Employees prepared to jump ship over bad managers

More than half of employees would quit their job if they had a conflict with their manager, according to new research by specialist finance recruitment firm Robert Half.


A recent survey of 345 finance, accounting and HR professionals also found 40% of employees describe their manager’s management skills as average or below average.


There is also a perception gap between how managers rate their own skills and how employees rate their manager’s skills.


The report reveals 38% of managers say they consistently lead by example but only 20% of employees agree. Four in 10 managers say they consistently show their interest in staff problems, with only 23% of employees agreeing.


Thirty-three percent of managers believe they set realistic goals and 22% think they inspire their team. With regard to both of these perceptions, only 17% of employees agree.


Robert Half director Kevin Jarvis says one reason for the perception gap is the fact that facing up to professional flaws can be a “blow to the ego” for many managers.


“Taking steps to improve management skills is crucial to employee retention in the current market… If issues between staff and management are not resolved swiftly, many organisations could see staff leaving in the New Year,” Jarvis says.


The survey found 42% of employees would resign if they thought another company had a better management structure.


Jarvis says organisations need to employ better training in order to effectively identify and resolve issues, indentifying five key points businesses need to be aware of.


1. Build a strong, personal rapport with your staff. This will give you a head start in achieving the level of communication required to be a successful manager.

2. Set clear goals and communicate these to your staff on a weekly and monthly basis.

3. Recognise the importance of staff rewards and recognition such as free lunches and thank you notes.

4. Look for opportunities for people to develop such as promotions or external training.

5. Confront problems head-on when they arise and spend time discussing them. With regard to decision-making, stick to something and provide reasons.


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