What is the number 1 reason for employees to quit? According to a study by the Robert Half firm, staffing specialist, it’s the boss’s fault!
The study, published in September 2016 and entitled “It’s Time We all Work Happy – The Secrets of the Happiest Companies and Employees”, focuses on all the factors that influence happiness at work.
The firm assessed 12,000 workers in the United States and Canada, considering people from all age groups, experience levels and industries. The results have identified six key factors which influence the level of happiness and job satisfaction.
All the fingers point in the same direction
Firstly, a happy employee feels he is in his place, that is, in a job that suits him, in a company that suits him. Secondly, the employee’s sense of empowerment is important. Thirdly, a happy employee feels appreciated. In addition, his work is interesting and meaningful. He has the sense of being treated fairly and, finally, he has positive relationships with his colleagues.
These factors are all directly related to the responsibilities of executives and managers. Indeed, it is they who hire employees and explain their role to them, who create that conditions in which employees can exercise a certain control over their work and feel empowered, who give them signs of appreciation, who set fair rules and can promote a healthy workplace where employees get along. Organizations where the bosses fail to create these winning conditions are more likely to have employees who leave because they are unhappy at work.
The art of leading by example
The Robert Half study includes guidance appropriate for realizing each of these six factors. For an employee to feel in their place, it is first necessary to take care to recruit people whose profile seems to suit the organizational culture and to clearly explain expectations to them. A smart boss will also know how to offer adequate support to employees so they feel that the organization is backing them, but that they have a certain autonomy and control over their work. In this respect, it is important to avoid micromanaging. With regards to appreciation, the boss must learn the art of making positive comments that are accurate and measured. Comments that are too vague or too frequent will not have the desired effect.
As for having a stimulating and meaningful job, naturally all jobs are not created equal! However, the employee may give more meaning to his work, even the most mundane, if he is made to understand that this work is essential to the organization’s success by explaining why. With regards to fairness and equity, the manager’s role is clear, since they are the ones who determine most working conditions and how they treat each person. Transparency is important in this context, so that each employee knows what he can do to improve his conditions. Finally, a good boss gives an example of positive workplace relationships by himself having a good attitude and positive relations with his employees.