Recently, I got a call from a person that had heard me when I was working as an employee retention speaker. She said that they had a new manager who since coming on board has had people transfer out of their department, take early retirement or quit for another job. There is one person left out of the four the new manager inherited. All were long service employees. If that doesn’t raise a red flag, you are delusional. If you are a CEO, GM, plant manager or human resources manager and you start losing long term people, you need to be investigating immediately! Human resources or the top person should have started asking questions even after the first person transferred out.
If you want to have an environment where people feel safe from arbitrary treatment and are engaged, you need to watch for changes that are warning signs things are amiss. When a long-term person transfers, that is a warning sign. Where there is smoke, there may be fire. Keep an eye on the area and your ear to the ground. If you start to hear rumblings from the grapevine that the new manager is a micromanager or a tyrant, you need to start nosing around and seeing if there is an issue with the new manager before the whole department leaves for one reason or another.
If you have indications you have a micromanager or tyrant on your hands, you need to intervene. Like it or not, that’s your job. You need to start questioning the manager’s actions, make sure their rationale for changes is sound and keeping a watchful eye. It is better to be suspect than to sit back and let the manager run roughshod over long service people. Remember, if you sit back, the entire employee population is seeing what is going on and hears what the grapevine is saying. The entire employee population is just waiting to see what you are going to do. Failure to act sends a devastating message that leaders can do as they please and that nobody is watching out for the people. This destroys your credibility as senior leadership and particularly, the credibility of HR.
As an employee retention expert, this will cast the organization in a very negative light and put people in the frame of mind that 1) this could happen to them 2) nobody cares about them and will watch out for them and 3) the grass could be greener elsewhere because micromanagers and tyrants are allowed to rule and get away with it. When you see something going on, you need to ask questions, intervene early and take action to prevent your employee retention from spinning out of control.