• Elizabeth Skidmore

Rethinking Employee Retention: Focusing on What Matters

As a consultant and trainer, I am often asked about effective strategies for improving employee retention. There is no question that retaining great employees can be a complicated and challenging issue for many organizations, yet I am always surprised when leaders fail to identify the significant impact effective supervisors have on employee retention. In fact, multiple studies indicate that between 60 and 70% of employees cite “poor supervision” as a primary reason for leaving their jobs.

Think about it. How many of you have left a job because you “fired your boss?” Supervisors have an important role in the performance, job satisfaction and motivation of staff. Too often however, we fail to provide supervisors with the tools, knowledge, and capabilities needed to be effective supervisors, hoping that they will “figure it out” once they are on the job. This approach of benign neglect is frustrating for both the supervisor and their employees.

Ensuring that supervisors have the skills they need to be effective should be a priority in every organization that cares about employee retention and performance. Successful supervisory capacity development requires training, time, mentoring, and coaching and are necessary investments every organization must make to increase employee retention.

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