The job market is changing every day. Digital transformation is paving the way to increased employment transparency on a number of levels; people are more informed than ever before. We can compare our situations with those of others, and we are all too privy to whether we’ve got it good, okay, bad or horrible. It’s easy to search for new jobs from our phones whenever and wherever we want, and many of us are also headhunted regularly for open positions. It’s difficult to ignore the alternatives that we know are out there for us; we know we have a choice and we know we aren’t stuck if we’re unhappy. LinkedIn reports 78% of employees will not tolerate a bad culture, even if it means working for a top company.
Facing it head-on
The clever companies are the ones taking retention seriously and aggressively addressing it, embracing things like culture and development. Many are spending time and money on things like employer branding and employee advocacy, creating strategies for attracting and holding onto good talent. Great company leaders are swallowing that they now need to constantly ‘win over’ their top performers and nurture those with great potential in order to stop them from leaving. Disgruntled employees know they shouldn’t have to deal with unrealistic working hours, stressful manager antics, and poor working conditions, and in the face of workplace adversity, will likely up and leave for some greener grass on another side.
Where do you come in?
An employee’s relationship with their manager is possibly the most crucial deciding factor in their day-to-day happiness at work. The saying goes that people quit managers, not their jobs. Being a manager of people is a privilege and a huge responsibility – getting it wrong can mean good employees will leave not just your team, but your company. It might not matter how much the salary is, how generous the benefits package is, how many friends a person has at work or the actual daily tasks they get involved with – if an employee’s manager drive’s them up the wall, they’ll move on. While some managers are nasty by nature, many just misjudge the amount of pressure and expectation to apply to get the best performance. Are you guilty of the below? These are the things that will make your employees want to leave.
Talking up workaholics
When a manager sings the praise of a workaholic and condones work-obsessed behaviors, employees will start to feel like they are inadequate. Managers who glorify behaviors like staying really late every day, skipping lunch breaks for meetings, and working on weekends will make hardworking employees feel their input is not great enough to get them noticed for the right reasons. A good manager will foster dedication and commitment within their employees by making sure their well-being is being looked after first. A healthy, happy employee will give more to their work than a stressed-out person who is constantly stretched and tired.
Unwritten ‘no-sick’ policies
When we are sick, it is really hard to think clearly about anything else other than that fact. We spend our days sniffling, coughing, holding our stomachs; basically just trying to get through each hour without collapsing. Being productive is a really huge ask. Managers who make their employees feel like they don’t have the option of staying home, working from home or going home early when they are unwell will quickly become resented. Many employees feel guilty about using sick leave, and push themselves to the brink of breakdown. When stress couples itself with being unwell, a candidate will likely hit breaking point and take multiple days off in a row to recover. In that time, they’ll fester on everything they loathe about working, and the seed of wanting to leave will have been planted.
Using motivational jargon like ‘dig deep’ in times of real concern
Work can be stressful at times; this is fairly unavoidable. An employee won’t necessarily leave a company because things get stressful, but they will if their manager doesn’t deal with the situation effectively and look after their best interests. When workplace stress leads to cracks forming in an employee’s demeanor, a manager should be quick to offer support and an open door for discussion and debriefing. Managers who ignore the warning signs of a seriously stressed-out employee, and instead use motivational managerial jargon like ‘dig deep’ will leave employees feeling helpless, and the pressure that comes with the implication of ‘suck it up and deal with it’ will push them even closer to just upping and leaving.
Mouthing off more senior management
Managers have managers too, and feel boss-related frustrations just like their own team does with them. Managers should never mouth off the senior layer above them, even if their own team shares the same feelings. Managers might feel like banding together with their team in mutual annoyance towards bigger bosses in the company will embrace a sense of togetherness and get members of their team ‘on side’ in a friend-like way. However, all this does is make individual employees doubt the leaders in the company, and highlight how shaky employer relations in their company really are. Managers shouldn’t bring this kind of venting and negativity to their own staff.