I have to admit that I don’t run into many of these type of leaders in recent years. Perhaps it is a sign that leaders are:

  • Not being promoted until they are prepared, no more Peter Principle?
  • Are learning from the younger generations that command and control only works in the military
  • Working for companies who will not support leaders who don’t support and care about their employees

Whatever the reason, I am glad to be experiencing this trend towards better more servant like leadership. Servant leaders think about others first.  They have courage and are willing to make difficult decisions that may have a negative impact on them. 

So, what are the things that managers do which make people run and not want to continue employment? Here are my 5 top actions and behaviors that will drive any employee right out the door and over to your competitor.

  1. Micromanage: Smart people become totally demotivated by being micromanaged. If you want to lose top talent, micromanage them.
  2. Uncontrollable emotions: Yelling and screaming excessively becomes an emotional drain to the people receiving the anger. Over time it will wear employees out and they will look for a more positive environment.
  3. Take All the Credit: There is nothing worse than accomplishing something and having someone else take the credit! Great talent won’t put up with this for long.
  4. Blame Others:  Mistakes are always someone else’s fault. Really? Leaders need to take ownership and have the backs of their employees. Employees who feel abandoned will search for another opportunity.
  5. Different Rules: If you demand employees to follow policies and procedures, you better be following them yourself.

If you have retention troubles, you may be guilty of one or more of the actions above. And the one skill you have, as a leader, to overcome these behaviors is first to get real with yourself. Be open to feedback and observations from others around you. Don’t get defensive when you hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Just thank people for their honesty. 

Or if you are not up for this individual feedback, take a 360 assessment where people can remain anonymous giving their feedback. A 360 assessment will provide you with the observations from your peers, direct reports, and superiors. Once you have the results, work to create a development plan to transform these bad behaviors that can be driving talent out of your organization. Development techniques such as coaching can be effective in changing behaviors.

And finally, you may not be guilty of the 5 behaviors listed above, but you may know someone who is.  As a leader, demonstrate that you care about the person and help them to see that continuing their behaviour is not a recipe for success.