When You're The Cause of Employee Turnover

BY Kathy Crosett
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Have you noticed more employees headed for the exits recently? It’s easy to justify departures by blaming the booming economy. After all, this could be an employee’s chance snag that dream job. But, there could be a more ominous reason for turnover at your company.

It’s never easy to accept that you or one of your managers could be the cause of departures. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s going on in many cases. We all know that employees often leave a position because of their relationship with their immediate supervisor. New research shows that when the supervisor has issues managing their temperament, employees grow uncomfortable. Specifically, VitalSmarts research indicates that up to 33% of managers lose their cool when the pressure increases. That needs to stop.

As a manager, your job is to lead the team and stay professional. You don’t have the luxury of screaming at people when they come into your office to tell you the latest build of the software blew up. You also don’t get to hide in your office and sulk when you learn that the competition won the big account your team has been courting for over a year.

Reality Check

As you read this post, you might be deciding that you handle stressful situations just fine. Really? The experts caution you to never assume. It will pay off if you check in with your supervisors or peers about their impressions of your reactions under stress. They may point out personal issues you’re blind to.

Get A Grip

The next time you feel stress building, remember the advice from David Maxfield, vice president of research at VitalSmarts. His talking points were summarized by Gwen Moran at Fast Company. Start by sharing your positive intent with your team. Explain that while everyone may be feeling pressure, the more important detail is that you’re going to work together to solve the problem. This strategy is all about creating a safe work environment. That way, your team members will want to work with you instead of deciding it's time to look for a new job.

Keep a lid on your emotions. Stay cool, calm and collected. Instead of allowing yourself to panic over a looming deadline, start writing each task that needs to be completed. Focus on the facts as you see them. When you call a team meeting, ask each attendee to share the facts as they see them. This methodical process removes emotions and the associated blood pressure spike.

It’s fine to acknowledge you're stressed. But to lead your team effectively, model the kind of behavior you’d like to see from them. That means staying calm and focusing on the problem.