There‘s an open secret about employee turnover, especially among larger and growing brands: Managers are frequently the cause. Here‘s why that happens, why this problem is a little too easy to ignore, and how the right investment in employee connections can really make a difference.
Managers are the Cause of Most Turnover Issues
Our research and experience in helping organizations reduce employee turnover shows that the most common reason high performers leave a company is because of their manager.
Specifically, bad managers are responsible for a large amount of unusual turnover. Employees can stand a whole lot in the course of the job as long as they are getting regular compensation, but if a manager starts treating them wrong, they start walking out the door.
Unfortunately, many companies are slow to recognize this. Some are just too busy focused on the bottom line financial results, not realizing how much a high employee turnover rate may be costing them.
It‘s common for organizations to overlook management issues and lose great people if you are not regularly tracking key performance indicators for employee turnover. We recommend quarterly tracking at a minimum to keep a pulse on what is happening in your organization.
Managers are Often Promoted for the Wrong Reasons
Many managers are promoted for excelling at their job and having success with a very specific set of skills. Although those skills are important, management requires an entirely new skillset that they may or may not be prepared for.
Closely connected to this is a lack of manager accountability, particularly in industries that already experience high turnover. Without regular tracking of employee turnover and other measures of employee engagement, it’s easy to overlook red flags.
Bottom Line: Turnover Isn‘t Just an HR Problem
Companies must resist the urge to hand over all employee turnover to the HR department. While HR can help, a large part of the problem is identifying internal reasons that employees are leaving – specifically, what leadership can do to improve relations and be held more accountable when it comes to management issues.
Even If You Have a Low Employee Turnover Rate, You Need to Look Closer
Low turnover is not always a sign of a healthy company! There are cases where low turnover may be holding your company and your hiring practices back.
You want underperformers to leave. When people who don’t fit the corporate culture or who are struggling in their position leave, everything from employee engagement, productivity and profits can rise.
Bad Managers Are Increasing Your Employee Turnover and Damaging Your Employer Brand
The popularity of employer review sites like Glassdoor have skyrocketed and is often the first place a job seeker goes before deciding whether or not to apply for a job.
If employees are experiencing bad management they may want to warn future candidates and review you for the world to see. Often negative reviews are an indication of something larger since the majority of employees that leave don’t post a review.
The ones that are angry enough to leave a negative review will damage your brand and reduce the quality and size of your applicant pool.
You don’t want your company to gain a reputation for poor leadership and lack of care for employees.
Managers Can Also Be the Key to Retention
The good news is that if you want to reduce employee turnover rate, your managers are also the solution to a better work environment. Managers that demonstrate people skills, support employees growth and show they care are one of the best ways to reduce employee turnover and keep great people. One of the most common reasons employees stay at a job (compensation options being largely equal) is that they have peers and leaders that they value.
This in turn helps them become brand ambassadors for the company: That‘s why it‘s so important to find managers who can manage people.
Company Connections Require Investment
So, how can leaders encourage a workplace where managers aren‘t the enemy, and where employees prize their connections? It takes investment – not just in policy changes, but literal investment in improving employee turnover through the right events and benefits. That includes “extracurricular” activities, volunteering, community involvement, training meetings, celebrations over milestones and a lot more.
People are your most important asset and prioritizing these connection–building exercises will help you retain great people.
Not sure how to improve employee turnover rates? Allow Blu Ivy Group to help you build an effective strategy. We can work with you to pinpoint problems, setup regular tracking, and find the right solution for your situation.