People don't leave companies, they leave bad bosses. If you're in a leadership position and people around you are muttering behind your back, you have a problem. If they are grumbling, complaining and throwing laptops out the window before they walk out without saying goodbye, you are the problem. So what kills a good manager or leader who has otherwise excellent skills?
1. Not knowing your team
You cannot be a great leader if you do not know about your employees. And the most important bit comes with knowing who they are and what they do.
Market Basket is supermarket chain in Massachusetts. When the board ousted the president Arthur Demoulas, 7,000 people showed up to protest. He eventually bought back the company. You know why people love him? He ensures better better-than-average pay and benefits as well as profit-sharing. But more than that, workers say he remembers their names and asks about their families. He has more than 25,000 employees.
2. Being deaf
Did you give them your time and attention when they needed help or guidance even if you were really busy?
Shonda Rhimes is founder of Shondaland and head of the production company for Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. She prides on being accessible to anyone on her staff. And being accessible means listening and giving the team opportunities. She offers first-time writers opportunities they would not get elsewhere in this competitive market.
3. Being the scary HR executioner
Early on I had to work with someone who called together the team when things went wrong and would analyse where we failed. But we were never told of what we did well or even how to improve. It was like an unexpected funeral setting that left us wondering who died and if it was contagious. People rarely stayed with him for long.
At the same time I had to report to another head who would also call upon us when things went wrong. But then he would discuss how to rectify. And he would work with us till we got it right. We did not want to repeat the mistake – not because we were afraid to fail, but because we wanted to impress our boss.
Employees, especially the dedicated and smart ones, do not often leave because of salary, as commonly expected, but because of leadership issues in the organisation.
The writer is Editor of the career, tech and automobile publications of The Daily Star. He is also an entrepreneur of a baby clothing business and previously worked in advertising as a Senior Copywriter.