Your Bad Leaders Are Driving Away Good Employees

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | Employee Retention | Management and LeadershipThese days, it’s hard to keep a good employee in your ranks. Messages across the web tell young workers that the only way to get ahead is to hop positions frequently, even as much as once per year. In the modern job market, frequent relocations seems to be how employees get the titles, responsibilities and perks they crave.

So, employees are already poised to leave — and they will flee your offices even faster if your leadership isn’t up to snuff. Here are a few ways bad leaders negatively impact your employee retention and what you can do to stop it.

Poor Communication

Good communication is the number-one requirement for a leader. After all, it’s impossible to lead if you don’t know how to use words to direct your workforce. Still, many poor communicators make it to leadership positions, and from there, they wreak all sorts of havoc. Poor communication can take many forms:

  • Over-inflated — using too much jargon, too many big words or overly convoluted sentence structure
  • Non-specific — failing to provide clear instructions or guidelines for a project or situation
  • Abrasive — communicating with aggressive language and/or with anger
  • Selfish — communicating only to seek personal benefits, ignoring others’ needs or desires
  • Wrong method — employing an inappropriate means of communication

Fortunately, communication is a skill like any other, which means it is possible to retrain these leaders to improve their performance. It might be wise to encourage leaders to develop their communication through advanced education, like an MBA program, or else through mentorship or coaching.

Criticism

There is a fine line between healthy feedback and destructive criticism — and many leaders stray to the wrong side too often. Leaders are meant to coach, helping employees improve their skills and thus develop their careers. Bad leaders will nit-pick, taking every chance to degrade employees and make them feel ineffective and worthless.

Many employees become so downtrodden by the constant criticism that they do not report the bad behavior to HR or higher bosses, which means it is often difficult to identify overly critical leaders. If you receive any reports of an unsympathetic, judgmental leader, you should take them seriously and take steps to effect change.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to retrain leaders who develop this habit. Often, it is a clear and simple sign that someone is poorly suited to leadership and should be removed to a different role. However, you might also need to undo the damage of these leaders by being overly appreciative of employee contributions, perhaps even handing out employee awards to raise general self-esteem.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | Employee Retention | Your Bad Leaders Are Driving Away Good Employees | Office Politics | Business PoliticsOffice Politics

Office politics is an unavoidable power and social networking system that develops in any organization, big or small. The manipulation of office politics by some employees is inevitable — but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for leaders to take advantage of the political atmosphere of an office. An overly political office often breeds fear amongst the workforce; fear causes employees to resent their employer, which drives up staff turnover.

Leaders might try to leverage office politics to encourage employees to work harder — but there is a delicate balance between positive and negative outcomes from political maneuvering. Plus, office politics always comes with ethical concerns, which certainly won’t boost your brand perception. It’s much safer to discourage leaders from inciting a political atmosphere in your workplace.

Dirty Laundry

Work only amounts to so much of a person’s life, and while it’s fine (even encouraged!) to share a bit of your home life with your coworkers, no one should be divulging unseemly personal drama in the workplace. Dirty laundry, much like office politics, breeds discomfort amongst your workforce; a proliferation of dirty laundry encourages people to spread rumors, with can reduce interpersonal trust and send employees looking for less threatening work.

Leaders need to find a balance between humanizing themselves with personal details and airing dirty laundry. Human resources can help train leaders who struggle to set boundaries. It’s also wise to build a workplace culture that allows for personal bonds between workers, so information about anyone’s personal life doesn’t seem quite so salacious.

Fear, discomfort, distrust — these are things that bad leaders can breed amongst your workforce, virtually guaranteeing that no good employee stays for longer than a few months. Your business can’t grow unless your workforce is stable and capable, which means you might need to take steps to change your leadership, stat.

Business Politics Impacts – Cost of Employee Productivity Loss

StrategyDriven Business Politics Impacts Article | Business Politics Impacts – Cost of Employee Productivity LossUnseen millions are lost by companies every year; the result of employees withholding the full commitment of their physical, intellectual, and emotional contributions. Surveys conducted by the Gallup Organization identified an 18 percent difference in productivity between the best and worst performing companies.1 Yet, as we shall explain, even the best performing companies have room for improvement.


