BEWLEYBOOKS: Should I stay or should I go?
Updated: May 27
Why do managers feel so sad when their best employees quit their jobs? In essence, there was a 99% chance that it was because of the manager’s actions that they did so in the first place.
In this day and age of high education and abundance of training courses as well as the awareness of support and cohesive workplace atmospheres, it’s a wonder it keeps on happening. For one, it’s more expensive to lose a trust-worthy, loyal employee than it is to take a chance on recruiting a new one who’s only reference is the piece of paper they’ve handed to you.
It’s a shame when managers blame the problems of the loss of staff on the job in hand, rather than what’s really going on. Firstly, people get up in the morning and commute every day to their workplace for one thing: the money. That’s a given. Secondly, the reason they stay in the job is because it’s kind of rewarding. There’s something that keeps them interested and engaged. And, thirdly, the reason why employees say in a job – good management.
Therefore, it goes to reason, that when an employee decides to leave a company, its one of three things:
· Money and incentives (like promotions etc.)
· Pregnancy/family issues
· Manager’s inability to manage
Points one and two are easy enough to understand. People have this innate requirement for meaning in their lives. Getting a bigger salary or a promotion means that they can have a better lifestyle and enjoy more of the earth’s gifts. Family issues are always going to be there, where there are people, there are other people who influence another person’s decision making process. Families cannot help but make up a big part of life.
However, the third thing on the list is one of the biggest, yet least known, reasons why people choose to hand in their notice. It’s a sad fact of life that it can easily be rectified with a few simple changes – by the manager.
In order to get to the crux of point 3, we really should be able to see clearly where the manager is going wrong and attempt to help them put it right. What follows are a few ideas as to the things that managers to that help people make up their minds to leave – or stay.
Increasing productivity – and pride
Good managers think carefully about how they interact with employees. They think hard about setting challenges the employee is capable of and they acknowledge their achievements through reward programmes that have something of merit to the employee.
A good company manager will make certain they understand the balance needed between being a professional and being a human. When a manager celebrates an employee’s special day, success, achievements (even if they are outside of the company’s hours), or if they are able to empathise with those who are undergoing hardships – the employee will remember these efforts and be thankful for them.
When managers fail to do these things, they will inevitably see loss of employees.
A good manager pays attention to what the employee is able to offer. They give honest and positive feedback, and offer praise where it is justified. When a manager fails to manage a good employee wisely, or fail to find areas to improve and expand the employees skills and talents, it’s generally because the manager is unable to or cannot understand the psychology of people. Predictably, most blame the disinterest on the employee.
Many manager’s don’t seem to realise that it’s up to them to use their positions to identify where the employee’s talents are and to encourage the employee to use them where possible. A good employee will always appreciate truthful feedback from a manager. When that isn’t forthcoming, a good employee will grow bored.
The manager/employee relationship is more like a marriage than we care to admit and there is a very thin line between the myriad of emotions that people can express. When a manager sticks to their promises, honours their word, makes a commitment, or even admits to a failure on their part, this goes such a long way to helping that employee admire the manager.
When these are not adhered to, the employee no longer has any faith or trust and has no reason to stay where they are not wanted.
A person that works hard, arrives on time and commits to the task at hand wants to work with like-minded people. It incentivises them to be better. When a manager employs a person who is not like this, arrives late, is continually talking detrimentally about other people, situations or places, this demotivates and demoralises employees. Inevitably, they’ll want to leave the toxic environment.
When a manager either hires, promotes or rewards a person who doesn’t pull their weight, the good employee recognises this and wonders why they should bother. It can be seen as an insult to the good worker. Of course, their work is going to fall to a lower level, or that employee may even withdraw their talents.
If a manager expects more from the employee, then a compensatory program should be put in place as well. A good employee will take on a bigger workload if they are not suffocated, if they are recognised for their achievements, if they are compensated for it financially or if they are rewarded by a subtle change in their work environment.
Of course, it’s relatively easy to think that a ‘thank you’ won’t go very far – but it does. When a manager tells their employee that they are thankful for the extra workload they’ve put in – and mean it – then the employee is grateful and expresses this by giving more to the company than they are paid to do.
When an employee has talents, a manager should be able to recognise these and reward an employee who uses them. Opportunities should be identified or created so that those talents don’t go to waste. They could be used for the benefit of the company. When an employee is recognised for these talents, and rewarded for them, there is a willingness to give more and to try harder – it gives tremendous job satisfaction.
However, there are managers who are frightened of the talents demonstrated by employees, and so they brush them under the carpet and ignore them. When a manager fails to see and recognise the talents exhibited by an employee, it’s chiefly because of an unwillingness, or a fear that the employee will lose interest in the job at hand and their productivity will decline.
In reality, allowing people to pursue their passions has a different outcome.
A manager’s fear of the employee ‘getting above their station’ is unfounded. There are several University studies that have demonstrated when an employee is allowed to use their talents or follow their passions, their work ethic and productivity increases – for the benefit of the company. Why? Because the employee is happy.
An overworked employee is a tired and unenthusiastic employee. Putting in more hours to help the company’s bottom line, whether that means increasing footfall or profits, with no employee recompense, can be seen as a bit of a bullying tactic.
A good employee turns up every day to work and never arrives late. A good employee puts in the hours and is productive, friendly and cheerful. Overworking an employee can be counterproductive because these are the first things you’ll find an employee failing at wen they feel under-appreciated or sense a lack of admiration for the input they have given.
The brain is a muscle that needs exercising too! A good manager will give challenges to their employees, by asking them to achieve things outside their comfort zones. By setting mundane, unimaginative small goals, they, instead, challenge the employee to rise above their own perceived capabilities and set high goals.
What a bad manager does after this challenge is set, is sit back to watch the employee fail. However, a good manager does everything in their power to help them succeed.
In summary, a good company is led by good managers. Managers who have been trained to understand employment ethics as well as employee ethos.
Kaye is a freelance publisher, author and certified psychotherapist with over three decades of experience. She is also a writer for various blogs about writing, publishing, travelling and health care.
Feel free to visit her BewleyBooks.com site, where you can sign-up to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube.