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Want to Keep Your Best Workers from Leaving? Please Stop Being This Type of Boss

According to research, fifty percent of employees leave their job to get away from their manager.

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BY Marcel Schwantes - 11 May 2018

Want to Keep Your Best Workers from Leaving? Please Stop Being This Type of Boss

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

In Gallup's massive research over the course of three decades, they have identified three types of workers:

1. Engaged Employees: They work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.

2. Disengaged Employees: They are "checked out." They're sleepwalking through their workday, putting time -- but not energy or passion -- into their work.

3. Actively Disengaged Employees: They aren't just unhappy at work; they're busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.

But, as the data reveals, only 30 percent of workers across the U.S. are actually "engaged."

The more disconnected employees feel, the greater their readiness to job hop. In fact, 56 percent of "disengaged employees," and 73 percent of "actively disengaged" employees, according to Gallup data, are looking for jobs or watching for opportunities. And they currently work for your organization.

Bad management is the culprit.

In another study of 7,272 U.S. adults, Gallup found that 50 percent of employees left their job "to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career."

So what do managers do that cause disengagement and low morale that ultimately lead to costly turnover? In my own research and observations over the years, there are five types of bosses that will instantly repel valued employees from doing good work.

1. Bosses who don't recognize their employees' unique strengths

The research is saying is that turnover is lower when managers adjust jobs according to individual talents and strengths. People love to use their unique talents and gifts, and the good managers will develop relationships with their employees to find out what their strengths are -- and bring out the best in their employees.

2. Bosses who communicate poorly

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson doesn't mince words about the importance of communication. He writes:

"Communication makes the world go round. It facilitates human connections, and allows us to learn, grow, and progress. It's not just about speaking or reading, but understanding what is being said -- and in some cases what is not being said. Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess."

In the leadership literature, employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged than employees with managers who ignore them.

3. Bosses who don't share information

A leading cause of turnover -- when done repeatedly and intentionally -- happens when managers hoard information to control their environment. The flipside is managers who invest in relationships with team members by building trust through transparency. As a result, employees working for managers who share information will work harder for them, respect them more, be more innovative, and solve problems much faster.

4. Bosses who micromanage

Managers who dominate people and decisions are seen as very controlling and self-centered. Consequently, creativity, innovation, morale, and performance are stifled in the long run. Former GE executive, Vishal Agarwal, author of the book Give to Get: A Senior Leader's Guide to Navigating Corporate Life, says one phrase that should never come out of your mouth is, "I am the boss." He sees many young professionals demanding that people do things simply because the boss requires it, or act abrasive and standoffish to show their positional authority. "Demonstrating that you're the boss is a big mistake to avoid," says Agarwal. "Today's leaders should practice servant leadership."

5. Bosses who don't value their workers

Lastly, this mistake may be the most crucial -- not valuing people. These are managers who don't care, don't know how to care, or at some point stopped caring. In essence, it's a boss who thinks anyone is replaceable and sees employees as cogs in a wheel rather than worthy colleagues to be treated like business partners in producing excellence. On the flipside, managers that truly care for their employees will create an environment in which people feel psychologically safe -- safe enough to experiment, to challenge them, to exercise their creativity and strengths, and to give opinions. This type of workplace feels more like a community because fear has been pumped out of the organization.

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