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Do They Run for the Exit?

I read an article on LinkedIn this week about things a manager could do (probably does do) that causes top talent to leave.

While the article talks about neuroscience, it echoes basic motivational theory I talk about in management training programs. Whether we are talking about stress chemicals released due to integrative neuroscience, the flight-or-fight stimulus, or threat vs. reward, the bottom line appears to be that based on the manager’s behavior, you can predict with a high degree of certainty if their employee is going to stay or exit.

So if you (or your manager) –

  • Challenge an employee’s status by ignoring them, undermining their decisions, or making fun of their ideas, they’ll leave.
  • Create uncertainty by being inconsistent, unpredictable, changing the goals frequently or limiting communication, they’ll leave.
  • Take away autonomy by controlling all decisions, micromanaging them and demanding accountability without allowing ownership, they’ll leave.
  • Limit social interactions, create a work environment that is filled with conflict and ban social media use, they’ll leave.
  • Show favoritism and hold double standards, they’ll leave.

In fact, you won’t just lose top talent. You’ll lose most of your employees. Even if they don’t leave – they’ll have checked out.

Of course, you CAN avoid having employees head for the door! Just do the exact opposite:

  • Be respectful by paying attention and supporting their decisions;
  • Instill confidence by being consistent, predictable, sticking to the goals set and encouraging frequent communication;
  • Support independence by delegating decisions and creating ownership;
  • Encourage social interaction by resolving conflict and using social media to accomplish goals; and
  • Demonstrate fairness and, impartiality and non-discriminatory behavior.

Interested in learning more about what those behaviors might look like when YOU work that way? Contact me – I’ve got some ideas.




This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 at 11:06 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.