As the Great Resignation continues, one in five employees say they are planning to switch jobs in the next year. Experts have cited a few reasons why so many people are making the switch since the start of the pandemic, with one of those reasons being poor management or leadership.
If your company has a high turnover rate and you discover bad leadership is to blame, there are steps you can take to mitigate the situation. Below, nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council explain the steps you can take to fix a poor leadership problem and the impact this change will have on your company.
1. Spend More Time With Employees
Companies do not have enough employee one-on-one meetings on a regular basis. I can’t stress enough that managers aren’t spending enough time with their employees every other week to talk about 1. what’s going well, 2. what’s not going well and 3. what the company can do to make sure to improve the “what’s not going well” part. Lack of accountability, transparency and the coaching that every employee should get from their manager is probably the biggest reason for the high turnover rate. To mitigate this, I suggest leadership keep everyone on their toes so they talk about what’s working at the company level, the department level as well the personal level. This will give very good insight into why someone will quit their job. – Jay Dahal, Machnet
2. Improve Time Management Skills
Most of the time, “bad leadership” comes down to poor time management. Situations that tend to get us (change management, performance issues, reorganizations, inconsistent communication) are situations where we know exactly what we need to be doing. In most cases (assuming good actors who are trying their best), these are failures to prioritize and execute. Consistent communication isn’t rocket science—it’s just that we often don’t take the time to think it through as we over-focus on business metrics, KPIs and timelines. Effective change management is well understood, but it takes time and effort, and we are far too easily distracted. The best way I know of to fix these things is by setting an example. Do this well yourself, then demand the same from your team. Leadership is contagious. – Alex Furman, Invitae
3. Reconsider Those Currently In Managerial Positions
Employee turnover, especially talented employee turnover, is a huge loss. As such, I wouldn’t hesitate to fire a manager who is failing. Leadership training and discussions of company culture are important, but they do not make up for attitude and passion. – Sheila Nazarian, Nazarian Plastic Surgery
4. Adjust Management Styles
When we see high turnover in our company due to erroneous management or leadership, we must answer who and what is causing this phenomenon. In any trend of high employee turnover, there is a reason that is always within the organization. Unfortunately, many begin to look outside for reasons, believing they have chosen the right management team. However, if you notice this phenomenon, then answer the questions: Who is the cause? Whose actions or inactions lead to this? As soon as you find a problem, try to fix it by adjusting your manager’s management style. If this is not possible, you should fire such a manager or leader immediately and then select a manager who fits the goals and vision of the organization who can create the right culture. – Aidar Vafin, ARFEN Inc.
5. Get Feedback From Your Team
Individual opinions in this situation can be harmful and even offensive to people. What I would do over time is restructure teams’ managers and see what the general public consensus is. If one person says, “X is not a good manager,” that might be an opinion; if five people say the same, then it’s not an opinion—it’s a trend. Doing this will allow for unbiased feedback from a larger set of audiences, which to some extent is helpful in deciding if the manager or leaders are worth retaining. Additionally, once this is done, I would also open a channel of communication for everyone to contribute to with their thoughts. This could be an anonymous form where disagreements can be shared candidly. Second-thinking decisions or steps is never bad, and anonymity will help remove the fear of judgment. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day
6. Reflect On How You’re Treating Your Employees
As leaders, we have to be honest with ourselves. We often think about what the employees owe the company, but we should consider what the company owes the people who are giving most of their lives to building the business. Most of what causes high turnover isn’t the work itself; it’s typically how people are being treated. Are you treating people correctly? Are you treating them the way you yourself would accept being treated? You’re now losing institutional knowledge and spinning your wheels with a team of beginners while your competition grows. Is that worth the constant competition and ego trips? Leaders have a responsibility to be the adults in the room. Take the quiet time to reflect and see if you are fulfilling that role. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts
7. Consider Third-Party Leadership Training
Bad management is a critical issue that needs to be rooted out immediately. Look into management and leadership training programs from third parties to help improve the skills of your current leaders. Getting outside help can be expensive, but you also get a different perspective and unbiased feedback. You’ll also get real solutions to the problems you’re facing instead of just being told what you want to hear. Use training programs first, but if you have to overhaul your management team, do it quickly and efficiently. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
8. Embrace ‘Extreme Ownership’
If your employees are leaving left and right every month, look at the one common denominator: you. It’s convenient to blame inflation, your competitor, your industry, millennials, the weather and hundreds of other factors as reasons why people are leaving your organization. A real leader will embrace “extreme ownership,”—a concept coined by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, both former U.S. Navy SEALS—and announce that they are the owner of the entire problem. From there, a leader can create a plan that addresses the high turnover using their own learnings and shortcomings. – Beck Bamberger, BAM
9. Focus In On Company Values
One step I would take is to really hone in on the company culture and the values on which it was established. I would approach HR and see if we could remind the leadership team and do more activities centered around values like leadership, commitment, empathy and more. We could create more incentives around leaders who are living these values and get creative in developing a reward system around accomplishments. – Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME