New research out of Harvard Business School shows the rate at which employees leave bad bosses vs. good bosses. It may surprise you!

By Jacquelyn Kung

The old adage says that employees don’t leave companies, they leave bad bosses.

While true, new research out of Harvard Business School shows that employees leave bad bosses and good bosses at . . .

THE . . . VERY . . . SAME . . .  RATE!

The implications are many. Here are two big and small questions to ask yourself:

1. How does our company strategy cultivate workforce growth?

It could be that employees leave good bosses because those great bosses have nurtured the employee skill set and growth mindset. If there are not opportunities in the organization to grow, the employee takes another job or promotion outside the company. It makes sense, right?

As a result, at the highest level, your company strategy needs to include a workforce component, rooted in innovation. What does this mean?

    1. It could mean growth in good new buildings, which need talented staff
    2. It could mean innovation of new business lines and initiatives led by talented staff

I especially like this latter one because it is so practical. It’s basically starting new business lines that increase revenues or decrease costs. Of course, most new things fail. So I recommend failing fast: ‘beta test’ new initiatives in a systematic, innovation-oriented way.

Companies in our sector that incorporate components of this strategy see much higher occupancy rates as well as operating margins; even after promotions and compensation adjustments for talented staff members. 

2. Do you know who your top and bottom supervisors and managers are by name?

The research is very compelling here. If you replace a bottom 10% supervisor with a top 10% one, you get the equivalent of an extra person on a nine-person team.

In a 50-staff facility, this means you have the potential to get the productivity (not to mention engagement) of an equivalent 55-staff members . . .

At no cost to you. Mind blown, no?

You would also likely see better resident engagement and other boosts in important key performance indicators (KPIs).

But of course, to even consider doing this, you need to know who your bottom supervisors are — and who your top ones are. So you can make the changes needed.

Of course, insightful readers will point out: in some areas like dining services and nursing, we get desperate and sometimes end up filling open positions with whoever will take them. This is part of a longer discussion, and I welcome your comments and suggestions (below) to these industry challenges.

My most immediate recommendation is that, in any site, you need to know who your top and bottom supervisors are. This way, you have the information to make changes if you choose to do so.

Please share your thoughts below!