Are Leaders To Blame For High Employee Turnover

Are leaders to blame for high employee turnover? Unfortunately, this is often the case.

In this article we dive into the ways leaders and managers are responsible for high employee turnover. Then, we look at some tips for preventing it.

Employee turnover is a quiet, but insidious problem affecting many businesses today. It’s one of those often unspoken problems that can silently destroy a company.

The problem of employee turnover affects not only big corporations but small businesses as well. Let’s look at the cost of employee turnover.

The Cost of Employee Turnover

The costs to your business are staggering.

One study found that it costs about 16% of a person’s salary for a low-paying job to replace them. For a $10/per hour salary, it costs the business owner $3,328. For a mid-range worker, it costs 20% of that person’s salary.

This amounts to billions of dollars lost annually to the problem of employee turnover. Now let’s look at whether leaders are to blame for it.

Just Who’s Responsible?

One of the top reasons employees leave their current job is due to leadership issues.

An employee’s relationship with his supervisor is one of the most significant components to on-the-job happiness.

A bad boss can make even the most patient employees miserable. No one wants to stay in an uncomfortable work environment.

Humans crave structure, accountability and consistency. If your manager isn’t providing this, you’ve probably got a problem.

A good leader motivates and creates an atmosphere of creativity and teamwork. A good leader provides tools and resources to employees so they can better do their job.

When leadership fails to create an environment that encourages productivity and rewards success, you’ve got issues. An employee’s dedication to the company and its mission stems from leadership, and if this is missing, employees have no reason to stay.

Employees want leaders they can trust. It’s up to the leadership team to establish an arena of mutual respect. If they don’t, you can bet employees will look for a way out.
The leadership style of your management team is critical to your success. You can see how this trickles down to your employees. If leadership is bad, employees quit at high rates, and you shell out unnecessary monies to hire and train new people.

In essence, bad leaders are to blame not only for high employee turnover, but for the hit to your bottom line from having to hire and train additional employees.

It’s a vicious cycle, and if you’ve got leaders you suspect are to blame for high employee turnover, you can expect it to happen again and again.

What can business owners do? First, you can make sure your leaders are trained leaders. Not everyone is cut out to manage people.

Speak with management consultants, read books, send your leaders to training. The trick is to help your leaders hone their leadership skills while identifying areas of concern.

Work with them to fix the problems, and if your leaders are committed to building better relationships with employees, you’ll find your employee turnover lessen.


Types of Leaders That Cause Problems

Now that you know that yes, indeed, leaders can be to blame for high employee turnover, let’s look at the personality types that have the tendency to cause the most issues.

The commander can cause you problems because this person is overly stern and alienates employees. The commander often has unrealistic expectations, an intolerance of mistakes and a tendency to place blame instead of work towards solutions.

Your employees working for a commander-type are stressed out, on edge and often intimidated.

The avoider naturally avoids conflict and doesn’t spend much time managing. The avoider gives no direction and puts too much trust in employees. He has no employee management skills.

This person doesn’t know how to motivate or provide employees with resources. Employees working for an avoider are insecure because they have no guidance. They feel lost.

The angry manager is a huge cause of turnover. This leader has no control over his temper. Workers are fearful and insecure. They resent their boss. They “walk on eggshells” waiting for the next outburst. Most people won’t stick around to work for the angry manager.

The braggart is really an insecure leader. This person brags about all the great things he’s done, and employees don’t trust or respect him. The braggart has a tendency to take credit for the work his employees did.

To Conclude

What can you do to prevent high employee turnover and increase your employee retention rate? Here are a few tips:

  1. Conduct performance reviews of your leadership team on a regular basis.
  2. Make it easy for your employees to communicate with you regarding their bosses. Encourage feedback by creating an open atmosphere of communication.
  3. Make a benchmark of your current employee retention rate so you can notice when it rises.
  4. Don’t assume your employees are happy. Ask them.
  5. Provide good benefits.
  6. Conduct exit interviews to learn the things you may have missed.
  7. Don’t protect bad leaders. Either get them help and training or let them go.

Finally, the average turnover rate in the United States sits at roughly 16.4%.

If you are having this problem, know that poor leaders can cost your business time and money. Having to recruit and train new employees can destroy your profits and hurt your service.

Take a look at your leaders and their management styles. Thoroughly evaluate if they are the cause of your high employee turnover.

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