Employee Morale: Why employees leave organizations


New job concept.As a business owner or CEO there will be occasions when, despite the business doing well, you discover you’re losing good people. Business performance is good but the same cannot be said for employee morale. So people are leaving your business as a result. In these circumstances, what can you do? Start by taking a close look at their immediate line manager.

Happy and fulfilled employees within a good team will work well and deliver results. Even people of mediocre talent will raise their game in a good team. Line managers play an essential role in creating good, well-bonded teams. So good line managers are the reason why people will stay and thrive within your business or organisation.

However poor line managers are the reason people will leave. If employees are not happy they don’t tend to hang around for long. Employees can feel their performance is being constrained by a poor line manager. They may feel their line manager’s style is preventing them from giving their best.

The problem is when people leave your organization they take knowledge, experience and a network of contacts with them, straight to a competitor. Leavers often take customers with them too. That’s not good for any business, obviously.

People don’t leave companies, they leave teams and it’s usually a bad manager who’s driven them away. Perhaps the line manager has poor people-management skills. Perhaps he or she has a personality that is challenging for employees to deal with. There could be many reasons but, regardless of the reason, that’s no less of a problem for you.

Of all the abuses an employee might experience in the workplace, humiliation is the one which they will find most intolerable. The first time it happens, the employee may not leave but a thought has been planted. The second time it happens that thought gets stronger. When it happens a third time, the employee actively starts to look for another job.

However the problem for you is not just the danger of losing a good employee or the time that could be lost whilst an employee has a job-search mindset. A bad line manager can have a serious impact on the employee’s attitude to his or her work. When people cannot respond openly in anger to a given situation, then they do so by passive aggression. By digging in their heels and being difficult or slowing down. Not going that extra mile to achieve a result, when otherwise they might have done so.

They might just be doing only what they are told to do and no more, when otherwise they might have shown some initiative. They might just conveniently forget to give the boss some crucial information. If you work for a jerk then basically you’ll be happy to see him or her get into trouble with higher management.

Different line managers can stress out employees in different ways. For instance this could be by being too controlling, too suspicious, too pushy, or too critical. Line managers can forget that workers are not fixed assets, they are human beings and they are free agents who can move on if they choose. Often when employees do quit it will be over a trivial issue but the damage has been done over a longer period usually.

As the business owner or CEO you would be wise to remember this saying – talent leaves; dead wood doesn’t. And that’s the problem. Dead wood is just a drain on your business. It will be by having a pool of talent within your business that will allow you to succeed over time.

When people leave your business, don’t ignore it. Ask yourself why.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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