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According to several polls, over 50% of employees who quit their jobs cite the manager as the reason. People join an organization for several reasons, such as company culture, career opportunities, compensation, the mission of the organization and its reputation. Organizations spend significant time, energy, effort and money in identifying and evaluating candidates and, ultimately, hiring an employee. This process also, then, includes post-hire onboarding and training and development. When an employee leaves, the organization does not get a full return on its investment. This is particularly true if the employee is especially talented and capable of helping the organization attain its strategic goals.

To help reduce the risk of losing good employees, organizations must pay particular attention to the quality of their managers. Understanding the relationships that managers have with their employees and how they direct and develop them are particularly important. The cost of a bad manager is high, and can manifest itself in direct financial terms, in the inability to attract talent people and retain high-performing employees, as well as a myriad other areas.

Here are some signs of ineffective management practices:

  • Unclear goals – clear and agreed-upon individual and team goals are essential and provide direction and context for the overall strategic goals of the organization
  • Feeling undervalued – all employees want to feel appreciated for their contributions
  • Not feeling engaged – good employees want to be a part of goal setting, decision making, and problem-solving
  • Lack of professional growth and career opportunities – no one wants to feel stagnant
  • Lack of job fit – employee motivation and performance suffer when they feel that their job does not maximize their interests, talents and skills
  • Not getting intrinsic satisfaction from their work – external motivations play an important role but, first and foremost, every employee needs to feel good about what they do
  • Lack of trust and confidence – trust is a foundational element of a strong working relationship and not having it will impact an employee’s level of engagement and job interest
  • Mismatched organizational culture and values – an employee needs to believe that they and their company have matching values and parameters of behavior
  • Micromanaging and not allowing employee growth and development
  • Employees’ privacy and rights are not respected
  • Lack of empathy displayed when a problem occurs
  • Feeling and thinking their manager is not fair and honest
  • Policies and practices are not enforced uniformly and even-handed.

The negative effects of poor management practices are numerous. They are costly to the organization in terms of: losing high-performing employees, inability to attain strategic goals, inability to attract superior talent, reputation in the marketplace, lawsuits and agency charges, deflated employee morale and employee stress. If organizations want to compete in this global, knowledge-based and interconnected marketplace, they MUST pay attention to and address bad managers and poor management practices.

Contact us to find out how you can develop and train your management team and increase employee engagement and retention.

Thanks to Charles Parnell of HPISolutions for his contributions to this article.