Your initial response probably is, “So what…bosses quit all the time and go to other organizations.” Then she went on to explain to this employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer that her boss had been miserable for about 18 months but hung in there. The boss was under constant pressure to get more and more work done with less resources by the organization. He also worked for a boss that was verbally abusive and was constantly throwing him under the bus in front of senior leadership. If that was the case, why did he stick around as long as he did?
The answer was he felt a certain loyalty to the people that worked for him. He had brought in several of them in the past five years. The boss had been there about seven years. About two years ago, there had been some significant organizational changes and he ended up reporting to a different person….the abusive boss mentioned earlier. Frankly, he was getting beaten up every day but hung in there. My colleague said to the boss that was leaving, “I’m surprised you stayed as long as you did!” He then replied, “I just couldn’t bring myself to abandon my people.” Wow…this employee recruitment expert RARELY hears that. Most bosses would instead just jump ship and leave their people to fend for themselves.
In the opinion of this employee retention expert, this is real leadership. Standing by your people virtually never happens today. If you are a leader reading this, ask yourself, do you abandon your people on a daily basis? Are you doing things like throwing them under the bus, blaming them for mistakes instead of assuming accountability, micromanaging them, etc.? If as a leader you want loyalty, you have to give loyalty.
Leadership often expects people to be loyal to then and to the organization. They then complain when they aren’t. We act as if it is a one-way street. It’s not! So, in the future, you need to remember you have to give loyalty to get loyalty. Are you willing to step up and be a leader that just can’t abandon your people? If you are…your people will do anything for you…including remain with the organization.
Are you concerned with the level of employee turnover in your organization? If so, call me at 414-421-9626 to find out how my proprietary process can reduce employee turnover by 40-80%. If you are an HR Leader, General Manager or Owner and you call me, I will give you a complimentary copy of my employee retention audit!!!