Most text books will tell you that people join companies and leave managers. But that’s not completely true. While your manager may have a big influence over your happiness in the workplace, human beings are far more complex creatures than that.Here are some reasons people will leave your company that you may have never ever thought about…
1. You have ignored them.
Paying no attention to your staff is actually worse than negative attention.
Yes, you did read that correctly – no attention is worse than negative attention.
Read this assertion from Tom Rath and Jim Harter – the authors of “Well Being – The Five Essential Elements.”
“The most disengaged group of workers we have ever studied are those who have a manager who is simply not paying attention. If your manager ignores you, there is a 40% chance you will be actively disengaged or filled with hostility about your job.
If your manager is at least paying you attention – even if he is focusing on your weaknesses – then the chances of you being actively disengaged go down to 22%. If your manager is primarily focusing on your strengths, the chance of your being actively disengaged is just 1%.”
This research by the way does not mean that you can start being mean at work.
2. You didn’t have them at hello.
You neglected your staff during the critical first 120 days of their employment.
Did you know that the first 120 days of your new employee’s employment are critical to whether they bond with you as a manager, and your organisation?
Employee attachment expert Anthony Sork has identified 20 different drivers to employees’ attachment – starting from the professionalism of the recruitment process right through to communication around your company’s values. Read these pieces for what you might inadvertently be doing wrong to breach your employee’s trust from day one: and this on how you can tell if your employees are secure.
3. They are happy with their salary – then they find out what other people are earning.
When it comes to money people are odd.
Tom Rath and Jim Harter, the authors of the Well Being book, again have some interesting observations:
“Consider the following two scenarios, and assuming the same purchasing power in both, which one would you choose?
A: An annual income of $50,000, while people around you earn $25,000 a year
B: An annual income of $100,000 while people around you earn $200,000 a year
Using a classic economic model, everyone should choose an income over $100,000 over $50,000. Instead nearly half the people presented with these options pick the lower salary of $50,000 a year.
They chose to make half the income as long as it is double the income of their peers.”
Apart from the privacy aspect, keeping secrecy around salaries seems to be essential for your employee’s workplace happiness.
4. You’ve neglected to think about the impact of your employee’s friends and family.
While you may know that people’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected, you may not know by just how much.
According to this research by James H Fowler and Nicholas A Christakis, the chances of you being happy increase by 15% if a direct connection in your social network is happy.
What’s interesting about this study is that your friends’ friends can actually influence your happiness. If a friend of your direct connection is happy, then the odds of you being happy increase as well. You don’t even need to know that person or have contact with that person to be influenced.
While mindful of employee’s privacy, from a management point of view a good question to ask is “is everything all right with you outside of work?”
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