Updated: Nov 16
You are not alone
You probably don't realise it until it's too late, but your boss will be surprised if they find out you want to quit.
Amazing, I know. But they really don't understand the reasons why, until you do.
When an employee quits, most managers tend to blame everything except themselves.
But people don't leave because of what's going on with the company's bottom-line. No. The number one reason why employees leave is their manager.
It's strange, but true. And the thing is, it can be fixed with a few simple actions taken by the manager.
Manager's do some terrible things to employees - just so they can get the best for the company, and most don't even realise what they are doing!
The first thing they tend to do is overwork the employee. They don't see this as counterproductive. They're probably linking their brain back to the time when the Romans or Egyptians whipped their slaves to make them work harder. But in this day and age, that simply won't work.
For one thing, employees feel as though they're being punished.
It has been proven in studies from Standord University in America, that employees who work more than 50 hours a week get tired and unincentivised. Getting an employee to work more than the alloted hours can only happen when their status is increased - either through salary increases, a step up the managerial ladder or even a job title change.
TO BE REWORKED
2. They don't recognize contributions and reward good work.
It's easy to underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially with top performers who are intrinsically motivated. Everyone likes kudos, none more so than those who work hard and give their all.
Managers need to communicate with their people to find out what makes them feel good (for some, it's a raise; for others, it's public recognition) and then to reward them for a job well done. With top performers, this will happen often if you're doing it right.
3. They don't care about their employees.
More than half of people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make certain their managers know how to balance being professional with being human.
These are the bosses who celebrate an employee's success, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge people, even when it hurts. Bosses who fail to really care will always have high turnover rates. It's impossible to work for someone eight-plus hours a day when they aren't personally involved and don't care about anything other than your production yield.
An unfavorable employer or manager most likely wouldn't give an employee their undivided attention. VFS Digital Design/Flickr
4. They don't honor their commitments.
Making promises to people places you on the fine line that lies between making them very happy and watching them walk out the door. When you uphold a commitment, you grow in the eyes of your employees because you prove yourself to be trustworthy and honorable (two very important qualities in a boss). But when you disregard your commitment, you come across as slimy, uncaring, and disrespectful.
After all, if the boss doesn't honor his or her commitments, why should everyone else?
5. They hire and promote the wrong people.
Good, hardworking employees want to work with like-minded professionals. When managers don't do the hard work of hiring good people, it's a major demotivator for those stuck working alongside them.
Promoting the wrong people is even worse. When you work your tail off only to get passed over for a promotion that's given to someone who glad-handed their way to the top, it's a massive insult. No wonder it makes good people leave.
6. They don't let people pursue their passions.
Talented employees are passionate. Providing opportunities for them to pursue their passions improves their productivity and job satisfaction. But many managers want people to work within a little box. These managers fear that productivity will decline if they let people expand their focus and pursue their passions.
This fear is unfounded. Studies show that people who are able to pursue their passions at work experience flow, a euphoric state of mind that is five times more productive than the norm.
Horrible bosses, like Colin Farrell's character in "Horrible Bosses," fail to challenge people intellectually. Flickr
7. They fail to develop people's skills.
When managers are asked about their inattention to employees, they try to excuse themselves, using words such as "trust," "autonomy," and "empowerment." This is complete nonsense. Good managers manage, no matter how talented the employee. They pay attention and are constantly listening and giving feedback.
Management may have a beginning, but it certainly has no end. When you have a talented employee, it's up to you to keep finding areas in which they can improve to expand their skill set. The most talented employees want feedback — more so than the less talented ones — and it's your job to keep it coming. If you don't, your best people will grow bored and complacent.
8. They fail to engage their creativity.
The most talented employees seek to improve everything they touch. If you take away their ability to change and improve things because you're only comfortable with the status quo, this makes them hate their jobs. Caging up this innate desire to create not only limits them, it also limits you.
9. They fail to challenge people intellectually.
Great bosses challenge their employees to accomplish things that seem inconceivable at first. Instead of setting mundane, incremental goals, they set lofty goals that push people out of their comfort zones.
Then, good managers do everything in their power to help them succeed. When talented and intelligent people find themselves doing things that are too easy or boring, they seek other jobs that will challenge their intellects.
Bringing it all together
If you want your best people to stay, you need to think carefully about how you treat them. While good employees are as tough as nails, their talent gives them an abundance of options. You need to make them want to work for you.
What other mistakes cause great employees to leave? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.
Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning coauthor of the No. 1 bestselling book, "Emotional Intelligence 2.0," and the cofounder ofTalentSmart, the world's leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.
Kaye Bewley MA
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 her various social media platforms.