The number one reason your employee will resign from your workplace is because of you. Not the CEO, not the board, not the IT guy (or gal), not the co-worker in the next cubicle. You.
Look that sounds pretty harsh. Maybe it even annoys you. Maybe you think “hey, I’m not here to make friends I’m here to do my job, manage the department get things done. Or maybe you think, hang on everyone loves me! But, the thing is, if they keep leaving, they might love you but you’re probably not managing them very well.
And what is this going to mean for you? It’s going to mean disrupted work cycles for you and your team. As well as HR, recruitment, interviews and taking that risk with a new person and orientation and ongoing training and the list goes on.
You may have been fabulous at your job, the best Front Office Manager, best Engineer, the best Sales person, the best Architect, best Marketer or Teacher, but now that you are leading a team, do you really know how to lead? You have probably spent years venting about past bosses and how they could lead better, be more communicative, provide more feedback, but knowing what was wrong doesn’t mean you now necessarily know what is right. That isn’t the University of leadership.
If you have more than 5 employees you should be spending 15% of your time with them, 15% of time with your boss and the remainder of your time on your projects, stakeholders or clients or whatever it is you actually do. Unfortunately because there is so much change, we are all caught up in meetings with our peers or higher, roll out of new systems, sudden work and rework, and we just don’t get enough time to spend with our team. Plus when we are busy or are called up to do something, what do we cancel first ? We first cancel internal meetings and internal meetings with our direct reports, because after all we are the boss.
These percentages change if your reports have 5 or more reports, then you can look at 20% of your time needing to be with the team, either with your direct reports one on one or in a group or with a direct report with their own team. That is 7.6 hours per week, how much time do you spend with them now? is it enough and is it spent wisely?
Did you know that the costs associated with changing an employee can be upwards of $100,000? It’s an investment to say the least, so it may be worth investing in some managerial expertise to help create and maintain a happy, and therefore effective, team.
I have had a number of direct reports that have left solely because of me, people who hadn’t been held accountable before, people who suddenly realised the job wasn’t for them. Luckily I’ve only lost great people to promotions, parental leave, travel or other important pursuits, and sad as I have been and momentarily lost without them, there are some that simply have a better offer. But I’ve also been very close to losing great people and once I got them talking they told me they were leaving because of me. I was devastated, but delighted that I had time to make amends. Make them feel more valued, spend more time developing them, listen more, provide more empowerment, it is great when they tell you, but often they won’t. So how do you create the environment that they will ?
How do you stop the revolving door of employees?
Start by investing in yourself now with some tips:
- Your employees do not have to be your best friend, but they do need to have a relationship with you.
- Inconsistencies with management will lead to inconsistencies with staffing.
- You do not have to be infallible, but you cannot be inauthentic
- Acknowledge and appreciate that without your staff, there is no you.
- Encourage anonymous reviews. Read them. Act on them.
- You must have a regular team meeting (sometimes they won’t be talking-to each other effectively, so you need to make this happen)
- You need one on one time with each direct employee, you need to make that work for you, there are some easy tips on this.
- You need on occasion to see your direct reports interaction with their team members you need to understand how they lead and how they translate your communication to others.
- You need to know enough about them to have an authentic professional/personal relationship, their birthdays, their kids names ages, their partners career, the basics.
Now, it’s not all bad news. In fact the best news of all is that the biggest cause of staff turnover can be stopped, by you! By being open to leadership advice, coaching and life-long learning, you can improve the quality of your workplace, and in doing so, improve your bottom line.
To find out more about how to improve your leadership skills please feel free to make contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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