Recently I had the….. ummm…. Pleasure? Disgust? I had the opportunity to hear a recording of a young professional be berated by her company’s co-founder and ultimately give her notice.
Yes, hearing this recording prompted this article. Yes, I firmly believe in constructive criticism and feedback. No, this was neither of those things.
This lady was relentless in placing blame. She was determined to make her points, not listen and refused to provide any kind of understanding.
The gal was calm. She was collected. She was nervous, of course. She knew going in she would be giving notice, but she hoped the conversation would be, well, better.
I won’t share or go into detail about what was said, but I will tell you that this company has a revolving door and if this conversation is any indication as to why, it’s no surprise.
As a Business Resiliency Coach, I would coach my clients to let go of what people say, to not allow anyone else to have the kind of power required to inflict self-doubt or alter their goals, ideas, or actions because of one person. After all, we are responsible for how we receive information….
Here’s the thing though…. YOU, as the employer, are responsible for providing integrity, support and empowerment at your place of business. For yourself, your clients and most importantly, your employees.
I learned SO MUCH from my father, both personally - he is my dad after all - and professionally. He built an amazing company. It had its roller-coaster of good, bad and ugly, as every company does, but at its peak it was THE place to work! I interviewed him last year and he shared something profound; he was the problem. He was caustic. He had to take responsibility for the failures, not the successes, and once he realized that HE, as the owner, was the cause of some of the issues, he made changes. He realized that employees WANT to work. They WANT to do a good job and if they are lacking in skills then it was HIS responsibility to provide the training. I paraphrased this a little, but the intent is the same: Provide an environment in which your employees can thrive and your company will thrive….
Most employers believe this would be limited to technical training, but let me assure you, employees need more than OSHA, ISO or Sexual Harassment training! Team building, adaptive mindsets and expectations audits would be beneficial as well.
I asked my online folks why they left jobs. I could have curated reasons from the internet, but we’re a regional website based in the ICR and I wanted to provide regionally relevant information (hint: it’s pretty much the same).
Here are a few reasons people shared with me - mostly private and anonymous, so if you think a comment resembles your company, my response is this: If the shoe fits….
Well paid and successful in my role, but the environment was toxic
Toxic co-workers who gas-lighted and sabotaged ‘competition’
Lost customer focus
One person’s response:
Maximizing bottom line and not seeking real solutions to systematic failures
Blatant disregard for employee health - “Maybe we don’t want employees who burn out”
Unwillingness to allocate resources to correct above issues
Lack of decency in interactions with staff - name calling, yelling and outright lying
Micro-managers not leaders.
Expectation to show up despite sickness
“My way or the highway’ thinking
Took credit for my work
Sexist & disrespectful
No room for growth & completely replaceable
Opportunity to learn, grow and expand not available
Wanting to get back to my HR roots
Not feeling fulfilled
I wish I could tell you that the employee-driven reasons had been more frequent, but sadly no, Of the 15 responses, two people gave those four answers….
The bottom line is, your bottom line will improve if you focus on employee satisfaction and create an environment where people have each others’ back rather than cover their own. Less turn over results in less recruiting costs and if your staff is happy, your customers are happy.
Provide the tools and training your people need.
Assume positive intent
Look in the mirror if you find yourself hiring frequently (replacements)
Support your staff and they will support you.
Humans are highly intelligent beings capable of learning many languages; so learn to speak your employees’ language.
Ask, How can I help you
It's not easy looking inward when we're a society of placing blame, but I can tell you that your company will do better and be better if you start doing just that.
In addition to being a Business Resiliency Coach and Co-Founder of the Corridor Connection Network, Rina Jensen is a Super Connector, Speaker, Change-maker & Small Business Advocate. By addressing the emotional and psychological side of business, Rina helps her clients achieve new levels of success, improve personal and professional relationships and facilitates mindset changes in her clients. She gives you the power to be who you are. To learn more about how she can help you or your organization reach new goals, send her a message at Rina@RinaJensen.com or visit her website
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