As part of the staff satisfaction survey, we included a question, what would make you leave your current position? Surprisingly, the answer was not about money. Many employees would leave for other reasons. Below are some of the major reasons stated:
- Failure to value the contribution of the employee. Many staff hate it when the employer or their direct supervisor fails to value the contribution they make. This means effective ongoing collaboration and communication between employees and their direct reports would make work more satisfying. Companies must put in place collaborative tools to deepen both vertical and cross-sectional communication. Having a clear list of expectations from the employee by the supervisor or manager would go far in creating a healthy working relationship. A clear job description that is not a generic writeup, but a clear summary of job outcomes/targets with clear measurable lead and lag indicators must be developed and reviewed ongoing.
- Inadequate communication. If the supervisor fails to provide good, ongoing
communication with the employee, it leads to job insecurity. You do not want an employee to feel a sense of uselessness. Ongoing communications about key priority projects, expected outcomes, tactical interventions increase self-confidence and love for the job. Unless the employee is technically inadequate to deliver the required targets as communicated. For good results, the supervisor or manager should provide the employee with performance feedback. Timely feedback is king.
- Failure to conduct performance appraisals. Many times, I have been asked to help conduct Board performance reviews – to assess the individual performance of the board members and the board as a whole, my first question has always been: where is the board scorecard? What are the targets that were given to the board members? Performance appraisal is effective if the targets and criteria against which performance shall be conducted are agreed in advance and is clear to all concerned. However, this business of assessing performance against non-existing criteria is bad and a waste of time. Start by giving me a scorecard, and clear measurable indicators against which performance shall be assessed. Thereafter, do it timely. There is nothing as bad as a late on the performance appraisal. Depending on the level of the staff, do assess performance frequently so that we move on when I know which areas I need to improve. The business of conducting performance appraisal at the year-end is one of the worst leadership practices. Stop it. Invest in an automated tool so that staff can log on and provide updates of the progress on their set targets. And where a gap exists, call the person, or meet in person and share experiences, identify training gaps, if the person can improve, and empower them to win.
- Disrespect by the employer. If you want to lose your staff, treat them like dogs. Have no time to talk to them. Do not keep the promises you make. Abuse them before others. Underlook all their work. I could go on and on. If you want to improve someone, first make them your friends. If the person lacks the minimum skills and competence to deliver on the role, review performance, and provide feedback, and agree on how to address the gap. Ideally, all employees have the potential to transform their skills when challenged and motivated as well. Show the employee the journey – what they need to accomplish to progress to the next level or gain a salary increment.
- Lack of direction. If you want to lose your staff, don’t provide them with strategic direction. It is like blindfolding people and putting them inside a bus and driving them. No one in their sense can accept to be inside such a bus. Everyone has a dream. They need the confidence of the journey (mission) and destination (vision). If as a supervisor you fail to provide clarity of the direction, you will lose your staff.
What is your experience? Leave your comments.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.