The Impact of Great Leadership on Employee Retention

We have all heard the popular saying “People leave managers, not companies… in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue.” According to Gallup’s State of the American Manager report, the number 1 reason that employees leave a job is due to a bad boss or immediate supervisor.

Bad managers are abundant and leave a lasting impression on employees.  In fact, if you had a terrible boss in your career, it is likely you will never forget them.  From the State of the American Manager report, “Having a bad manager is often a one-two punch: Employees feel miserable while at work, and that misery follows them home, compounding their stress and putting their well-being in peril.” The effects of bad management can reach farther than just engagement. Having a bad manager can negatively impact an employee’s performance as well as their mental health. Additionally, this can impact employee retention.

Just as a bad manager can ruin a good job, a great manager can make a good job even better. If you are a leader, it is critical to know what makes a good leader and how to keep your team motivated. This will help you avoid becoming a statistic, like those in the Gallup report. Additionally, this will help to create an environment where employees can thrive.

According to The Coffman Organization, there are several characteristics that are most important for a leader to possess. These are the employee engagement factors:

  • I know the outcomes for which I am accountable.
  • My leader really knows me.
  • My talents and abilities are fully utilized.
  • Successes are recognized by my leader and coworkers.
  • My leader does a good job of coaching me to build on my strengths.
  • Of all the leaders I have had, my current leader is the best.
  • Every day, I clearly see the value that I bring.
  • I am a member of one of the strongest teams in the organization.
  • In the past, I have grown professionally more than any other year.
  • The employee engagement factors can be summarized by saying employees want to know what is required, want to receive recognition when they do well and appreciate leadership who motivate them to do their very best.

How do you become a great leader and improve employee retention? As a leader, when you create an environment where expectations are clear, hard work is recognized and you motivate employees to accomplish their goals, this is setting the stage for being a great leader. People want to see the value they bring. They want to contribute, learn and grow. This is the key to great leadership, successful teams, and increased employee retention.

What is being done at your organization to increase employee engagement and improve employee retention? In our Leadership Training courses, employees have shared challenges that were not previously shared with their leadership team. We encourage you to start the conversation with employees. Allow them to share their concerns. By creating an environment where employees can not only survive but thrive, it can lead to achieving excellent results and improving employee retention.

Latisha Gaither

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