- MBA Associates Limited -

It’s Not Me… Its You…

Why do good people leave your business and how can you make them stay

There are many reasons why people leave their jobs, but the main one that stands out in most business research comes down to people management. People tend not to quit their jobs- they quit their bosses. A Florida State university surveyed over 700 employees and found some astonishing results to suggest that people are much more likely to throw in the towel at their job if they feel that they are working under a poor manager, or management team. 27% of people surveyed claimed that their supervisor or manager had made negative comments about them to other employees or managers, and an astonishing 37% said that their supervisor or boss had refused to give them credit where credit was due for a job or task well done.

Poor management- employee relations can drastically affect the workplace. Not only does it lead to poor work output by employees it also leads to higher levels of exhaustion, stress, depression, nervousness and mistrust. It is also interesting to note that if an employee feels that their manager is patronizing them, or picking on them in any way, they will be less inclined to work weekends, or help out when you really need them. Happy employees work harder because they feel like they are achieving something, contributing and getting something out of their job. It really is as simple as that.

"....employees are more likely to leave if they are dissatisfied with their manager than if they are dissatisfied with their pay '"

The main fact revealed by this study that stands out is that employees are more likely to leave if they are dissatisfied with their manager than if they are dissatisfied with their pay. This shows just how important psychological wellbeing is to staff turnover- and staff turnover is incredibly costly. Having a poor manager who drives away good employees can cost companies- even small ones- thousands of pounds a year. If employees trust and respect their managers and believe them to be fair, they will do much more for the company than those who do not feel this way.

"....employees are more likely to leave if they are dissatisfied with their manager than if they are dissatisfied with their pay '"

The ramifications of poor managers are immense for businesses. A good manager will inspire, lead, motivate, praise, and support their team, and in turn create good, new managers themselves by leading by example. The trouble is, the worst managers are usually the ones who think that they are Gods gift to the business. To quote Bertrand Russell, “The biggest cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid people are so sure about things and the intelligent folks are so full of doubts.” A Good manager will listen, will treat employees with mutual respect and courtesy and will play to each employee’s individual strengths, highlighting their good points and helping them to work on things that they may find challenging or difficult. They will stand behind them when they fail and help them to achieve their best, they will offer kindness and support when needed, and also tough love when needed. The cost and time that is wasted when an employee leaves you in huge, and since in most cases it can be avoided by talking to the employee and seeing what is bothering them, it’s worth delving deeper into the issue. So what can you do when someone wants to leave your business?

  1. Talk it out- It is surprising how many situations can be resolved over a cup of coffee and a biscuit. By listening to your employees concerns, and finding out what you as a manager can do for them to make their work life easier, you may save yourself from losing a valuable person- and you may also increase their productivity by improving their mental wellbeing at work. Everyone wins.
  2. Offer extra training- If a colleague feels that the tasks they are being asked to do are unfair or too difficult for them to handle, they may also try to jump ship. By offering support and training you can help them to achieve the tasks that they have been set and possibly prevent them from leaving over an issue that is not irreconcilable.
  3. Show empathy- It is so easy as a manager to remove yourself from what it happening at base level. If you are sat in the office all glued to a computer screen and are constantly absent from the job that they do, they will assume that you have no idea what it is like to do their job, and may feel that you are too far removed from what they do to offer any useful help. So be available!
  4. Check your treatment of your people and your management skills. Are you micro managing? Do you assign a job to someone then take over halfway through finishing it off yourself? Are you showing signs of favoritism? No one is perfect- and it is so easy to unwittingly do- but with poor management being the main reason that good people leave it is the first port of call to check. Does the employee feel that a supervisor or manager is not treating them correctly and can you resolve this issue?

Unfortunately- sometimes people are just ready to move on in life and join a different business. But most people like to stick with the ‘devil they know’ and progress in a business or company that they admire and trust. By keeping management/employee relations sweet, you can minimize the number of leavers, keep employee productivity high, and raise morale. Customers pick up on the atmosphere in a workplace, and a good, strong business will have happy, well led workers.

Catherine Ball is an associate at MBA and a graduate psychologist MBA Associates Ltd is a specialist consultancy that partners clients to Recruit, Retain and Develop Top Performing Teams.

© Catherine Ball August 2011



News title: -    It’s Not Me… Its You…
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MBA Associates Limited

MBA Associates Ltd is a specialist consultancy that partners clients to Recruit, Retain and Develop Top Performing Teams. Using sophisticated and proven methods that are different to the usual recruitment agency MBA has an enviable track record of Job Matching with currently over 76% of candidates recruited are retained after one year (statistics from Harvard Business review show 14% success rate is average on CV alone!)

Chris Ball is a Director of MBA and a member of the Institute of Business Consulting www.ibconsulting.org.uk

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