75 % of people say the worst thing about their job is their boss.  That is a stinging indictment of management today.  I tell this to my audiences all the time as an employee retention speaker.  I have always contended that most people do not retire because they want to.  They retire because they get tired of all the “nonsense” they have to go through at work.  Most of that is usually a result of how their boss treats them.  THE most important person in retaining your best people is their boss.  I don’t see the term “boss” as a negative as long as the “boss” treats people well and leads in a way that brings out the best in their people.  You can have a “great boss” or you can have a “lousy boss.”  The terminology is not important, the actions are!

The boss is EVERYTHING in retention.  A company that has great leadership will have great retention, happy, satisfied, and engaged employees.  And, let’s face it; the vast majority of bosses are not Directors, VP’s and Presidents.  They are supervisors, team leaders, department managers, Plant Managers etc.  The power and success of an organization is driven by these people more than anyone….even if the VP’s and Presidents think it’s them.  Marcus Buckingham found this to be the case in the studies they conducted in his book “First Break all the Rules.”  High performing organizations were a function of the managers….not the senior executives.

I have found as an employee retention expert that if you are running into employee retention problems, the first place to look is at your team leaders, supervisors and managers to see what is going on.  Don’t get me wrong, senior leadership can screw up an organization as well, but the real power in employee retention starts in the middle.  If you want to build your employee retention strategies, look at the middle first!