DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
FIX FAULTS TO STOP STAFF FROM FLEEING
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2007
Most bosses want to be liked and few intentionally mean to cause valued staff to start heading for the door. Turnover is costly for any company and, even if employees stay, they’re unlikely to perform optimally when they hate working for you. Plus, their contempt can taint the workplace for others. So if your employees are running from you or – worse yet –taking new jobs to get away from you, it’s time to do something about this. Yes, it’s true that you have a right to your own personality, good or bad, but you’re there to do a job and you can’t alienate the company’s workforce. Be an effective leader and take the steps necessary to keep the best people on your team.
What’s the Problem?
Before you can do anything about your attitude or management style, you must understand how you’re coming across. Formal surveys and 360 evaluations are popular ways to determine how your employees and superiors view you and whether other organizational factors are at the root of the problem. But even without all that, take the time to ask for feedback yourself. Invite people to be candid. Some will. Many won’t. But you’re likely to walk away knowing more than before about why people are fleeing from you.
What’s the Solution?
You may not be able to make everyone happy but at least ask what they feel would improve the relationship with you, in particular, and with the job, in general. Are you micromanaging? Why do you feel you can’t let go? What does your employee need to do to increase your confidence in his or her ability?
Are you too critical? Why do employees fail to live up to your standards? When you discuss this with them, you may be surprised to learn that many aren’t really sure about your expectations. Having frank discussion about this sets clear direction for everybody.
Are you a tight-wad emotionally or financially? Your staff needs to receive positive reinforcement for the things they do well – especially if your style is to be critical. There must be some balance. Many bosses expect a great deal, but scrimp on office perks – causing employees to feel undervalued and unappreciated. Lighten up. Give praise liberally. Dole out a few goodies. Flexible scheduling may be a great reinforcer for some. Tangible rewards may work better for others. Recognition usually works well for all since most people enjoy being complimented, even if they’re hard-pressed to admit it openly. And don’t forget the little “nothings” that say a whole lot. Souvenirs from your vacation for staff. Treats for the department “for no particular reason”. And dig into your own pocket if you have to. It’s no secret that you earn more money than your employees and they often resent that you’re not more generous. Host something special when they’ve performed well. Nothing breeds success better than success, so take care to show your appreciation.
Fostering employee retention is an ongoing process. Don’t confine your contact to team meetings, retreats and special events. Everyday communications go a long way to helping staff understand you and your expectations better and help you understand them and what they need to feel good about working for you. Give your personal touch. Pick up the phone. Stop by. Make it your business to interact with employees on a regular basis so that the relationship grows.
Don’t be the boss that employees run from. Fix the faults that cause them to flee. Responsible leadership means making tough changes for the good of the workplace. These changes will be good for you personally and professionally, too.
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at https://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
Reprint Policy: You are welcome to reprint this article for your personal use and to share with friends and associates.
Contact Dr. Webster to obtain permission for any commercial purposes.