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People Leave Managers, Not Companies

Author: Antonio Ciarleglio

Published date: 2017/11

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Whenever I ask the question ‘’why do you want to leave your company?’’, the reply I often hear is that they find their manager very difficult to work with. We have all heard the same comment from family members, friends or colleagues about being unhappy with their manager. We may have also experienced the same in our careers. 

According to a Gallup study, almost 50% of employees leave their company to because of their manager’s behaviour, management or communication style.

However, now is the time to hit the pause button and think about how many of us, as “Leaders”, have thought that we may be the managers and the reason the employee /s are leaving?

If this pause for thought may come as a surprise or is not relevant to you, consider then when an employee recently left your team, did you ask the question to yourself, was it me? Something I said? Did not say? Or something I did or did not do?

Considering the fact that almost one in two people leave companies because of their managers, simple maths tells us that there is a 50% possibility that if someone did leave our team, it could be we as leaders that are the reason!

When an employee resigns, it is rarely mentioned, if ever…. that the true reason for leaving is that they cannot work for their manager any longer. And despite not being given as a reason, this doesn’t mean that it’s not the real reason for leaving.

Employees who have a difficult time trying to get along with their managers, experience constant management changes, or don’t like or respect them, will leave any company, regardless of having a ‘’Blue Chip’’ name and despite a high salary or great company benefits.

The reverse is also true, people will often join people they will be reporting into and not necessarily because of the company name or brand. 

It is not simply a case of buying employee commitment or loyalty to the company by offering high salaries, good benefits and opportunity to travel. A good manager, no matter how much the employees are paid, will create loyalty by; setting an excellent example with their own work productivity, providing coaching and support and understanding the goals the employee wants to achieve both professionally and personally. This will help create an environment which fosters loyalty and trust between employees and managers, increase employee performance and will help the company retain the majority of their people.

To build that loyalty with employees, we all need to create the right opportunities, and we need to help develop them, by giving them interesting and challenging jobs. We need to ensure we are communicating with employees, and this must be two-way, we need to listen to employees as well as talking to them. This will show our respect, building trust, openness and loyalty.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, esteem is one of our most important needs. We must appreciate our employees. We can help achieve this by giving individuals and teams praise for a job well done, for example; achieving and exceeding targets, meeting deadlines, deliver projects on time and on or under budget. Everyone likes and needs to be appreciated.

We need to inspire our people, create a dynamic and positive environment where they can thrive, and be successful. And we need to support them. If we do this, our employees will become the greatest advertisement for our organisations, they will speak highly of us, and help attract more talented people to work of our business Remember, success, breeds success! 

The opposite is also true. If we are seen to be bad managers, our people will share this with family, friends, work colleagues, and contacts, and can cause serious damage to our reputations. When they finally leave, they will take and share this bad experience in their new company and beyond.

Our people are our greatest assets. A company is only as good as the people leading and working in the business. As business leaders, it’s our responsibility to protect, support and keep these great assets. How? Simple……by being the best manager we can be!

If you would like to comment, I would welcome your thoughts at:

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