3 Ways You’re Failing Your Employees

Every company leader has been through it at least once—the pain and disappointment of learning one of your best employees is moving on and leaving a gaping hole in your team.

No matter the reason, it’s always tough when a valued team member resigns. But have you ever wondered if there’s any pattern to employee turnover?

In 2015, Entrepreneur.com reported on what’s causing employees to quit. In a survey of more than 2,100 CFOs and nearly 300 employees, the authors found nearly 15% of respondents agreed “unhappiness with management” was a major leading cause for churn. Ouch!

That number could be higher, but who wouldn’t want to bring it lower? To be sure you’re not unintentionally driving employees away, check out these potential management pitfalls.

1. Poor Communication

It probably goes without saying that you and your peers are well aware of where your company’s going, and why. But how well do the employees you lead grasp the larger vision?

When your team members don’t know how their job duties fit into and support the company’s overall mission, confusion is inevitable. And the burden of communicating that mission lies with you.

Team members who feel like they’re in the dark won’t be around for long. So don’t assume they know the why behind your company and how you run it. Tell them what’s going on at every level of business, in a variety of forms and through regular updates.

It’s better to overshare and earn their loyalty than to undershare and lose valuable employees.

2. Festering Conflict

Some people thrive on conflict, and others flee from it. Whichever way you’re wired, realize conflict is neither good nor bad in itself. In fact, an apparent lack of any kind of disagreement in a company likely indicates a phony peace held together by smiles and passive aggression.

There is always some level of disagreement within a company of just about any size. The question is whether you work through the conflict toward healthy growth and more understanding, or ignore the issue and let it keep getting worse under the surface.

Only leadership can resolve conflict in your company. When you realize a disagreement has come up between two or more parties, it’s a big part of your responsibility to step in and mediate. When conflict goes unresolved, it has a way of stopping work in its tracks. And when your team senses you’re not willing to help, some workers will leave.

3. The Brick Wall

Trust is the indispensable basis of unity in your company. There’s no way you can grow without a general sense of being on the same team, marching in the same direction. How much do your employees trust you as a leader and each other as coworkers?

One of the biggest obstacles to trust is the failure of managers to seek out and listen to employee feedback. In a 2014 Global Workforce Study of more than 32,000 employees, 55% of respondents said they wished their senior leaders would provide more frequent opportunities to give feedback on how well the company is functioning.

As team members working on a different level of your organization, your employees are able to see problems and positives from a different angle. So seeking out their opinions and feedback is a great way to identify trouble spots and help your company grow.

Performance reviews are one good opportunity to ask for an employee’s thoughts on how you can better serve them. For those who hesitate to speak openly about problems, offer anonymous feedback surveys. As trust grows across the company, more employees will be willing to broach trouble spots directly and quickly as they arise.

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