Employees are ungrateful.
At least that’s what plenty of employers say when they seemingly do everything to keep their employees satisfied and still get high turnover rates.
Indeed, good employees are hard to find, especially when it comes to talent and competencies. However, even the most experienced and most talented employees will still leave you, and they won’t be the ones to blame.
Not Seeing a Beam in Your Eye?
We’ve once written an article on six reasons of high employee turnover. And, among those six reasons, five are usually triggered by company management.
Employees are very sensitive to corporate culture. And it doesn’t take them too long to realize that there’s something wrong with it. And sometimes a high salary cannot fix their decision to leave the company.
Interestingly, company managers are well aware of the consequences of high turnover. On average, it costs them 50%-60% of an employee’s annual salary to replace this employee. Yet, they keep making the mistakes that make even the most devoted employees leave.
Here’s the holy trinity of company management mistakes that force employees to leave.
1. You Spread Them Thin
I once worked at an organization, and my department worked on connecting pharmaceutical companies with government officials.
The organization offered great benefits, invested a lot in corporate training, and provided many financial bonuses. Yet, my department had a very high turnover.
And the reason was my boss.
Due to the nature of our work, we had to do a lot and put twice our weight when it came to tasks and projects. But our boss always worked more and forced us to do the same.
Needless to say that I left this job after working a bit more than half a year.
What’s my boss’s mistake here?
It’s natural to expect your employees to contribute equally to the cause. It’s unnatural to treat them like your partners.
It’s unrealistic to expect your subordinates to have the same level of commitment as you have. The level of involvement depends on many factors, including:
- skills your employees have that they can confidently use when working on the project
- the experience that they can apply
- personal life issues that influence their level of commitment
In my case, I was still a student when I started working for that organization. It wasn’t realistic for my boss to expect me to stay overtime and do the work she wanted me to do. I was just learning new skills and didn’t have the proper experience.
Above all, I still had to commit to studying. When I realized my performance in college became dependent on whether paper writing websites would be able to complete my order on time, I had to quit.
So, treat each of your employees as a separate individual and according to their needs.
And if they do stay overtime, make sure they get proper compensation for it.
2. You Expect Them to Know It All
It’s not right to expect your employees to commit as much as you do.
It’s also not right to expect them to know everything.
Let’s say you have one employee as your subordinate. Let’s say they are calculating your department’s budget. Is it reasonable to load them with tasks that don’t align with their list of responsibilities?
Don’t get this idea wrong. It doesn’t mean that you cannot give your employee a task beyond their level of competency. On the contrary, it’s a great way to prepare them for future steps in their career.
But if you give them something out of their comfort zone, prepare them for it.
Mentorship is crucial. It takes some time for an employee to adjust to the new corporate climate. You need this immersion to go as smoothly as possible. But it doesn’t mean that you need to stop mentoring your employees as soon as they start feeling comfortable doing their tasks.
Here, it is also appropriate to talk about corporate education.
As you start recognizing the capacity of your employees to keep growing as professionals, you must provide them with access to learning new skills.
The statistics show that the unavailability of corporate education is one of the reasons why employees quit:
7 out of 10 employees say that the availability of corporate training influences their decision to stay with the company.
74% of employees also say that they aren’t achieving their full potential because they lack certain skills.
Your task as an employer is to recognize the potential of your employees and provide opportunities to help them live up to this potential.
No, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be nursing them. It means you’ll nurture their loyalty to your company.
3. You’re Breathing Down Their Necks
Micromanagement is a common problem in the workplace.
It is also one of the most common mistakes that make your employees leave.
To recognize micromanagement in your actions, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- How much do I spend doing my work every day?
- How much of my working day do I spend controlling my employees?
- How much has their productivity decreased because of me controlling them?
- How much has my productivity decreased because I spend time controlling them?
- Did the quality of their (and my) work decrease because of micromanagement?
If you test positive to all these questions, you have a problem with micromanaging your employees.
You can also analyze secondary effects from micromanagement, like:
- increased turnover
- low level of trust
- low productivity and frequent cases of professional burnout
You can also notice that your employees have grown more dependent over time. They can’t make even the smallest decisions and are slow at doing everyday tasks.
A certain level of control is essential in managing employees. But it’s noticeable when the employer’s control goes overboard.
While it is important to keep an eye on the performance of your employees to achieve specific goals, it is also crucial to give your employees some freedom.
If you stop micromanaging and support freedom of action, it will nurture creativity and productivity at the workplace. And, who knows, maybe it will inspire some creative ideas.
Over to You
A good boss is a necessity for an engaged workforce. Poor management leads to high turnover, whereas good managers boost productivity and are appreciated on National Boss's Day!
The loyalty of your employees certainly depends on how you treat them.
As we mentioned, employees are very sensitive to the corporate environment. If they are not comfortable in it, nothing will stop them from leaving your company.
Your task as their employer is to recognize their potential and provide them with tools and freedom to live up to it.
It is also your task not to treat all your employees the same. Instead, you should recognize them as individuals that contribute to your company’s success in their way.