There’s this one debate that seems to be making a comeback in the workforce: Do employees quit companies or do they quit because of bad leaders? Well, with the Great Resignation still making waves in the job market, many job seekers and hiring managers are resurfacing this question as part of a longer list of reasons why a massive amount of people are quitting.
Yes, that list is long and varied with the top reasons being compensation, flexibility, and the ability to work remotely. However, exit interviews still show that company culture and work environment are also big triggers, and those can often be traced back to leadership.
So, for hiring managers, when recruiting or promoting someone to a leadership role, it’s entirely possible to place someone with a broken leadership style in a management role. And this could be leading you, your team, and even your company to experience high turnover rates.
If you have spotted that “bad leadership practices” have been brought up in your own exit interviews, don’t lose sleep over it. You just need to take note and take action to mend the issues.
Start by gathering as much data on it as you can and not just from the exit interviews, turn to internal satisfaction surveys as well. Maybe you’ll find out this is not a company-wide problem, and all that’s really needed is an empathetic approach to those leads in order to listen to their point of view, needs, routines, and more. They could probably also be in need of support from other areas or skills and are simply doing the best they can.
Lastly, work on a long-term strategy to provide them and the rest of your leadership with resources, training, and a clear line of support to boost their development, which will undoubtedly have a ripple effect on the rest of your company.
Sure, when we onboard someone into our team they are meant to fill a role that includes responsibilities, tasks, and skills, among other requirements. Yet, sometimes, as time goes on and a role progresses, you might have employees who struggle with certain tasks or start showing potential for other areas that were not part of the original job description.
Limited career progression has also been listed as one of the main reasons to quit a job.
In this case, having a leader who has sharpened their adaptability skills can come to be very helpful. A good leader might want to sit down with this person and listen to what’s going on to identify whether their employee needs to:
As long as you have a highly talented individual with a cultural fit and the right attitude, their leader can help them unleash their potential and help them feel fulfilled.
Showing your employees that you trust their skills, knowledge, and ability to perform their role, is one of the best ways to keep them engaged. This is not about blindly letting go of the ropes. Leaders do need to be in the know and make decisions even when their teams disagree.
However, by keeping an open line of communication, providing their teams with assertive feedback, and rewarding them for their good work, leaders can build a solid environment without falling into the trap of micromanaging their subordinates.
Now, this is something that is widely accepted, yet overlooked. Good leaders have learned that, in order to keep things running, they need to be clear with their teams at all times. But great leaders know how to keep their communication transparent and straightforward, but also empathic and humane.
Also, let’s not confuse good communication skills with being an open book. If that’s the case you could risk overwhelming your employees with too much information. To keep a balanced approach to communication, it’s important to get to know your employees and their own communication styles.
That’s why leaders (or aspiring leaders) need to practice their active listening skills and always remember that communication is a two-way street.
Depending on the industry or department, unpredictability may be part of the job. Whatever the reason, leaders need to be strategic so that coming to work doesn’t feel like opening a door into chaos. This is why some of the most basic skills for leadership roles include critical and forward-thinking.
Of course, everyone on the team needs to embrace change and learn how to be resilient and resourceful, but good leaders won’t let it destabilize productivity or have a negative impact on the work environment.
Make sure your leaders are also good at planning, managing projects, and (once more) adapting to change so that everyone can transition through the unexpected as smoothly as possible. This will definitely help you reduce anxiety among your workforce.
The true purpose of leadership is to be of service. That is the best way to successfully lead a group of people with their specific talents and potential to accomplish a common goal.
Leaders who are prepared to serve their teams don’t think that they are on top because they are the only ones fit to be in charge. They value their position as a key link to promote growth, nurture trust, open communication, and provide stability in their teams.
Through this mindset and practice, leaders can reduce the possibility of turnover.
Bringing brand new talent to your company is great, but maybe not so much if it’s often a consequence of a turnover issue. So, make sure you always invest in your people and especially in your leaders to have a successful and people-oriented company culture that increases retention and employee satisfaction.
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