We’ve heard it a million times: People don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.
And a recent Gallup study of 7,200 adults helped prove the saying to be true.
It found that about half of all US employees have left a job at some point to “get away from” their boss.
So, what exactly are bosses doing to drive their best employees out?
Earlier this year LinkedIn Influencer and author Travis Bradberry highlighted the nine worst things managers do that “send good people packing” — and this week author Cameron Morrissey pointed out the four most common ones in a LinkedIn post.
Here are two of them — and some questions to ask to figure out if your manager is guilty of these behaviours:
1. They make employees feel undervalued.
People want to know they’re making meaningful contributions at work.
According to a 2013 CareerCuilder study, 50% of respondents said “increased recognition” would entice them to stay with a company.
And yet, so many managers fail to recognise achievements and acknowledge the value employees add the to organisation.
To figure out if your boss is good or bad at making you feel like a valued member of the team, Morrissey suggests asking the following:
- Is the manager listening to employee feedback?
- Are they giving constructive feedback to the employee?
- Are they showing appreciation and noticing successes?
- Are they empowering their employees to be able to do more than the basics?
If you said “no” to one or more of those, your boss is likely guilty of making you feel undervalued.
2. They don’t set clear expectations.
When you’re unsure of what’s expected of you at work and you have no direction from your boss, it can be difficult (even impossible) to succeed — and above all, extremely frustrating.
Ask yourself these questions to figure out if your boss is being clear on what he or she expects from you:
- Does the manager flip-flop between priorities?
- Are there two or more sets of rules depending on who they are talking about?
- Do they procrastinate on decisions?
- Do they communicate the goals and vision for the department?
If the answer to one or more of these is “yes,” there’s a good chance your boss will be the reason you end up leaving your job.
Morrissey points out that bad managers aren’t the only reason people quit their jobs. Companies also tend to play a part in an employees decision to quit, he says.
“Executive management sets the tone and culture of the company, sets the pay scale, and makes the policies that managers must follow and enforce (many of which may rub the employee the wrong way),” he writes. “And there are a number of external factors like relocation, family issues, etc. that can result in an employee needing to move on.
“Because managers do not have control over all aspects of the motivators of an employee quitting, this [‘people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers’] saying is obviously not an absolute.”
But while the organisation does have an “enormous influence” over how everything is run, “the departmental manager has just as much, if not more, influence over how these things are perceived by their teams,” he says.
“The manager is the face, and often voice, of the organisation from the perspective of the employee. To think otherwise is to grossly underestimate the manager’s role in the organisation.
“Managers can influence how bad news is presented, they set the tone by their behaviour in tough times, and they can promote fairness and understanding.”
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