How man­agers make good work­ers quit

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

IT’S pretty incredible how of­ten you hear man­agers com­plain­ing about their best em­ploy­ees leav­ing, and they re­ally do have some­thing to com­plain about — few things are as costly and dis­rup­tive as good peo­ple walk­ing out the door.

Man­agers tend to blame their turnover prob­lems on every­thing un­der the sun, while ig­nor­ing the crux of the mat­ter: peo­ple don’t leave jobs; they leave man­agers.

The sad thing is that this can eas­ily be avoided. All that’s re­quired is a new per­spec­tive and some ex­tra ef­fort on the man­ager’s part.

First, we need to un­der­stand the nine worst things that man­agers do that send good peo­ple pack­ing.

1. They over­work peo­ple. Noth­ing burns good em­ploy­ees out quite like over­work­ing them. It’s so tempt­ing to work your best peo­ple hard that man­agers fre­quently fall into this trap. Over­work­ing good em­ploy­ees is per­plex­ing; it makes them feel as if they’re be­ing pun­ished for great per­for­mance.

Over­work­ing em­ploy­ees is also coun­ter­pro­duc­tive. New re­search from Stan­ford shows that pro­duc­tiv­ity per hour de­clines sharply when the work­week ex­ceeds 50 hours, and pro­duc­tiv­ity drops off so much af­ter 55 hours that you don’t get any­thing out of work­ing more.

If you must in­crease how much work your ta­lented em­ploy­ees are do­ing, you’d bet­ter in­crease their sta­tus as well. Ta­lented em­ploy­ees will take on a big­ger work­load, but they won’t stay if their job suf­fo­cates them in the process. Raises, pro­mo­tions, and ti­tle-changes are all ac­cept­able ways to in­crease work­load.

If you sim­ply in­crease work­load be­cause peo­ple are ta­lented, with­out chang­ing a thing, they will seek an­other job that gives them what they de­serve.

2. They don’t rec­og­nize con­tri­bu­tions and re­ward good work. It’s easy to un­der­es­ti­mate the power of a pat on the back, es­pe­cially with top per­form­ers who are in­trin­si­cally mo­ti­vated. Ev­ery­one likes ku­dos, none more so than those who work hard and give their all.

Man­agers need to com­mu­ni­cate with their peo­ple to find out what makes them feel good (for some, it’s a raise; for oth­ers, it’s pub­lic recog­ni­tion) and then to re­ward them for a job well done. With top per­form­ers, this will hap­pen of­ten if you’re do­ing it right.

3. They don’t care about their em­ploy­ees. More than half of peo­ple who leave their jobs do so be­cause of their re­la­tion­ship with their boss. Smart com­pa­nies make cer­tain their man­agers know how to bal­ance be­ing pro­fes­sional with be­ing hu­man.

Th­ese are the bosses who cel­e­brate an em­ployee’s suc­cess, em­pathize with those go­ing through hard times, and chal­lenge peo­ple, even when it hurts.

Bosses who fail to re­ally care will al­ways have high turnover rates. It’s im­pos­si­ble to work for some­one eight-plus hours a day when they aren’t per­son­ally in­volved and don’t care about any­thing other than your pro­duc­tion yield.

4. They don’t hon­our their com­mit­ments. Mak­ing prom­ises to peo­ple places you on the fine line that lies be­tween mak­ing them very happy and watch­ing them walk out the door.

When you up­hold a com­mit­ment, you grow in the eyes of your em­ploy­ees be­cause you prove your­self to be trust­wor­thy and honourable (two very im­por­tant qual­i­ties in a boss).

But when you dis­re­gard your com­mit­ment, you come across as slimy, un­car­ing, and dis­re­spect­ful. Af­ter all, if the boss doesn’t hon­our his or her com­mit­ments, why should ev­ery­one else? 5. They hire and pro­mote the wrong peo­ple. Good, hard-work­ing em­ploy­ees want to work with like-minded pro­fes­sion­als. When man­agers don’t do the hard work of hir­ing good peo­ple, it’s a ma­jor de­mo­ti­va­tor for those stuck work­ing along­side them. Pro­mot­ing the wrong peo­ple is even worse. When you work your tail off only to get passed over for a pro­mo­tion that’s given to some­one who glad-handed their way to the top, it’s a mas­sive in­sult. No won­der it makes good peo­ple leave.

6. They don’t let peo­ple pur­sue their pas­sions. Ta­lented em­ploy­ees are pas­sion­ate. Pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for them to pur­sue their pas­sions im­proves their pro­duc­tiv­ity and job sat­is­fac­tion. But many man­agers want peo­ple to work within a lit­tle box.

Th­ese man­agers fear that pro­duc­tiv­ity will de­cline if they let peo­ple ex­pand their fo­cus and pur­sue their pas­sions. This fear is un­founded. Stud­ies show that peo­ple who are able to pur­sue their pas­sions at work ex­pe­ri­ence flow, a eu­phoric state of mind that is five times more pro­duc­tive than the norm.

7. They fail to de­velop peo­ple’s skills. When man­agers are asked about their inat­ten­tion to em­ploy­ees, they try to ex­cuse them­selves, us­ing words such as “trust,” “au­ton­omy,” and “em­pow­er­ment.” This is com­plete non­sense. Good man­agers man­age, no mat­ter how ta­lented the em­ployee. They pay at­ten­tion and are con­stantly lis­ten­ing and giv­ing feed­back.

Man­age­ment may have a be­gin­ning, but it cer­tainly has no end. When you have a ta­lented em­ployee, it’s up to you to keep find­ing ar­eas in which they can im­prove to ex­pand their skill set. The most ta­lented em­ploy­ees want feed­back — more so than the less ta­lented ones — and it’s your job to keep it com­ing. If you don’t, your best peo­ple will grow bored and com­pla­cent.

8. They fail to en­gage their cre­ativ­ity. The most ta­lented em­ploy­ees seek to im­prove every­thing they touch. If you take away their abil­ity to change and im­prove things be­cause you’re only com­fort­able with the sta­tus quo, this makes them hate their jobs. Cag­ing up this in­nate de­sire to cre­ate not only lim­its them, it lim­its you.

9. They fail to chal­lenge peo­ple in­tel­lec­tu­ally. Great bosses chal­lenge their em­ploy­ees to ac­com­plish things that seem in­con­ceiv­able at first. In­stead of set­ting mun­dane, in­cre­men­tal goals, they set lofty goals that push peo­ple out of their com­fort zones. Then, good man­agers do every­thing in their power to help them suc­ceed. When ta­lented and in­tel­li­gent peo­ple find them­selves do­ing things that are too easy or bor­ing, they seek other jobs that will chal­lenge their in­tel­lects.

Bring­ing it all to­gether If you want your best peo­ple to stay, you need to think care­fully about how you treat them. While good em­ploy­ees are as tough as nails, their tal­ent gives them an abun­dance of op­tions. You need to make them want to work for you. — En­trepreneur

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