Communicating poorly, overworking your team, micromanaging, showing no appreciation—these are classic bad boss behaviors that could be costing you great employees.
These days, it isn’t uncommon for workers to jump ship every two to three years, and some younger millennials have no qualms about finding better work after just a few months under your roof. While some employers have resigned themselves to constantly looking for new hires, you might not be fortunate enough to be able to afford interminable talent searching—which means you need to take action to keep your employees around.
Happy employees almost never leave their jobs, which means if you have especially high attrition rates, there must be something about your workplace—or you—that is terribly irksome. The following eight issues are some of the most common causes of employee dissatisfaction around the country, and it’s likely you are perpetrating at least one.
The following eight issues are some of the most common causes of employee dissatisfaction around the country, and it’s likely you are perpetrating at least one.
1. You Don’t Communicate
Communication is leadership 101. You need to be able to explain your plans and thoughts so your employees understand and act appropriately—and your employees must feel free to share their ideas and fears with you. If your workplace is struggling to communicate, you should consider hiring a professional communicator to motivate you and your team. Motivational speakers tend to have leadership experience and can facilitate connections between you and your workers.
2. You Don’t Pay Enough
You will be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t wish they made more money. Still, if your wages aren’t competitive in the industry, you will find your best workers leaving for positions that offer better pay. While raising salaries might seem untenable, studies show that higher-paid employees are more productive and better for business and the economy. Review your budget to see how you can give bigger paychecks to the workers you want to keep around.
3. You Can’t Promise Security
More and more businesses are looking to cut expenses by outsourcing services like HR and IT, automating departments like legal and accounting, and downsizing teams like sales and marketing. While this might help you pay your remaining employees more, any workers who stick around won’t hang out for long. The more you cut your workforce, the less faith your existing employees have that they have a reliable job. Most will jump ship before you can lay them off unexpectedly. Your goal should be to make your workers feel valuable.
4. You Don’t Appreciate Their Work
Employees who feel underappreciated don’t work as hard as they can, they don’t communicate well with their teams, and they switch jobs as soon as they can. Fortunately, it is incredibly easy to make your entire team feel valued and important. Communication is key; you should ensure every conversation with your workers reassures them about their work and encourages them to continue. You can also reward hardworking individuals with small presents—gift cards, free lunch—or raises and title changes. There are hundreds of ways to show your appreciation, and you can institute several of them today.
5. You Play Favorites
Then again, not every reward and word of praise should go to the same worker, especially if you are already friendly with that one person. Just as children are easily devastated when one sibling is treated more favorably, the rest of your team will suffer if you continuously give your favorite employee superior treatment. You should handle your workers like you would your children: Lie and say you don’t have favorites.
6. You Work Them Too Hard
Ambitious individuals will often feel overworked during the course of their careers—that’s the price of success. However, constant overwork results in fatigue, weight gain, depression, headaches, and worse, and every business leader knows that unhealthy employees are not productive ones. You should encourage your team to take breaks and avoid burnout; it will help the business in the long run.
7. You Won’t Let Them Be
Your perfectionist, obsessive-compulsive behavior might have made you great at your job, but if you inflict it upon your subordinates, you will not receive any thanks. Micromanaging your employees prevents everyone from doing their jobs well, including you. However, because these habits are often deep-seated and motivated by fear, you might find it difficult to stop micromanaging. Anytime you get the urge to hover and take control, you should remember that your employees can and will find their own way.
8. You Don’t Know What You’re Doing
Nearly impossible to self-diagnose, leader incompetence is among the most common reasons workers leave for other jobs. If you often find yourself unable to envision a good business plan, failing to produce positive results, unwilling to change existing methods, and avoiding any contact with superiors and subordinates, you probably aren’t meant to lead a team. You might consider applying for positions that don’t directly command a group of employees—or you might promote someone else to do the heavy leadership lifting for you.
By Jenn French, a content coordinator who assists in contributing informational high-quality articles on a variety of entrepreneurship and leadership topics. In her spare time she enjoys hiking with her dog, traveling to national and state parks, reading and cooking.
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