Three Mistakes that Drive “Good” Employees Away

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As a staffing company in Tulsa, we often get some very raw and candid feedback from employees who either have quit their job or were terminated. Those that Quit usually have some level of complaint (whether valid or not) about management and offer some suggestions on how they would want things to have been differently. And those who were terminated fall into two categories. The first is the category of “you deserved it” category. I think most of you reading this will understand the thousands of different scenarios that could be inserted here. And the second category is those who just didn’t fit into the team. This can be for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason other than; It just wasn’t a good fit. Within this article, I have three reasons that are common complaints from “good” employees after the separation.
Negative environment: Many “good” employees who have quit their jobs often state this as their main reason for leaving. Not always, but this is sometimes caused by the manager of the department. The usual complaints are that the atmosphere was negative and that it wasn’t somewhere that they would like to see themselves long term. This can be created not by the manager, but by the way that other employees are allowed to behave. There are many times that the manager has not been successful in turning around the overall atmosphere. Many times it is described as: “No one was happy. You can see it when you walk into the building”. I have learned over the years that many “good” managers struggle losing employees for this reason.
Goals are set too high: Usually this is seen in a sales type of job. However, there are many companies that just push, push, push, to get the kind of business that they need. Many large corporate jobs are set up this way. Their culture is to meet high expectations. Many employees that have this complaint have mentioned that it is known throughout the company that management has set goals where no one has met them in the last few years. Most employees that state this concern when other employees discuss that they will never meet the goals set out for them. Employees usually resign at the point where they realize that their commission is not only out of reach for them, but also for 90% of their co-workers. It is great to push and get the most out of employees as long as they can see the reward in sight. Otherwise, it can drive them away.
Management does not accept blame: When expectations are not met, it is common to hear from employees that their hands were tied and they were trying to tell management but were not listened to. Employees are sometimes the best source of information for what creates bottlenecks or setbacks. And historically, it is difficult for managers to step outside of their stressful responsibilities to take time to speak with and intently listen to employees who know the problems and feel like they are not heard. Managers can lose some great employees for this reason.
If you have been in Human Resources or have managed many people over the years, you know that many unsatisfied employees have unjustified complaints. In fact, a majority of complaints are unjustified, but there are also great employees that will just refuse to work in an unhealthy environment. Given that it is the first of the year, it is always a great opportunity for managers to commit to being open minded to employees who just may have some great suggestions as to how to improve the workplace environment and productivity.