You’ve heard it time and time again: People don’t leave companies; they leave bad bosses.
And turnover is extremely expensive for companies. The cost of replacing just one employee can be astronomical, between recruiting, hiring and onboarding the person’s replacement. The more employees who leave, the bigger impact turnover has on your profitability and the bottom line.
To keep your best and brightest staffers around – and to recruit new talent – you need to make sure managers across the company are performing effectively. That means reviewing their management styles to see if they’re being the best bosses they can be, in the Finance department and otherwise.
It also means you should be on the lookout for behaviors that employees typically see in bad bosses to keep people from becoming disengaged, disconnected and jaded.
Top 10 traits of a bad boss
Bamboo HR surveyed over 1,000 employees to find out what they consider bad boss behavior. From that data, it came up with a list of the top 10 characteristics found in bad bosses.
Per the survey, a bad boss:
- Takes credit for someone else’s work
- Doesn’t trust or empower employees
- Doesn’t care if employees are overworked
- Doesn’t advocate for employees when it comes to their salaries
- Focuses more on employees’ weaknesses instead of their strengths
- Hires and/or promotes the wrong people
- Micromanages employees
- Refuses to support employees in disputes with clients or customers
- Doesn’t give people the proper direction on their roles, projects or assignments, and
- Doesn’t set clear expectations.
Almost half of those surveyed said that a bad boss was the primary reason they left a job, citing issues with the person’s:
- Management style (37%)
- Condescending attitude (30%)
- Bad temper (30%), and
- Lackluster interpersonal communication skills (26%).
In addition, 24% left a position because their boss openly harassed employees.
Prevent issues with communication, praise
While the most egregious of these behaviors are relatively easy to spot and avoid, some may inadvertently creep into your Finance department.
Few people are naturally good at being managers. In fact, Gallup estimates that only about 1 in 10 people inherently have the talent necessary to manage, according to its State of the American Manager report.
That means the rest of us must work hard to develop our leadership skills and manage people.
And especially with all the hard facts and data Finance has to keep track of, softer skills like communication and support may fall by the wayside. It can happen with other departments, too.
Being up front with staffers about their roles and responsibilities is critical for both new hires and seasoned employees. It’s not only important to make sure they clearly understand expectations, but it’s also essential to provide them with the tools they need to succeed, whether it’s updated software or additional personnel during crunch times like year-end.
Remember that communication is a two-way street. You also want your staff to freely discuss their challenges with their managers, as well as any suggestions they may have for improvement.
Also, managers should regularly take time to discuss the positive aspects of their job performance. Too often, praise is solely reserved for an employee’s annual performance review. Supervisors can be quick to criticize an employee, but they may not think to offer positive feedback in the moment.
So, if an employee is going the extra mile to help process invoices or make a holiday Payroll deadline, including staying after hours or taking on additional tasks, managers should let them know ASAP that their effort is noticed and appreciated.
Other strategies to be a better leader
Along with open communication that highlights the positives, here are five additional keys to being a boss who makes your people want to stay around, according to Gallup:
- Motivate and engage employees with your firm’s mission and vision. Engaged employees are more productive. They’re also likely to stay with your firm, especially if they support the company’s mission. If your people know how the work they do directly connects to the firm’s success, and they feel like valued members of the organization, it’s easier to retain them.
- Be assertive to help your people overcome obstacles to the company’s desired outcomes. The best bosses make sure employees have all the tools they need to do their jobs well. They advocate for their staff when necessary and do their best to give employees the resources necessary to work around roadblocks preventing them from success.
- Make personnel decisions based on employees’ productivity, not politics. When looking at salaries and workloads, for example, changes should be made based on each worker’s capability at his or her job, without any unrelated factors coming into play.
- Create a culture of accountability. Accountability goes both ways. Just as employees need to be accountable for their responsibilities and results, managers should be accountable to them, as well. If managers make promises to employees, they need to keep them. This can be as simple as following up on an email or finding out the answer to a question an employee has.
- Build professional relationships based on trust and openness. Being honest with your people goes a long way, even if the news isn’t necessarily what they want to hear. Employees are more likely to stick around if they can trust their bosses to be up front with them. Encouraging transparency and maintaining an open dialogue are vital to forging strong professional relationships with employees.