Quitting Your Boss
Multiple studies have pointed out the irrefutable link between employee retention and effective supervision. Think about it. Have you left a job because you essentially fired your boss? I learned this the hard way when one of my programs had turnover of more than 50%. The HR specialist who conducted our employee exit interviews said the problem was low pay and poor benefits, but I suspected something more.
I decided to personally conduct a second round of interviews of 10 randomly selected employees who had left the program in the previous 18 months. I told each former employee how concerned I was about the turnover and asked for their help figuring it out. My interviews focused on open-ended questions regarding their experiences with the organization, the work, and the people they worked with. I got an earful!!
Although I avoided any questions about specific individuals, all 10 of my former employees expressed concern about the skills, knowledge, lack of support/availability and poor communication of their program supervisor. Sadly, most told me they “loved their job” but could not work for this individual.
Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon. New data from DDI’d Frontline Leader Project reveal that almost 60% of employees leave their jobs because of their boss. This statistic underscores the critical importance of ensuring that our supervisors are trained, mentored, and supported so they can effectively engage, teach, and encourage our staff.
Organizations that are committed to retaining staff should have a plan for assessing supervisor competencies, developing training, and providing regular and consistent supervision and coaching sessions. Hoping and praying that supervisors will eventually “figure it out” can lead to significant frustration for them and their employees and may ultimately contribute to their decision to remain employed or leave.