It’s incredible how often executives complain about their best employees leaving their jobs and the company. And the complaints are justified – there is hardly anything as expensive and disruptive as dismissing a good employee. You trained them, they perform well and yet the employees are leaving their job – because of their boss.
Managers tend to hold everything and everyone accountable for this condition without realizing the core of the matter: people don’t leave their profession; they leave the managers.
The sad thing is that this problem can easily be avoided. The managers just need a new attitude and have to try harder.
First of all, it is important to understand what nine things managers do that make good employees resign:
1. they overburden their employees
This is probably the hardest work for good employees. It is so tempting to let the best people work harder, that managers step into this trap all too often. Overworking good employees is confusing because it makes them feel that they are being punished for their good work. So such overwork is counterproductive.
Stanford University research shows that productivity per hour decreases sharply when working hours exceed 50 hours per week. After 55 hours, it even drops so much that the rest of the work is of no use at all.
If you have to increase an employee’s working hours, you should promote him. Talented workers will put up with more work, but they will not stay in the company when they suffocate in work. Salary increases, promotions and job title changes are acceptable ways to increase labour input.
If you simply increase work because people are talented without changing anything, they will long for a job they deserve.
2. they don’t appreciate good work enough
Especially the best employees often underestimate the power of a simple shoulder beater. Everyone likes compliments, but nobody as much as those who work hard and give their best.
Managers need to communicate with their employees to find out what makes them happy (for some it’s a raise, for others a public recognition) and then reward them for their good work. For the best employees, if you do it right, this should happen often.
3. they don’t care about their employees
More than half the people quit their job because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make sure their managers know exactly how to balance professionalism and humanity.
These are the bosses who celebrate the success of their employees, take care of those who are going through a difficult phase and challenge people. Managing directors who can’t really take care of their employees will always have high termination rates. It’s impossible to work eight or more hours for someone who doesn’t care about anything other than labor yield.
4. they do not keep their promises
With promises you can either make your employees very happy or bring about their resignation. As you fulfill your obligations, you have a higher value in the eyes of the employees because you show that you are trustworthy. But if you do not keep your promises, you will appear insensitive and disrespectful.
And why should the employees keep their commitments if you boss doesn’t?
5. they hire the wrong people
Hard-working employees want to work with like-minded specialists. If managers don’t take the trouble to hire good people, it can be very demotivating for the rest of the staff.
To promote the wrong people is even worse. It’s an immense insult when you work hard but someone who doesn’t deserve it gets promoted. So it’s no wonder that good employees quit.
6. they prevent employees from pursuing their passions.
Talented employees are passionate. Giving them the opportunity to follow their preferences improves their productivity and makes them feel more comfortable at work. But most managers want their employees to focus only on their work. They fear that productivity will decrease if they allow employees to broaden their horizons.
But this fear is unfounded. Studies show that following a passion at work can increase workers’ productivity fivefold.
7. they do not promote the skills of their employees
When managers are asked about their carelessness towards employees, they try to talk their way out of it. But good directors run the company no matter how talented the employees are. They pay constant attention and give constructive feedback to employees.
If you have a talented employee, it is up to you to find out what skills you can improve on him or her. The best employees want feedback – more than the less talented – and it’s your job to do that. If you don’t, your best employees will quickly become bored and self-satisfied.
8. they do not encourage the creativity of employees
The most talented employees want to improve everything. If you deprive them of the opportunity to change or improve things, it will quickly make them hate their job. Not only will the employees be restricted, but so will they.
9. they do not intellectually challenge people
Good managers encourage their employees to achieve things that seem unimaginable at first glance. Instead of gradually setting goals, they push their employees out of their comfort zone.
Then good managers do everything in their power to help them succeed. When intelligent and talented employees only do simple tasks, they get bored quickly and look for other jobs that challenge them intellectually.
If you want your best employees to stay, you need to think carefully about how you treat them. Good employees are tough, but their talent gives them many opportunities. You must make them want to work for you. Otherwise they will be leaving their job, because of their boss.