Why Quality Employees Leave Under Your Management
Every prior generation thinks that they were the last greatest accomplishment mankind has ever witnessed.
Things were different back in their day. What we are doing now would never fly back when they were coming up. I would agree. My question is, why does every prior generation think we want to live in the past?
I have been a manager for about the last eight years. I have been fortunate enough to work alongside some amazing people all with diverse backgrounds. I believe that each person has made me a better leader today and I am extremely grateful for their wisdom. One thing that I have learned though is that you cannot operate like you did in the past.
Let me elaborate on that a little bit. I am not saying that every new year has to be some radical transformation of how your department or company operates. You do not have to rewrite your mission statement or employee handbook. You do however have to look at where the market currently is and where it is heading based on your industry. How many companies a year ago snarled at the idea of letting their employees work from home because they thought they would be “less productive”? How many companies 5 years ago thought Facebook and Instagram were phases and that good old fashioned cold calling and mail flyers were still the heart of marketing? Let me ask you this, how many flyers and marketing materials are you getting in the mail these days? When is the last time that you saw a physical phone book, pay phone, house phone, etc? Are you getting my point? Trends change faster nowadays than ever before. So, why do some people continue to manage like they did 5 years ago?
The old cliche continues to be true, “People don’t leave companies, they leave managers”. Some could argue this point however I truly believe this to be true majority of the time. They are leaving you for someone who can meet their needs better than you currently are. Better schedule, more money, more opportunity for advancement, better work life balance, etc. Each one of these items could have been addressed by you, their current manager. So, why didn’t you?
Every manager has more authority and power than they may think. Many people will blame their boss saying “they micro manage every decision that I make” or “I don’t have that kind of authority to make those decisions”. Let me ask you this, when is the last time that you made a decision without asking your boss for approval and got in trouble for it? Most people are just afraid to make a decision in general. They would rather the repercussions of that decision be left in the lap of someone other than themselves. It makes it easier to blame them when the outcome is not what you hoped for.
Not every decision that I have ever made turned out in my favor. I have had quality people leave under my management before and I take full responsibility for that. I could have done more and have been a better manager for them. I recognize where I fell short on being a manager and made changes to minimize the risk of that happening in the future. I am not managing like I was eight years ago let alone last year. I acknowledge that you need to be more involved with your direct reports and truly care about them and their well being. If you don’t, someone else will.
The first step of being a better manager is recognizing where you fall short and working to improve everyday. Listen to podcast, seek out a mentor, read an article (preferably on Medium), watch a YouTube video. There are endless resources out there to help you improve upon your skills. I can assure you that if you are not working to get better, someone else is. That person just may end up being who one of your employees leaves you for.
So, what are you doing today to make yourself a better manager for tomorrow?