Poor Managers Force Good Employees to Leave

Poor Managers Force Good Employees to Leave

It is believed that younger generations such as the Millennials and Generation Z’s (Gen Z’s) quit their jobs more often compared to past generations, and so are seen as ‘disloyal’ to organisations. However, this is not true. According to statistical data, today’s employees stay longer at a company than older generations with an average employee tenure of 5.1 years. Millennials and Gen Z's care about themselves and their emotional and mental wellbeing which is why they can be 'job hoppers' before really settling somewhere where they find optimum satisfaction.


As an employer, you need to look into the reasons behind good employees quitting their jobs. It is possible that in your organisation, employees feel they are not getting the growth and development they need. Managers tend to think that employees quit because of salaries issues or because they failed to fit into the organisational culture. However, employees believe that the root cause of job dissatisfaction is having a bad manager, with up to 75% of them considering their direct managers as the worst part of their job. This article will help you to open your eyes as an employer, to what makes employees quit their jobs. It will also provide some possible solutions to help you retain your employees.


Lack of trust and autonomy (micromanaging)

Managers who do not trust their employees tend to micromanage them. They question every decision made by the employee and demand that employees seek approval before proceeding with anything and everything. This may be happening in your organisation, thus creating and restrictive environment which increases stress and anxiety of employees and they fail to produce their best work.




According to Ashley Cox, founder of Sprout HR, high performing employees thrive in where there is a high level of trust and autonomy. Hire transformational leaders for your company or be a transformational leader yourself. This will encourage trust and guidance in your team and provide a sense of independence and empowerment to your employees. However, be careful not to push your employees away so much that they feel like they cannot consult with you about other decisions where they are a bit uncertain.


Lack of recognition and appreciation

Lack of appreciation can come in different ways, such as not receiving any positive feedback, valid complaints that are ignored, being underpaid and change suggestions that are disregarded. When leaders exhibit a lack of appreciation, your employees can start to feel like they work in a toxic environment. Also, not recognising your employees’ talents soon enough may lead to you losing employees who could have made a very big difference to your organisation. Your employees may start to feel demotivated and unappreciated when their efforts go unnoticed.



The co-founder and Vice President of Zety, Piotr Sosnowski, says that talent management is about identifying and supporting the development of the most talented employees to implement the company's plans. When dealing with a skilled employee, motivate him/her to work hard and put in a lot of effort to become a better version of their skilled self and engage in the development of your company. Allow your employees to grow and develop personally and professionally. Make them feel valued and commend them for a job well done.  


No respect

When employees do not receive the respect, they know they have earned, you will have difficulty trying to motivate them to stay. When you mistreat your employees, you are disrespecting them. Employees may leave jobs because they were not paid enough, which suggests that the company failed to respect their capabilities well enough to compensate them adequately. At times leaders belittle good employees and make them appear as though they are unable to do their job well. This makes the employees feel like they are not respected and pushes them to leave because their direct managers treat them as though they are not good enough.



Respect your employees. Recognise their hard work and reward them accordingly. Treat your employees the way they deserve to be treated and they will have more reason to stay. Millennials and Gen Z's care for themselves such that when they feel disrespected in their workplace they are more likely to voice their opinions. However, when their opinions are not heard they look for new employers who will treat them well. Be careful how you treat your employees and show them respect.


Friendship and favouritism

Many managers avoid befriending or being friendly with their direct subordinates because it makes it difficult for them to discipline their employees, or they feel that that is not what their employees want. This becomes a problem because managers become distant with their teams. It creates a sense of fear which does not bring a good work ethic and a false idea of professionalism. Managers may also be afraid of appearing as though they favour certain employees over others. Employees who see favouritism within their clusters or feel uncomfortable to approach their managers may be compelled to leave.



Managers need to build an affinity with their team members. It does not matter what position you are in the organisation, building a rapport is of great importance. It is possible to do so without becoming best friends with your subordinates or favouring others. It takes a certain level of confidence and trust for employees to report to their managers about the challenges they may be facing with work. Creating a comfortable environment for your employees to approach will encourage them to stay with you and the organisation.


Feeling underutilised

According to Jacob Dayan, CEO and Co-Founder of Community Tax, most good employees leave the organisation because they feel they are not being challenged enough with work. When employees do not feel challenged by their work, they may consider leaving. Some managers do not give other employees challenging work because they believe their reports are not capable of. This leads to employees feeling demotivated and underutilised.



To keep your employees’ capabilities from deteriorating give them some challenging tasks. This will help them evolve into the best version of themselves. Allow them to develop their skills by giving them tasks that are a little out of their comfort zone so that they may feel like they are taking on something new and stimulating to the brain.


You need to learn what motivates your team members. Many high-performing employees leave their jobs due to issues with their direct managers. This may be due to the lack of resources provided by their managers, lack of respect or lack of trust and autonomy. By learning what motivates each of your team members you can adjust your management style to suit each person to help them stay engaged. As the owner of an organisation you are a leader and your managers and directors are leaders as well. Ensure that you provide opportunities and platforms, such as workshops, to develop your managers' leadership skills. This will result in a big difference within your organisation, in terms of how your managers treat employees and how they relate to one another. Manage your people fairly and remain professional. This will reduce your employee turnover especially amongst the Millennials and Gen Z’s.


Sifiso Dingani is a Talent Management Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone +263 4 481946-48/ 481950/ 2900276/ 2900966 or cell number +26377 551 7211 or email sifiso@ipcconsultants.com or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com      


Sifiso Dingani
This article was written by Sifiso a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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