Okay, that’s a bit harsh. But it’s also true.
Many employers convince themselves that salary is the main reason people leave, but while it’s convenient to believe that – and let leaders off the hook – that’s simply not the case. Gallup research shows that the number one predictor of employee turnover is the immediate manager’s leadership.
If the leader has unclear expectations, for example, doesn’t provide enough resources or material, or doesn’t help team members to progress and develop, then they can expect to be writing a new job ad pretty soon.
If you are leader of any kind at work – or working in HR, for that matter – this should be a wake-up call. But while those are dramatic, potentially frightening numbers, this is actually good news. Because while your hands may be tied on things like salaries due to the company’s finances, you can actually do something about leadership problems. You can actually take action to get more of those employees to stay.
The simple solution is daily, on-the-job leadership training, to empower each person to become the best leader possible.
As Simon Sinek says, “Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.”
And if leaders don’t take good care of their teams, those teams will leave. Great leaders are the ones who inspire others and retain employees – and, in turn, drive outstanding business results.
But here’s the thing: very few people in this world are born great leaders.
Just like an athlete needs to hit the gym several times a week, or how a child learns to whistle by wheezing air through their teeth day after day before being able to make a sound, these things take time. The more you do it, the better you get – but it still takes practice to maintain.
So how can you reduce employee turnover (and save the company tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars)?
Ask for feedback. Find your weak spots – and start practicing every day, even if it’s just for five minutes. Make an active choice to practice good leadership habits. (And if you have other leaders under you, make sure they’re doing the same thing!)
Just start practicing your leadership skills – today.