The management strategies in forcing employees to leave

Studies have shown that more than half of employees who leave an organisation do so because of their manager.

There are many reasons that this can happen, which we will tackle shortly, but the root cause can be divided into two very distinct categories. The first is incompetent, poor management and or people skills in addition to other reasons that shouldn’t be happening in a healthy working environment.

This could be either due to the fact that the manager has been promoted too quickly, they are in a role they are not suitable for, may not have received the right amount of training in order to be able to manage correctly, or due to ‘wasta’ (favouritism) which we will address in another article.

The other reason managers adopt such tactics is more disturbing. Certain managers will actively pursue a strategy that pushes employees out of the business. The reasons behind this could be that they see that individual as a threat, so in order to eliminate that threat, they remove the employee.

Another reason is that they want the position to be filled by one of their “own people and friends”.

This may be a relative, an ex-colleague, someone they have promised to promote or simply someone who they feel will support and help them achieve their own personal ambitions and agendas.

Plainly, both of these are bad news for the organisation, as in order to accomplish success, business needs to not only have the correct people in the right positions, but everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction.

In order to address the issue, you must first decide on why the managers are acting in the way that they are. If it is because of the first case, it can be dealt with by training. If it is the second case, it is more serious, and disciplinary action may well be needed.

Now we will look at the strategies and actions employed by managers that result in employees quitting, whatever the motivation behind those actions.

Overwork or no work

This is often the easiest trap to fall into. The better employees get given more and more work or no work, as they are seen as the best people to complete the task or alternatively to compete for the next position.

Unfortunately, this more often than not results in two outcomes.

Firstly, the standard of the work falls off, as they are asked to work more and more unrealistic hours or even no standards as the employee is not given any work.

The second outcome is that they become unmotivated, see that they are working harder than anyone else in the department for no extra reward and hence leave or again unmotivated due to “no work”.

Carrying out unethical business practices

If a manager is conducting his business in an unethical manner, and insists on his subordinate doing the same, even though it goes against their own moral codes, the end result is that the employee will leave.

Blocking promotions

If it becomes obvious that an employee will not be promoted, and constantly sees other less able people promoted above him or her, often as a result of that person’s relationship with the manager, that person is left with little choice but to leave and pursue their career elsewhere.

Failure to recognise good work

Whether it is done intentionally or not, not recognizing, commending and rewarding good work, is one of the most demotivating practices a manager can adopt. As well as forcing good employees out, it can breed a culture where it is seen as pointless to work hard, as there is no inherit benefit to that individual.

Not following up on promises

By promising a reward, promotion, recognition by the senior management, whatever it is, and then following through the action with that promise not only motivates the employee, making them likely to carry on with continued good work.

It also elevates the manager in the eyes of his or her team. The opposite is also true. However, by not delivering on promises and commitments, there is no longer any motivation to do the work asked for, and the end result is people will walk out of the door.

Not developing an employee’s skills

Employment should be a learning process. People develop both personally and professionally by learning new skills, and improving the ones they have. This is how they rise through the organisation, as well as developing feelings of self-worth.

By not allowing an employee to develop their skills, and learn new ones, skills that are essential for them to progress, the manager is committing them to a stagnating career, one where they see no other option but to leave and try somewhere else.

Not allowing employees to do what they do well

Good managers know where each individual employee’s strengths lay. They then utilize those strengths by giving them tasks that are aligned with them. By not doing this, they are not only failing to get the most out of their team, they are demotivating their employees to the extent that the more talented ones will leave in order to pursue work where their talents are fully utilised.

Whatever the methods used (and often it is a combination of all of these) and whatever the motivation behind them, it is essential that they are not only recognized but they are addressed and dealt with.

That way, you will ensure you have a happy, motivated workforce; a team of managers that are working for the organisation, and most importantly, a successful business.
Dear Managers,

Please be the reason for retaining your employees.


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