You’re going through a typical day as a manager, thinking you have a team of happy employees. Then, one of those employees blindsides you with news that she’s quitting. You’re floored and wonder how this could have happened. Here are some of the reasons you may be facing turnover.
Sometimes employees quit and there’s nothing you could have done to prevent it. Maybe they’ve decided to move, go back to college or stay home to raise a family. However, in many cases, the reason once-happy employees decide to leave has to do with mistakes made by their managers. Could you be unintentionally setting yourself up for a morale and turnover problem? Here are five common mistakes that can trigger people to flee:
1. Forgetting to reward when times are good
The company proudly announces stellar earnings and profits. Employees assume this will equate to positive changes for them personally, so they wait for long overdue raises, bonuses or promotions. Only, these pluses never arrive. The end result is a big morale problem.
As a manager, you need to make sure employees are rewarded for their efforts. If business is on an upswing, it’s time to reevaluate everyone’s contributions to that success and consider appropriate recognition.
2. Keeping secrets
A big change is on the horizon: the company plans to expand a product line. As a result, leaders are hard at work finalizing the details, spending long hours behind closed doors. Meanwhile, employees are growing anxious, wondering why there are so many private discussions. Is the company going out of business or being sold? Are layoffs ahead?
While it may not be possible to disclose all company developments as they’re unfolding, do your part to keep employees informed. For example, you can tell staff that modifications are being made to a product line but the situation will not directly impact jobs. Acknowledging recent activities and initiatives shows respect for workers and can help stop the rumor mill — and turnover.
3. Failing to hire enough people
Workloads have been growing for a long time and employees have started rolling their eyes at hearing they should continue giving “110 per cent.” With no relief in sight, they’re starting to burn out and wonder when management will notice it’s time to hire more staff.
When personnel levels are too low, it sends the message to employees that leaders don’t care — or at least aren’t paying attention. Reassess staffing needs periodically to make sure there are adequate resources to meet current and future demands. If there are short-term projects or if workloads are fluctuating, it may be best to bring in temporary professionals to pick up the slack until it’s clear there’s a need to make these positions full-time.
4. Being invisible
Another way managers can create turnover is by failing to interact personally with their teams. With a full plate of responsibilities, supervisors can easily get caught up in their own work demands and become MIA. Employees who feel ignored may believe they’re seen as just a number and not valued for their unique contributions.
It’s great to give employees the freedom to do their jobs without micromanagement, but staff still want to have a support system. Make an active effort to talk to people on your team, even if it’s just stopping by desks to check in at the end of the day. Ensuring weekly staff meetings are a priority and aren’t postponed or canceled too often also can let employees know their managers are aware of their hard work.
5. Encouraging people to play it safe
Employees want to be able to think innovatively and try new approaches to their work. However, leaders sometimes block positive change by encouraging staff to follow the same old policies and procedures. When employees make suggestions and are told practices already in place will prevail, it sends a message that your staff isn't trusted to take risks.
Plan brainstorming sessions at the onset of new projects, listen carefully to ideas and then implement the best proposals. If certain suggestions don’t make the cut, it’s best for employees to receive an explanation so it’s clear the propositions were still given careful consideration.