Why Your Employees Are Leaving You (And How You Can Make Them Want To Stay)

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shutterstock_160228940You are facing high turnover in your team, and you’re unsure what’s driving it. You don’t think that your management style is ‘bad’, yet your employee ‘churn’ rate is becoming a real problem.

Here are 5 mistakes many managers make that cause their staff to head for the door.

It’s time to accept that your management style might need an overhaul.



Playing favourites.

This is a really easy mistake to make, particularly at the outset of your career when you’re feeling a uncertain and therefore naturally favour those who are making your life easier. That being said, favouritism in teams can become toxic to team engagement and loyalty. It makes the less favoured people feel that they don’t have a chance of being noticed, so they stop trying- causing a dangerous cycle to start; they start seeing favouritism in every decision you make.

Suggestion: If you have employees that you know you’ve been shining less light on, make an effort to praise and reward them. They may not be your star performers, but by ignoring them, you are ignoring their potential.


You don’t give a good mix of motivational and developmental feedback.

If you don’t get this balance right, your team doesn’t know where it’s going wrong, or feel like they’re always being criticised.

Suggestion: It’s really important to give regular feedback. We’ve recently written a whole blog on this topic with some advice on how to deliver both types of feedback in a positive and constructive way.


You’re overworking them.

shutterstock_310940801Yes, you love your job. Unfortunately, you can’t make other people share your passion, particularly if you are the workaholic type that doesn’t see anything wrong with leaving the office at 9pm. That’s a foreign concept to most people, so don’t force it.

Suggestion: Research shows that productivity actually drops when people work long hours, so make the most of the engaged, productive hours your employees willingly offer to you. Start by thanking everyone for their hard work and telling them that you’re going to ease off the long hours in future in return for a solid day of work.


Inconsistent behaviour or decision-making.

One day you’re in a great mood and praising everyone in sight, the next you’re criticising people at their desks in full hearing of the other team members. One day you love creative ideas, the next you want everyone to follow traditional formulas. It becomes impossible for your team to keep track of what their success looks like in your eyes. They want to please you and do great things, and you are making it hard for them to know how.

Suggestion: Get in control of your emotions. Notice your triggers and create an action plan for a more balanced approach. Make it clear when you are keen to hear different types of ideas, and above all- communicate your vision and goals in a consistent way.


You still think you’re the star.

This is a surprisingly common behaviour of many newer managers.  You were obviously great at your last role- that’s why you got promoted to manager. The thing is that your role is now to bring out the best in other people, and let them take the glory.

Suggestion: You need to let others show their potential, so don’t micromanage or be tempted to think that your way of doing things is the only way. Give them as much help as they need to shine.


You don’t know enough about your employees

shutterstock_107715221Employee disengagement can come from many sources, including a lack of career progression or challenge. Many managers don’t know what their employees value, so are at a loss on how to make them happy and engaged at work.

Suggestion: Sit down with each employee and find out what is important to them. What kinds of career challenges would they like, what kind of training, and what can you do to help?  Any efforts you make to make them enjoy their job will be appreciated. You could ask for some feedback while you’re at it.



At Excel Communications we have delivered Leadership and Management training over 30 years on most continents in multiple languages. You can view the results we get for clients here. Alternatively call us on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.