Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
February 8, 2024 ·  3 min read

9 Things Bosses Do That Make Great Employees Quit

Throughout my career, I spent my share of time in both the role of employee and supervisor. I recall clearly that I always had plenty of people to staff the shifts and stay overtime when needed.  

However, that wasn’t always the case. We would frequently have employees quit, and often times people would refuse to take overtime based on who was asking them to work. This is the sad reality of the work environment today.

The main reason many people leave jobs is due to poor relationships with their supervisors or managers, where they feel undervalued and overworked. As a manager or a supervisor, how you show up for your employees can make all the difference. Are your actions building long-term employees or causing your co-workers to update their resumes?

Here are some common scenarios which send great employees running for their resumes.

Read: The Coffee Test & 6 other Invisible Tricks Job Interviewers Use to Vet You

Top Reasons Why Good Employees Quit Their Jobs

1. Not Feeling Connection

People long for connection in all areas of their lives. Considering how much time the average person spends at work, it makes sense for them to desire some connection with their “work family.” This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours chit-chatting about your lives, but taking time to connect, asking them how they are, and staying updated on how they are doing will go far in the long run.

2. Feeling Devalued

Employees and managers are often ingrained with the idea that “everyone is replaceable.” However, a big part of feeling valued occurs when employees are aware that they add something to the company that no one else can. The simple act of acknowledging what each of your employees brings to the workplace is a simple way to increase productivity and longevity.

#3. High Expectations, Low Clarity

When you are looking for a particular outcome with a project, let your employees know the end goal. They are likelier to give you their best work when you communicate clearly.

#4. Self Importance

Recognition is not just for management; show your employees that they’re appreciated by you, clients, co-workers, and even executives. Managers who provide balanced rapport are able to have candid conversations, fix problems while they are still small, and have working relationships with employees.

Read: Employment Lawyer Warns: “Your Coworkers Are Not Your Family. Your Boss Is Not Your Friend.”

5. Not Feeling Valued

This may work for some employees, but acting in fear does not bring the same work ethic, commitment, and passion that wanting to do good work for your manager brings. To truly make employees feel valued, it’s okay to single them out and reward them for their accomplishments. Finding small ways to acknowledge and reward employees for hard work goes a long way.

6. The Cold Disconnected Boss

If all you ever had was cold, distant bosses, maybe you assume that’s how you should be as well. The rationale here is logical yet misguided. Hierarchy implies that some degree of fear or concern toward their manager will keep employees in line. No matter your position, building rapport with your team and peers really does make a difference.

7. Poorly Performing Coworkers

There is at least one in every workplace. Having realistic expectations for all employees creates connection and loyalty. Whether you are a manager or an employee, it can be challenging to work alongside someone who is consistently not doing their fair share. Hiring the right person for the job and the work atmosphere makes a huge impact.

8. Lack Of Acknowledgement

Be fair to all employees with bonuses and incentives. No matter what the rules are, employees talk. When a poorly performing employee is rewarded more than a hard-working employee, it creates animosity and turnover.

9. Lack Of Compassion

You wouldn’t necessarily talk to a stranger about your problems, and a standoffish manager that only asks for status updates might as well be one. Creating a level of trust to confidently ask questions, raise issues before their fires, or bring up non-work issues that affect their work goes a long way toward retention.

When you want your best employees to stay, consider how you treat them carefully. Longtime employees, who are an asset to your company, may be resilient but know that poor treatment of them will have them take their skills and work ethic elsewhere. Learn to work with them and have them eager to work for you and your company.

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