How to Lose Your Best Employee in 10 Days

Regardless of tenure or experience, even the best leaders can find themselves making the biggest blunders when it comes to managing people. Whether they feel they’re doing what’s best for their team or they are oblivious to certain issues, sometimes leaders don’t realize their time and energy spent on fixing problems may actually be causing the problems.

In the 2003 comedy, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Kate Hudson’s character is fed up by all the actions women do that push their counterparts away and decides to go undercover to write a story about it for her magazine. By doing all of the annoyingly clingy things to Ben Barry, played by Matthew McConaughey, she exposes the problems that are easily avoidable in relationships. So we at Refresh Leadership thought it would be fun to do our own undercover exposé to reveal what management does that causes their best employees to walk out the door. To ensure your star employees will have one foot out the door, here are five ways to lose your best employees in 10 days.

Don’t listen to your employees.

One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is not listening to their employees’ ideas and advice. Though they may not be in management, they are the ones who are coming up with ways to handle problems and issues daily. They probably have first-hand knowledge and experience with a crisis you’re working on. Listen to them. It may just save you time and energy.

Don’t stand up for your employees.

Unless you’re the CEO of a company, you are the mediator between your employees and upper management. Your employees need to know you have their best interests at heart – and more importantly, their back. Nothing crushes the spirit of employees like their direct supervisor not standing up for them. Fight for your employees and they will fight for you.

Don’t hold yourself to the same standard as your employees.

The easiest way for managers to lose the respect of their staff is to live by the “do as I say, not as I do” mantra. If you expect your employees to be on time, then you need to be on time. If you expect your team to dress professionally, then you need to dress professionally. The best leaders are the ones who lead by example.

Don’t offer growth or development opportunities.

One of the tale-tell signs of a potential high-performing employee is the desire to focus on career advancement. More than likely, disengaged workers are less worried about moving up the ladder with their current employer. If you don’t offer your top talent growth or development opportunities within your company, then they will find an employer who will.

Don’t give your employees the autonomy to complete tasks.

Regardless of tenure, education, or title, you hired each employee for a reason. Micromanaging and insisting your team run every small task by you isn’t a good use of your time, nor does it build employee confidence and morale. Focusing on delegating projects and giving your employees the autonomy to manage them will go a long way in establishing an environment of self-motivation and trust.

In this economy, workers don’t need extra reasons to look elsewhere for employment – so don’t give them any. With two-thirds of currently employed workers being open to outside opportunities, it is imperative to focus on retention and engagement in the workplace. In his book Monday Morning Leadership, author David Cottrell put it this way: “People normally quit because their manager is not meeting their needs. People quit people before they quit companies.” Can you afford to lose your top talent? Keep doing these five leadership mistakes, and you could lose your best employee in 10 days.

What bad habits did we leave out of the list? How have you fixed retention issues? Let us know in the comments section below!

Refresh Leadership is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.


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