team looks to you to provide them with a roadmap for success. Once they have a personal goal to work towards, you will be shocked to see what a difference it can make in their efforts at work.
Instead of fiddling around and wasting time, don’t be surprised if you see them newly energized to conquer the tasks set before them. Now they have somewhere to go!
They have places to be, and someone to reach towards – a better version of themselves.
4. Employees don’t feel motivated
All managers dream of the day they will be magically gifted with a team of dedicated, motivated employees. Employees that show up to work excited for the day to begin. Employees that give 100%, stay late if the job isn’t finished yet, and truly desire to be the best.
Beautiful resumes won’t give you this dream team. Coaxing, manipulating, and driving fear into their hearts won’t do it either. It has to happen inside of them.
The truest and best employees must be motivated internally, or they won’t become the All-Star team of which you dream.
At this point, you may feel frustrated. If it’s internal, then why does it matter what I do? How can I spur them on to success if nothing I do makes a difference? You CAN be a catalyst for change!
(For tips and tricks on motivating and inspiring employees, check out Do Your Employees Know How to Win? 4 Steps for Creating An Achieving Culture)
Bench players, properly motivated, can become big hitters. It’s about understanding how to react to them, and how to awaken their inner drive.
Great leaders create internal motivation by finding out what inspires their followers, by understanding what it is they truly desire, and then giving it to them.
Yes, finding good employees is important, but if you truly want an All-Star team, you must learn how to motivate bench sitters into becoming big hitters. What is motivation? Psychology Today defines motivation as “the desire to do things.” As a manager, you have goals and tasks that you need accomplished. And yet so many of them are left undone.
The truth is you don’t lack targets to hit; you just can’t get your employees to shoot an arrow at the target! You probably struggle to find team players that have an innate “desire to do things.” If this is you, it’s time to learn what drives people, how they respond to different motivators, and how you can coach your team to All-Star status.
You must learn how to train your employees to pick up the bow themselves, how to aim properly, and give them the strength to pull back the string and let the arrow fly.
5. Employees don’t respect the leadership team
A great leader is someone people look to and depend on for guidance and vision, who meets adversity head on, and who pulls others up to higher levels.
Now if you are starting to sweat a little because this seems like a lofty goal, that’s okay. It is a lofty goal – which is why so few ever fully reach it! But with the right attitude and action steps, you can become a great leader.
Let’s get real.
Leadership skills are one of those topics that everyone talks about—but few actually apply. Are you determined to be different? Becoming a great leader necessitates a burning desire to lead, and lead well. Once you’ve made the decision, it’s time to build your foundation.
To become the best manager – the one increasing workplace efficiency, communicating effectively with your employees, developing and training others, and properly motivating those in the workplace – you first have to establish your own foundation for great leadership.
Everyone has the capacity to lead. And indeed, many are put into the position of leadership. The difference between those that are successful and those that are not is simple: successful leaders lead well. Anyone can lead.
Your goal as a manager—in your specific position of leadership—should be to lead well for the greater goals of your team, and your company as a whole. As a manager, you are the captain of your workplace vessel. Your employees need you to be your best at the helm. Most people know what to do, but knowledge without application is useless.
So that begs the question: “How does one lead well?”
Find out the answer to that question at Understanding the 3 Pillars of Leadership: Your Employees are LEAVING Because You’re not LEADING.
For more great leadership tips, check out…
Improve Employee Retention with Coaching
Tips for Leadership Success: 12 Point To Do List to Become a Top 10% Manager (updated 7/7/20)
5 Keys to Fixing Communication Before You Lose Another Employee [Updated 6/29/20]
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