Horrible Bosses: Why your employees hate you

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While compensation is a key factor in deciding to accept a new offer, it is not enough to keep an employee if she is ready to bolt. Our own research shows a mere 9% of our placements sited compensation as the reason they decided to leave their current company.

So, if it isn’t money, what is driving good employees out the door?

Why did you quit your last job?

The simple answer: Horrible bosses.

“I’ve really loved working for this company, thanks to my boss’ focus on the team and transparency. Unfortunately, our new CEO has a very different approach to management, and most of the senior leadership team has decided to leave as a result.”

– SVP Sales, Technology Industry*

5 Reasons Your Employees Hate You

You fail to show them a future

Despite a decreasing tenure rate, employees are looking for jobs with some longevity. More importantly, they are looking for roles with social and personal meaning, and room for growth and autonomy. Extrinsic rewards such as retirement packages and compensation are not enough to endure a dead end job. Management must clearly outline how and where employees can move forward on their career path. Equally important, management should demonstrate how their staff’s work contributes to and makes a difference in the company and the world at large.

You fail to recognize a job well done

According to Dr. Bob Nelson, a leading expert of employee motivation, engagement, recognition, and rewards, “58% of workers report that they seldom if ever receive a ‘thank you’ from their boss.” Not only is this a disservice to the employee, failing to acknowledge a job well done can be detrimental to the company. While a lack of kudos might not be the deciding factor on whether an employee stays or goes, it is often a direct reflection on the company culture; and THAT is an important piece of the job satisfaction puzzle.

Does your boss expect too much?

You have unreasonable expectations

In a time of crisis, employees are willing to shoulder the burden of extra responsibilities and longer hours. But managers who continue to pile on the work can expect unhappy and resentful employees. And those assuming their staff will “suffer in silence” when it comes to conflict are in for a rude awakening. There must be an open line of communication within the group which allows for concerns to be addressed. If  not, employees will only “suck it up” for so long, until the level of expectation is too high and the reward too low.

“I am not the only one who has issues with the VP Sales, but I am the only one that went to him and his boss to discuss my concerns, in hopes of finding a resolution—I was floored by their response. Basically, they told me it’s my issue, not theirs—even though half of my sales & marketing team agree with me. I’m obviously on my own and that is why I am leaving the company”*

Working for you is no fun 

“Work is work- it’s not meant to be fun.” This kind of old school philosophy is not going to fly in today’s workplace environment. On the other hand, if you’re expecting weekly “team-building” visits to the local gastro-pub, you’ve got another thing coming. Traditional hours and environments are not appealing to millennials and even Gen Y’ers. The office landscape has changed and managers need to get embrace these changes. In his article “Six Reasons Your Best Employees Quit You”, Louis Effron states that “[f]or businesses, this means that attracting, engaging and retaining top talent depends on reinventing their work environments, blurring the line between work and play. Companies must embrace a culture of increased autonomy and innovation, and engage employees around a powerful mission and purpose.”

Lack of communication

As the face of “the office” has changed drastically over the years, concise and consistent communication has risen in importance and become more complicated. For the first time in history, 5 generations of workers are sharing office space, and they each have very distinct (and opposing) ways of communication. This means, communication practices must be driven by a well-informed, multi-versed management. When goals and expectations are not clearly communicated or work is (seems to be) micromanaged, employee morale is slowly chipped away and frustration rises. Collaboration and success are impossible in an environment where communication is not fostered in a way everyone understands. Eventually, your employees will seek employment some place their voice is heard.

“Three years ago, our CMO would meet with us monthly to discuss our upcoming campaigns and the long term strategy. However, this communication has really broken down lately, and we rarely hear from her these days. I want to be part of a company where communication is important.”*

Being a successful boss in today’s corporate culture is more about people management than product management. The key to leading your team successfully is communication. When the lines of communication are clear, it is easier for leadership to know the team’s expectations and express their own and develop a positive, encouraging work environment.

*Previous TurningPoint placements ~Names withheld for obvious reasons.

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