The most often-cited reason people give for leaving their job is their boss.
More than one in two Australian workers have left a job to get away from a direct manager.
A website poll of 5,619 professionals by recruiters Hays had 37% saying getting away from a direct manager was their primary reason for leaving.
Another 21%, said their manager was one of several reasons for getting out.
The problems managers create with employees include finding fault in everything, giving vague instructions, micromanaging every task, and taking credit when things go well and pointing the finger when they don’t.
The impact can be crippling. One study found that 19.2 hours are wasted each week worrying about what a boss says or does.
“Being a manager isn’t an easy job, but bosses should be aware of things they do that could make a good employee resign,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.
“Managers should be motivating and engaging their staff in order to achieve the organisation’s goals, not driving them away.”
Hays has put together a list of the types of bosses who drive their staff crazy:
“It’s very frustrating for your staff when they require your approval, support or assistance in order to move forward with a task, but you are not making yourself available,” says Hays.
Managers should find time every day to be available. Perhaps delegate some decision making to free time to directly engage with the team.
“Some managers think that they retain more power if they don’t give their staff all the available information but this only leads to confusion and frustration,” says Hays.
The greater the more information shared, the more likely it is that the team will understand what’s required.
Employees usually decide that their manager doesn’t trust them, which impacts engagement and team morale.
“Instead of being the boss who continually breathes down their employees’ necks, be the boss who provides your staff with the tools to succeed and adapts as the individual’s skill base develops,” says Hays.
“Change from directional leadership to persuasive and participation, and finally through to delegation once they exhibit expertise in a particular task.”
A manager who does nothing when a team member doesn’t pull their weight.
“It’s exasperating for this person’s colleagues if their manager fails to address the poor performance,” says Hays.
“The rest of the team are forced to work harder to compensate, resentment is quick to build and soon thereafter productivity takes a hit. Dispute management, conflict resolution and delivering the tough messages are not easy skills to master, but it’s essential that a leader can face up to difficult staff challenges.”
Taking credit for everything
“We all want to receive credit when it’s due and work in a team that values and rewards success,” says Hays.
“But there are managers who will take more credit than they perhaps deserve. If you are such a manager, learning to share the credit with your team is as simple as naming the individuals who were involved so they also receive recognition for their good work.”
The words “thank you” and “well done” have a huge impact.
Nothing is right
Or turning opportunities to show how valued an employee is into a a nit-pick session.
“We all make mistakes and sometimes these need to be pointed out to staff,” says Hays.
“But even a glass-half-empty leader needs to recognise the importance of rewarding good performance rather than pointing out any inconsequential mistakes made along the way.”