You sit at your desk frustrated and confused. Your top employee just quit. You’re left feeling overwhelmed at the thought of distributing their work, analyzing who could take on such critical clients. And there’s the inconvenience of sifting through resumes, interviewing, and onboarding a new employee. This loss will set you back and you already feel pressed for time. You wonder, “Why did they really quit? Great opportunities only present themselves when you’re looking for them, right?”
Generally, the answer is yes. And great employees don’t just quit out of the blue. In many cases, they don’t quit their job as often as they quit their manager. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but your ability to manage your team well will impact the loyalty and longevity of your employees. On the flip side, you can expect turnover from your best people if you are not an expert manager.
Ready to keep your team together longer? Avoid these mistakes that make good employees walk out the door.
1. Overwork and Underpay: It’s natural to give more work to high accomplishers. However, it’s counterproductive. Good employees tend to feel as though they are being punished for their exemplary performance, not rewarded for it. You can give employees more responsibility, however, if you compensate them for it. Change their title, increase their pay, elevate their status. This is a way to reward them for their outstanding performance and increase their workload without causing frustration.
2. Fail to Recognize their Contributions: A good manager learns what makes his team members tick. Does she want an email cc’d to the CEO with an encouraging note? Does he want his name mentioned in the staff meeting? Those who are intrinsically motivated will keep working hard when their performance is recognized and appreciated. If you’re doing your job right, then these little accolades will happen often, and you’ll continue inspiring your best workers to keep going.
3. Don’t Get to Know Your People: When you have a personal relationship with your employees, your professional relationship is stronger. Invest in your employees and show that you care about them, not just their output. Show empathy to those going through hardships, celebrate successes, and challenge your team to be better. People are more apt to work harder for someone they have a personal connection with. Distant, uninvolved managers shouldn’t be shocked when their employees have no sense of loyalty to the company.
4. Don’t Honor Your Commitments: If you have expectations for your team, hold them for yourself as well. If you say you’ll be there, show up. If you make a promise, keep it. Failure to do these simple things creates a divide between a manager and his/her team. Employees begin to see you as untrustworthy, uncaring, and disrespectful. Can you blame them for not wanting to stick around?
5. Hire and Promote the Wrong People: Employees that work hard, uphold values, and care about job performance have difficulty working alongside someone who doesn’t. Good managers will put in the effort to hire the right people that will motivate their best employees, not frustrate them. It’s even more frustrating—and insulting—when your top workers are passed over for promotions. This is one of the fastest ways to send good employees packing.
6. Don’t Care About Employee Development: You may pride yourself on being a “hands-off” manager, someone who encourages “autonomy.” But good managers manage. Trust that your employees are qualified for the job, and empower them to push the status quo, but pay attention and provide feedback. Look for areas that will challenge your best people to improve or perfect a certain skill set. If you want great employees to keep working for you, protect them from complacency and boredom.
7. Avoid Opportunities for Challenge: Your best people want to be challenged intellectually and creatively. When you stifle their ability to think critically, solve problems, and innovate, you can count on them to find a job elsewhere. Motivate your team by pushing them out of their comfort zone, setting lofty goals, and setting them up for success.
We know that the success of your business relies heavily on your management team. When you have great managers, who know how to communicate effectively, resolve conflict, and increase employee satisfaction, you avoid turnover and keep your best employees. Contact Front Line Leadership to learn more about how our unique programs can train your managers to be more successful.