Making Good People Quit!

HiringHere is the biggest understatement of all time: “If you want your best people to stay, you need to think carefully about how you treat them.” This is a quote from an article that Dr. Travis Bradberry contributed to the Huffington Post, entitled, 9 Bad Manager Mistakes That Make Good People Quit.

One of the highest cost and time consuming process an organization experiences is maintaining the proper mix and level of staffing. During my corporate career, every Strategic or Business Plan contained a section on reducing turnover and achieving excellent staffing results. However, when I asked managers why they experienced high turnover, they cited every reason from Alpha to Omega, except themselves.

Dr. Bradberry remarked that: “People don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.” He also cites some research from the University of California which found that motivated employees were 31% more productive, had 37% higher sales, and were three times more creative than demotivated employees. They were also 87% less likely to quit, according to a Corporate Leadership Council study on over 50,000 people. The Gallup Research Group suggests that 70% of an employee’s motivation is influenced by their manager.

The original article listed nine (9) mistakes that managers make, but three of them resonated with me because of their particular vexing nature. However, you can read the original article here.

Here is my top three (3).

  1. They hire and promote the wrong people. Motivated employees want a professional environment and an opportunity to work with similarly motivated people. It is also important during the promotion process to ensure that the person has the people skills to properly engage the team. One of the worst disasters is to have team members who have worked hard and smart get passed over in favor of a “clown” for favoritism or nepotism. If this happens, the best people will leave.
  2. They don’t let people pursue their passions. Talented employees are usually very passionate. They need the opportunity to pursue their passion, increase their productivity and job satisfaction. Regrettably, some managers don’t want their team members to work or think “outside of the box.” Some managers feel that productivity will decline if the team does not complete work in exactly the same prescribed manner. This fear can be overcome by allowing team members to make suggestions and test new approaches. Depending on the results of the tests, a rational decision can be made to “tweak” the new process or abandon it. In either cases, team members will feel like they have been heard and given a chance to grow.
  3. They fail to engage creativity. The more talented employees seek to improve everything they touch. If you take away their ability to change and improve things because you’re only comfortable with the status quo, this makes them hate their jobs. Suppressing this innate desire to create limits them and you.

The talented team members have options. The ideal situation is to help them decide to continue as members of your team.

Related Articles:What’s Not in a Job Description? and Interview Questions … zany types of the third kind!

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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