Supervisory Approaches Impact Voluntary Turnover

Leadership styles impact employees’ attitudes toward your company and the level of voluntary turnover that occurs.

“For the most part unhappy employees do not leave companies- they leave bosses. [T]he supervisor is an icon for the company as a whole…” – Stan Beecham & Michael Grant, Supervision (June 2003, Vol. 64)

Supervisors may not realize that they wield powerful influences on their employees’ attitudes toward your company. A lack of dialogue in this relationship can influence competent employees to leave. With reduced resources and tighter budgets, supervisors who communicate effectively and honestly with direct reports establish more productive workplaces and reduce the cost of turnover. If there is an absence of attentiveness to the concerns of employees, poor performance may result. Consequently, a dangerous spiral follows. Failing to identify the reasons for poor performances, supervisors are reinforcing behaviors that result in undesirable outcomes.

Feedback of individual performance, based on objective criteria, should be given regularly. If feedback is given haphazardly talented employees may feel demoralized and poor performers may assume that their work is acceptable.

Management Behavior of a High Performing Company

Progressive employers are beginning to hold managers accountable for retaining talented employees. In doing so, managers will focus on relationships as essential for their success as well as for the success of the company. Careful assessment of direct reports’ work-related behaviors and addressing their performance alleviates tension and facilitates desired outcomes. Both formal and informal performance assessments are being used to maintain productive relationships. Regular discussions of employees’ ideas about the organization can give supervisors insight into the departure drivers of each direct report. This dynamic gives supervisors an opportunity to explore their employees’ career goals and initiatives. Proactive exchanges with employees create the ideal opportunities to demonstrate how the employees’ goals align with that of the organization.

A trusting relationship between a supervisor and employee is vital in shaping how the employee views the organization. Consistently behaving with integrity will cue your direct reports that the same is expected of them; failing to follow-through with actions promised to your employees will devalue their relationship with you and the company. Giving employees meaningful work and the autonomy to complete assignments is a clear sign of your confidence in them. Conversely, micromanaging employees can indicate that your have little confidence in their potential and spur voluntary turnover.

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