44% of employees surveyed said that their boss was the primary reason they left their job. The top 5 problems bosses created for employees were due to management style, a condescending attitude, a bad temper, inappropriate behavior and harassment.*
We recently had a booth at a very large conference in the Boston area. As part of the booth, we provided 10-minute mentoring sessions to participants. We did over 50 of those sessions in the time we were there, and were shocked to learn that at least 70% of the people that sat down in the booth cited their inability to get ahead because of their manager. There were many reasons cited. Here are just a few.
- My manager doesn’t see that I have other capabilities.
- My manager didn’t pass along my ideas and suggestions.
- I went and talked to my manager about something important to me and it just dropped at that point.
- My manager didn’t let me see any of the opportunities that might be available. They didn’t share information, consider me for opportunities.
- My manager didn’t let me work on some of the new and exciting projects.
In addition, the research survey went on to give these major reasons employees gave for leaving:
- The boss took credit for their work*
- The boss didn’t appear to trust them*
- The boss didn’t appear to care if you’re overworked*
- The boss didn’t advocate for you when it comes to monetary compensation*
- The boss hires and/or promotes the wrong people*
- The boss doesn’t back you up when there’s a dispute between employee and clients*
- The boss doesn’t provide proper direction on assignments*
- The boss micromanages and doesn’t allow you the “freedom to work”*
- The boss focuses more on your weaknesses than your strengths*
- The boss doesn’t set clear expectations*
The important point here is that managers can be major roadblocks to an employee meeting the needs that they have around self-esteem, cognitive and knowledge, and even belonging. Managers are alienating people when they don’t listen and they don’t support the people that work under them. It appears that people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers.
You must rid the organization of managers that have a win-lose attitude, the ones that are fearful of workers surpassing them, and lack the mindset that is needed to work with people that have evolved to a place where they want more meaning out of work, have a thirst for knowledge, are curious, and want to contribute. Employees don’t want to be managed and controlled. They don’t want to be micro-managed. They don’t want to have jobs that keep them in a box where information comes to them on a “need to know” basis, where they aren’t allowed to innovate, create and contribute because some manager is fearful of the competition or fearful the idea will rock the boat and put the manager in jeopardy. That kind of thinking drives the best employees out of your organization. It’s not meeting today’s needs and it’s probably one of the major reasons we have 70% disengagement and 51% of our employees constantly looking for jobs.
Traditional management is about planning, organizing, control and accountability. We need creativity and innovation in our organizations today to keep up with the speed of business, the speed of change. Control and accountability for the sake of control squashes creativity and innovation. We need a new definition of management. Management is about getting things done through people. The focus needs to be on motivating people and collaborating to get things done, building solid teams and fostering relationships to enhance people’s ability to work together. There is no room for fear based accountability in today’s manager. Managers need to be retooled through training and coaching so they enhance the work process not create roadblocks in it for their organizations.
*Research conducted via an online survey generated by BambooHR in March of 2017.