Hi there! Gain access to this article with a StrategyDriven Insights Library – Total Access subscription or buy access to the article itself.

Subscribe to the StrategyDriven Insights Library

Sign-up now for your StrategyDriven Insights Library – Total Access subscription for as low as $15 / month (paid annually).

Not sure? Click here to learn more.

Buy the Article

Don’t need a subscription? Buy access to Business Politics Impacts – Cost of Employee Productivity Loss and gain access to it and the accompanying tool for just $2!

Business Politics Impacts – Cost of Litigation, Fines, and Payouts

StrategyDriven Business Politics Impacts Article | Business Politics Impacts - Cost of Litigation, Fines, and PayoutsHarassment litigation represents a catastrophic leadership failure. In these instances, exhibited aberrant behavior may be non-compliant with applicable laws. Such occurrences represent large one-time costs associated with court mandated payouts as well as reduced productivity, heightened distraction, and elevated attrition.

Litigation events are acute occurrences unlike the more typically chronic workplace conditions resulting in diminished productivity, increased distraction, and elevated attrition. Consequently, all organizations can be subject to this type of litigation – it only takes one ill-fated event.


Hi there! Gain access to this article with a StrategyDriven Insights Library – Total Access subscription or buy access to the article itself.

Subscribe to the StrategyDriven Insights Library

Sign-up now for your StrategyDriven Insights Library – Total Access subscription for as low as $15 / month (paid annually).

Not sure? Click here to learn more.

Buy the Article

Don’t need a subscription? Buy access to Business Politics Impacts – Cost of Litigation, Fines, and Payouts for just $2!

Business Politics Impacts – Cost of Employee Distraction

StrategyDriven Business Impacts Article | Employee DistractionAll workplace environments have distractions diverting employees’ attention and diminishing productivity. Some of these distractions are simply a part of the human condition, our physical, intellectual, and social needs for diversionary activity. Others, however, are induced by workplace structures, policies, and employees (executives, managers, supervisors, and individual contributors) including through the abusive exercise of business politics.

Business politics vary in their impact on employee productivity. The exercise of power in a coercive or intentionally disrespectful and demeaning way creates a hostile work environment driving employees to spend significant non-productive time worrying about and avoiding these situations and people.


Hi there! Gain access to this article with a StrategyDriven Insights Library – Total Access subscription or buy access to the article itself.

Subscribe to the StrategyDriven Insights Library

Sign-up now for your StrategyDriven Insights Library – Total Access subscription for as low as $15 / month (paid annually).

Not sure? Click here to learn more.

Buy the Article

Don’t need a subscription? Buy access to Business Politics Impacts – Cost of Employee Distraction and gain access to it and the accompanying tool for just $2!

Business Politics Impacts – Cost of Employee Attrition

StrategyDriven Business Politics Impacts Article | Employee AttritionThe staggering cost of employee turnover goes largely unrecognized. There is no financial statement line item, no general ledger entry, and no budget explicitly set aside for this expense that can cost evenly modestly sized companies well over a million dollars each year. Yet a significant portion of voluntary attrition is directly related to an abusive work environment created, in part, by excessive business politics. Thus, reduced workplace politics can directly improve the organization’s bottom line.

A company of 250 employees making an average of $43,000 per year experiencing a 20 percent attrition rate spends an estimated $2.15M on employee replacements annually.

Cost of Employee Attrition

The American Management Association estimates the cost of employee turnover as ranging from between 25 percent (for entry level employees) and 250 percent (for executive level employees) of the employees annual salary.1 These costs are derived from a multitude of sources including:


Hi there! Gain access to this article with a StrategyDriven Insights Library – Total Access subscription or buy access to the article itself.

Subscribe to the StrategyDriven Insights Library

Sign-up now for your StrategyDriven Insights Library – Total Access subscription for as low as $15 / month (paid annually).

Not sure? Click here to learn more.

Buy the Article

Don’t need a subscription? Buy access to Business Politics Impacts – Cost of Employee Attrition and gain access to it and the accompanying tool for just $2!