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70% of your employees are looking to leave jobs. Why? Part 2

Posted by Vy Huynh on Nov 17, 2014 11:30:00 AM

The website Badbossology.com conducted an online survey of 1,118 people; it found that 50% of fulltime staff would fire their own bosses if they could. Nearly 30 % would have their boss seen by a workplace psychologist.


Your employees when they resign, they won’t use those words. Indeed, they may not mention management issues at all. But when they mention something like morale, poor communication, lack of clarity for their career progression, unclear goals, lack of coaching, lack of motivation in working, indeed they are really telling you that it's because of the leaders/managers that they are leaving. Obviously, leaders/managers are responsible for morale, communication and career paths.

It can be concluded that in many instances, people actually leave their bosses, and not their jobs. So, why do employees leave their bosses?

1. Poor leadership skills of the boss

Employees say it is hard to work for a boss who gives unclear instructions, demand they work hard without proper recognition or rest, are picky about small issues or have poor people skills.

Making staff work hard is not unreasonable, but not giving them respect and acknowledgement is extremely frustrating and demoralising. This is also tantamount to making them work like a slave.

There are some bosses who are insecure in their role and compensate by putting their staff down. They blame staff for mistakes and take the credit for any successes.

2. The boss has micro-management style

The micro-managing boss constantly checks on his staff's work, intervening in the way they do things, and frustrating them in the process. Bosses micro-manage mainly because they don't trust their staff to deliver the quality they want.

Their quality of work is perpetually checked and productivity is affected.

3. Lack of trust between the boss and his staff

Lacking of trust between staff and their supervisors tends to produce conversations with hidden meanings. When trust is low, people may start to question what their boss actually means when he says something. Even if he does something positive, they doubt his sincerity.

4. The boss doesn’t deliver on promises

Is the following scenario familiar? Your boss says: "I have plans to promote you in the next few months" or "If you achieve these targets, you can expect a good bonus".

Time goes by and you are not promoted even though you met your targets. And you realise you received the same bonus amount as everyone else.

Sometimes managers don't deliver on what they say. It only needs to happen a few times before people start to doubt their boss' integrity.

5. The boss doesn’t offer recognition for his staffs’ performance

Put yourself in your employees shoes and imagine when you put all your effort in working to contribute the best result to the company, your performance exceed your KPI but then there is no compliment from your boss, no reward from the company. How do you feel?

So many leaders/managers fail to recognise their employees performance because:

  • They believe they are too busy to take the time
  • They actually have the time, but are not paying enough attention to the employees performance to notice the contribution
  • They believe “if you don’t hear from me, it means you’re doing a good job”
  • They believe “employees shouldn’t expect me to pat them on the back all the time for just doing their jobs … their pay check should be enough”
  • They are unsure about how best to recognise, so they do nothing
  • They never received much praise or recognition themselves, so they aren’t inclined to give it to others
  • They believe employees will think they are phony and insincere if they suddenly start praising them
  • They are concerned that if they give special recognition to some, others will feel unfairly overlooked
  • They harbour a fundamental disrespect for some types of work or workers
  • They believe employees know they’re replaceable and shouldn’t expect to receive special treatment
  • They don’t believe they should have to pay employees above market for sustained high performance or provide bonuses for special achievements
  • They believe the employees they recognise will respond by asking for a raise
  • They don’t know enough about the employees’ jobs to distinguish between average and superior performance

Reference: globoforce.com

6. The boss can’t set a good example for your staff

No one wants to stay with bosses whose actual actions are different from what they say, who are “Mr. Know It All”, who don’t continuously improve themselves, who can’t coach or train their staff on new things. Employees who switch their job more often are often in generation Y. This generation is very active, they always hunger for learning new things and achieve more, they are willing to do their best to contribute to the company and in return they expect more from the company and their bosses. Hence, if the boss can’t set a good example for them to learn from, they will leave for other better opportunities.

In conclusion, if people are leaving regularly, it is time for the organisation to take a good look at their supervisors, managers and leaders. They may need some coaching on how to lead their people more effectively. As the economy picks up after the great financial crisis, it may be difficult to retain your good performers if they don't feel valued in their work.

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Topics: leave job, bad boss

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