The Worst Way to Lead

You already know that people don’t quit jobs; they quit people. What makes people want to leave a boss might surprise you though.

When Gallup released their study State of the American Manager, no one was really shocked to learn that that people are committed to people and people leave people. The American manager accounts for the primary reason people leave their jobs.

Sure, things like burn out, relocating, and a desire to expand yourself in a new opportunity are common factors for leaving a job, but more than half cited their boss as the primary reason for leaving their job. Interestingly, it wasn’t the people with the boss who was always bearing down on them, belittling them, or even mistreating them who was the greatest problem (that isn’t to say they aren’t a problem).

The boss who led to the highest rates of turnover were the people who weren’t engaging their staff.

Think about that for a few minutes. Countless studies have proven that transformational leadership behaviors and leaders who act with high levels of emotional intelligence garner higher levels of job satisfaction than those who treat their employees poorly. BUT – the boss who treats his or her employees bad is still a better boss than the one who ignores his or her employees.

Examine your leadership approach for a moment. How would your followers mark the following statements?

My supervisor regularly engages with me or I have to let my supervisor know when I need them to engage with me

My supervisor helps me set goals for myself and prioritize my workload or I have to set goals for myself and figure out how to prioritize with little to no support from my supervisor.

I am aware of the skills I have that are strengths for my work because my supervisor provides me with specific feedback for a job done well or I think my strengths are XYZ but my supervisor has never specifically told me where he or she sees that I excel.

If you give yourself an honest appraisal, which statements are truer of your engagement with your staff. Let me help you gauge the accuracy of your self-awareness:

Do you deal with excessive turnover among your direct reports?

Do your direct reports consistently provide a quality product/outcome in the work they do?

Do your direct reports have regular safety-related incidents in the workplace?

Do your direct reports demonstrate mission commitment with tenacity?

If you’re addressing high turnover, absenteeism, poor quality work, numerous safety incidents, and a lack of passion for their work, then you are possibly the cause.

According to Gallup’s research, you can reverse the negative effects of poor engagement by:

Provide clear communication about the direction of the organization

Prioritize training and development. Your people will commit to you and the organization if you commit to their growth in knowledge and skill

Promote/Hire leaders for their ability to lead and manage, not because of their skills in their current position or tenure at the company

I am an author, speaker, and leader with a passion for developing people into practical leaders who put their principles into practice. I am the co-author of the acclaimed book Faith Acts with best-selling author Dillon Burroughs, the Chief Operations Officer at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, and an independent leadership consultant to up and coming leaders and start up nonprofit organizations. My greatest joy, however, is serving Christ and his Church. I am the proud husband of Shay and father of two great boys. We live in Chattanooga, TN. #NoogaStrong

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or downright annoying.

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