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People Don’t Quit Jobs, They Quit Managers.

Numerous studies have all shown that the top four reasons why people quit their jobs are connected to management. This confirms what has always been said that people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers. The big question now becomes, what can you do to prevent your employees from quitting their managers? We have some suggestions below that can help you to make your employees and managers more engaged so that massive turnover rates become a thing of the past.

Here are 5 Steps to reduce turnover in your business.

1. Select the Right Managers

The people you assign management roles need to be suited to those positions, or else employees will start quitting. In the recent past, the tech industry provided examples of how not to select managers.

Startups would look at their key performers from a technical point of view, for example, the best coders, and then promote them to management positions. These people got into management on the basis of their technical skills yet they often lacked the soft skills needed for one to excel in a management role. There’s no prize for guessing that they were disasters as managers!

Your starting point if you want to stem the tide of employees quitting their managers is by reviewing how you select managers at the company. Do you pick the employee who has stayed the longest with you? This is as wrong as selecting someone who does a wonderful job using their technical skills.

Change your selection methods and modify how you train managers so that their orientation shifts from people who bark out orders to leaders who coach those they lead.

2. Ensure Your Managers Are Satisfied As Employees

Managers are also employees of the company and you should ensure that this important group of employees is satisfied before you can expect them to do a good job of leading others.

For example, does the company give supervisors and managers ample opportunities to grow professionally (or otherwise) on a continuous basis? Pay attention to their needs as employees and their commitment to their duties will reflect in the way they lead their teams. You can also give them a chance to update their skills so that they are in tandem with the latest developments in the industry (employees can sniff out an incompetent manager from a mile away!). You don’t want a manager on your team who is interviewing and considering alternative employers, do you? Such a manager will not be committed to their work and this lack of commitment may drive the high performers in the team to look elsewhere for employment.


3. Create Systems That Support Managers in Their Functions

The managers of a company may be good, but the company may not be supportive in terms of having enabling systems which allow these managers to shine. Such a situation will result in “employees quitting their managers” yet this wouldn’t have been the case if systems were supportive.

For example, a good manager grooms those he or she leads so that a time comes when the department can run without the manager.

However, this good management practice may not be possible if the company doesn’t have mechanisms, such as funding to skills acquisition programs, through which managers can identify and second-team members to upgrade their skills.

It, therefore, helps when you as a company owner asks for feedback on the ways you can better support the managers in doing their work. The insights you get from such feedback will reveal low-cost ways to improve all systems so that the managers you assign duties will perform in ways that drive employee retention.

It is also wise to conduct 1:1s with your managers to sound them out on how you are doing regarding the implementation of the changes they requested for. This is a good way to help you to direct resources to the things that really matter, and to drive the point of accountability home. The managers, and those they lead will take accountability more seriously if they know that those at the very top lead by example. Employees rarely quit if they know that everyone plays by the same rules. This is in contrast to workplaces where employees feel that their bosses play favorites and apply the rules selectively.

4. Provide Employee Recognition

Some employees quit their managers because those managers never recognize the contribution of the employees to the success of the company. Some managers even go as far as taking the credit that should be going to members of their teams!

Recognition can take the simple form of commending someone verbally when they do a good job, or it can be as grand as organizing an awards ceremony where exceptional performers are recognized and rewarded. Different methods work for different organizations, so try out several ways to recognize your employees and let them know that their input matters. When an employee feels valued, they are unlikely to quit.

5. Don’t Be Understaffed

It is human nature to always find someone to blame when things aren’t going as required. For example, a department which is understaffed is likely to clock insane overtime hours since the current employees need to cover the work that would have been done by the additional employees required for that team to perform optimally.

Those long hours of work will throw the employees’ work-life balance out of whack, and their supervisor may be blamed for always keeping them in office beyond hours.

Don’t let this happen to your company. Do whatever you can to have adequate employee numbers so that team members aren’t so overworked that they think their manager doesn’t care.

For your management team to do its job properly, the right context has to be provided. Revisit your vision and mission, and then ask yourself whether everything the company engages in is aligned with that vision and mission. A well-articulated vision and mission creates a degree of certainty regarding what is expected of each employee, so managers will not second guess or be hesitant when carrying out their duties. This clarity of purpose trickles down to employees and makes everything they do purposefully. The mantra “people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers” will stop being applicable to your company if you make changes in accordance with the discussion above.

To Your Success,

Jairek Robbins & Team PCU

Ready to level up your coaching and leadership game? Want to make a big impact in the lives of others? Add more power to your purpose with our 12-week online Performance Coach certification course. Apply here: Course overview & Application!