There have been many articles written about why good employees leave the workplace and while there can be numerous contributing factors surrounding the resignation of a well engaged employee, bad bosses are at the top of the list of reasons why. We’re now learning, however, that employees leave both good and bad bosses at near comparable rates. Few things are as costly and disruptive as good people walking out the door and though the relationship between manager and employee is critical, it doesn’t necessarily help reduce employee turnover.
Supportive mangers actually empower employees to take on more challenging work with greater responsibility, ultimately setting up employees to be strong external job candidates. If they’re not happy with compensation or growth opportunities many employees will quit and look for those things elsewhere.
Good leadership is an important tool for building goodwill with employees, in turn becoming sources of valuable information, recommendations, and business opportunities later on. There is an important caveat though – research shows that good leadership only generated alumni goodwill for those employees who experienced good retention efforts when they resigned. Such retention efforts are critical for preserving the kind of goodwill you want to keep with employees, even after their departure. This means that a change in the mindset of managers who might otherwise be good leaders but respond negatively when talented employees choose to continue their careers elsewhere.
If you want your best people to stay, you need to think carefully not just about how you develop them but about how you keep them wanting to stay – cultivating happiness and good will through recognition, promotions, pay increases, etc.