One of the first questions I ask when clients complain about high turnover is: What is it like to work under the current manager or leader?
Typically with turnover people will try to blame the hiring process, assessment, hiring team, or the employee (new hire) without taking an honest look at the kind of management/leadership to which they are submitting their workforce. I can’t tell you how many times I hear, “Oh, “Bob” is really, well, kind of a jerk – very hard to work under.” It always makes me wonder: Why are you letting good people walk away and keeping a toxic manager?
The truth is that people want to work with others who share the same work values. Promoting the wrong people into leadership positions causes employees to leave.
To help alleviate employees hitting the exit button:
- Make sure your hiring and promotion processes are established, understandable, and fair.
- Set clear objectives for successfully filling your open leadership positions. Evaluate and assess current employees as closely as those coming from outside the company.
- Granted, many times it’s difficult to be objective with someone you’ve known for the past 10 years. Knowing someone and being objective enough to understand whether they are a good fit to move into leadership are two different things. You owe it to your workforce to remain fair and unbiased.
- Identify behaviors that will help ensure a successful position-leadership fit. Base these desired behaviors on the actual responsibilities and work being done — not on personality “styles” or simply who you like
- Remember, there are a lot of great people who will not fit into the management/leadership positions you are filling — don’t become discouraged if finding the right person takes a while.
The effects of miscalculated promotions or bad hiring decisions will cause ripples throughout the organization. Pay close attention to who it is you are moving into your vacant leadership positions and you will see fewer people running for the door.