The real reason talented people leave great jobs? Usually, it’s the boss.
Managers can make or break a workplace experience — both with their behaviour and what they say aloud. Of course, the things they don’t do are equally problematic, such as not providing training and not tapping the most-qualified person for a promotion. Several LinkedIn Influencers weighed in on these topics this week. Here is what two of them had to say:
Brian de Haaff, chief executive officer at Aha!
The way a boss communicates with his or her team is crucial. While “effective communication is definitely a two-way street… the bar should actually be set higher for managers and other leaders, who should recognise their responsibility to model appropriate conduct in the workplace,” wrote de Haaff in his post Three Things Smart Bosses Never Tell Employees.
Managers and leaders should set a positive example by thinking before speaking and choosing their words wisely, he wrote, offering three things a smart boss should never say.
“Guess what I heard? Sometimes it can be lonely at the top, and managers may trade gossip with their co-workers because they want to be buddies. However, there is no room for gossip in the workplace even if it builds camaraderie,” de Haaff wrote. “Rumour-mongering tears down the trust that you are trying to establish with your team and shows an overall lack of maturity.”
“What’s up with Adam? There may be rare times when a manager may seek information about an employee out of genuine concern for the person’s welfare… but when you fish for information to satisfy your own personal curiosity, you put the person's co-workers in the awkward position of breaking a confidence. This kind of behaviour demonstrates weak leadership,” wrote de Haaff.
“I don’t want to hear it! When you say this phrase, you close your mind to the possibility that you might actually be wrong and the other person may be right,” he wrote. “This gut-level reaction to bad news shuts down all communication and sends a clear message that you are unapproachable and inflexible.”
Michelle M Smith, vice president of marketing at OC Tanner
“What could be more essential to organisational success and the corporate bottom line than talent?” asks Smith in her post How to Lose Your Best Employees in 10 Easy Steps. “Yet many people… continue to be marginalised and neglected.”
“No corporate function today lags behind as dramatically as how we manage the employees for which we are responsible,” Smith wrote, pointing to research by a business school professor.
If companies want to lose their best people, they’ll keep doing these 10 things that drive the brightest and most high-potential people away, she wrote. Among them:
“Put jerks into management. Reward the old-fashioned, autocratic style that stifles unorthodox, creative thinking and feels threatened by fresh ideas, energy and dynamism,” Smith wrote.
“Measure hours, not results. Keep an expensive cadre of stern enforcers busy with policing everybody,” she wrote. “Don’t trust your talent to use their time wisely. Crack down on social media. Forbid personal activities during the workday, even as you continue to expect work to be conducted over the weekend as well.”
“Don’t bother with training. Instead, have your workers do the same tasks over and over in the very same way,” she wrote.
“Bungle the teams. Avoid mixing generations and skill sets, instead grouping like with like and producing stale and predictable solutions that are safe and excite no one,” Smith wrote.