4 Mistakes Managers Make That Cause High Turnover Rates

PUBLISHED18 October 2021

High turnover rates are the bane of businesses both big and small. Big businesses, however, can recover from hiring costs with ease, at least relative to small and medium businesses. More often than not, the problem can be traced back to faulty management practices. Managers are often the reason people leave their jobs. No matter how much they love their work, a bad boss can make it unbearable.

This is a problem you must address as an employer. You and any managers you assign must treat your employees well. Unfortunately, what counts as treating them well may not be obvious when you’re calling the shots. Here are a few habits and mistakes you should wean out of you and your managers.

1. Breaking Your Word

Promises are a powerful weapon. You put your reputation as an entrepreneur and boss on the line in an effort to get someone to agree with you. Depending on the strength of your reputation, you can get a lot done, perhaps more than you would have without making that promise. This comes with a natural caveat. Any commitments broken damages the trust employees have in you and in the start-up, which can translate to higher turnover rates.

Every time you break a promise, you come across as someone who doesn’t care about his employees. You come across disrespectful. When you make a promise, make sure you can keep it. It’s not just the deal you’re breaking. You’re breaking down the foundation of future deals, promises, and relationships.

2. Failing to Challenge Employees

The best employees you can have in your start-up are the ones who’re always looking to make things better. It could be the lines at the cafeteria, it could be how your product is packaged – whatever it is, these employees want to improve it. Unfortunately, you or one of your managers may fail to notice their attempts and even end up curbing them. This can result in a sense of powerlessness, which is often enough to make them hate their jobs. All of a sudden you’ve lost a smart employee and you may not even notice.

You should also make the effort to encourage employees who want to further their skills with sponsored workplace training. Workplace training helps challenge employees, giving them extra skills, experience, and confidence that they can then bring into your business. There are a range of providers, like Kirana, who can assist you with undertaking this task.

3. Overworking People

As a busy manager or boss, it’s easy to feel like it’s crunch time all the time. That makes it easy to slip into the mindset that everyone should be working all the time or that no one is ever working enough. You push yourself and risk burning out because you’re afraid the business may not succeed  unless you give it more than you can afford. Then you look at your employees and make them commit in the same manner.

Nothing causes your turnover rates to spike faster than overworking your employees, especially if you’re doing it because they’re performing well. Giving them the twice the amount of work because they did everything in half the time last quarter may make sense from a mathematical standpoint, but it rarely works out in a human resources context.

If you must increase their workload, it must come with a proportional increase in rank and compensation. Moreover, it must be voluntary. Lay down what the company needs and ask who among them is willing to step up and be more.

4. Failing to Recognise or Reward Exceptional Work

Many have underestimated the power of a smile much in the same manner people underestimate recognition. A quick pat on the back and a smile can make an employee feel like their contributions matter. This can be the difference between inspiring them and others to do the same, and inspiring them to look for greener pastures.

Even the most internally driven person won’t say no to kudos and recognition. This doesn’t mean you have to break out the champagne at every little success, only that you should make the effort to spot who’s putting out their best work. When you see someone helping out the company, reward them.

What makes these mistakes tragic is they’re all avoidable. Your employees are your greatest resource as a boss or manager. Without them your business wouldn’t be possible. Treat them well and they’ll become loyal members of your team. Treat them as tools and they’ll look for better opportunities, potentially leaving you in the lurch. Their exodus may even kill your company if the turnover rate is high enough.

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