Companies around the globe are having a hard time keeping their top employees. One employee’s departure can have a profound impact on a team’s morale, productivity, or performance. Workers today hold companies to high standards, and stand firm against antiquated leadership practices. They demand accountability and change. These antiquated practices include:
- Neglecting employee feedback and complaints
- The wrong people are in leadership and management posts
- Senior-level employees are able to tolerate and justify toxic behavior
- Prioritizing profits, customers, and results over employee experience and morale
Employers are wrong to believe that employees leave for a higher salary. They’re actually leaving because of poor leadership and management. Employees expect a leader who listens to them and cares about their opinions. Paul McKinlay is the VP of Communications and Remote Working at Cimpress. He stated that there is an enormous opportunity for companies to listen to their employees and create a work environment that people want and works.
Here are four ways leaders can drive your best employees away.
Allowing Bad Managers and Tolerating Toxicity
Leadership that turns a blindeye to toxic behavior is communicating that the company’s values can be flexible. Inflexible values can lead to toxicity that not only causes good employees to leave, but also damages the company’s reputation. High-ranking or highly performing workers can be disrespectful, bully, place blame on others and fail to hold themselves accountable. Philip Pages, founder and CEO of Post Purchase Survey said that toxic workers who are high-ranking or highly performing often allow others to blame them, and that it is up to the leaders to make sure everyone understands that they were not responsible for the problem.
Here are some examples of toxic behavior
- Name-calling, offensive jokes and comments
- Blaming other people
Unfortunately, it’s all too common for leadership to take a manager’s word over an employee’s because of their rank within the organization. Targeted employees feel like they are disposable and not worthy of fair treatment. Brene Brown’s book Daring greatly summarizes the idea that when an organization’s culture dictates that it is more important to protect its reputation than to protect the basic human dignity and individual rights, it’s clear that money is driving the culture. Accountability is dead. She stated that shame and blame are not good management styles in successful companies.
Inadvertently Promoting Burnout culture
People need to see the importance of this pandemic. They will no longer accept being underutilized and having to sacrifice their personal and family lives in order to work. Many organizations have been aware of the issue of burnout, but few have taken steps to prevent it. Here are some ways that companies can promote a culture of burnout.
- Back-to-back meetings scheduled throughout the week, but major projects need to be completed quickly.
- Meetings can be arranged outside of work hours
- To make employees feel “on” and always available, they need to be able to communicate with them at all times and on weekends.
- Training other members of the team as backups in case an employee is absent. This can make the employee feel like they don’t have their PTO.
- Not taking into consideration the workload of a team member and adding more to their plate
Employers who put their employees first and encourage flexibility are better at preventing burnout. As the lines between work and home have become blurred, burnout has risen dramatically since companies have moved to remote work. Leadership must create an environment that allows employees to share their feelings of burnout or overwhelm with their work. Leaders need to be vulnerable and encourage employees to take vacations or for mental health days. Leaders should encourage self-care and work-life balance through modeling it. This can be achieved by scheduling emails so that they are sent on Mondays or the next business days, rather than the weekend.
Do Not Disconnect With Your Employee
Employees want to participate in the achievement of organizational goals. They also want to have their voices heard and be listened. Robin Young, CEO of Health and Fitness Savvy explained that employees who feel ignored or ignored will become angry, frustrated,, and resentful. Employees will feel that they are forced to leave if their leaders continue to dismiss ideas, feedback and suggestions from employees without good reasons.
Connor Brown, the founder of After School Finance, shared that “underestimating an employees capability is one reason good employees leave.” Worse, a leader may deliberately hold back an employee for fear that they will surpass them. The employee will eventually look for new opportunities to grow and achieve their full potential.
Value Profit and Customers Above Your Employees
Companies place great emphasis on customer service but neglect to consider the experiences of their employees – the people who provide the customer experience and loyalty. Leadership that only recognizes the sales quotas or numbers not met but does not acknowledge the contributions of its employees speaks volumes.
A company’s culture is shaped by its leadership team. This can have a significant impact on the employee experience and their perception of it. No matter how talented a manager is or how well-respected he/she is, leadership sets the tone in the workplace. It’s not good for everyone if leadership is focused only on profits and reduces investment in employees, whether it be through benefits, development opportunities or engagement initiatives. Employees want to succeed, but they also want the opportunity to feel valued members of the company.