The number one reason employees leave is because of their dysfunctional relationship with their direct supervisor.

By Dennis McIntee

Recently, I sat in an audience listening to some of the titans of our industry share their wisdom in motivating their workforce. They spoke about complex learning management systems and innovative recruiting programs. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. Then I remembered a Gallup survey that talked about the real reason for employee disengagement. This is what their research showed:

The number one reason employees leave is because of their dysfunctional relationship with their direct supervisor. This raises a few questions:

  • The biggest question: Why do dysfunctional relationships exist?

  • The hardest question: What is my contribution to the dysfunction in my organization?

  • The most practical question: What are some real things I can do to reduce or eliminate the dysfunction?

It’s not the lack of technical training, intelligence or capacity that fosters problems and creates turnover. It’s poor leadership development. Leadership development is the key to retaining talent. John Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”  

To retain and motivate people demands a higher level of leadership, not just a learning management system. A recent report by Deloitte Consulting titled, “Global Human Capital Trends 2014” found that first level managers received the lowest per-person share of leadership development resources. This has to change!

Our first level leaders get caught in the middle between frontline staff and upper management. They are often detached from the big picture. Those same supervisors and managers are the ones who work in the trenches every day dealing with the workplace drama — gossip, backstabbing, power struggles, low morale, absenteeism and turnover. No matter what kind of label you put on it, it’s all drama. It’s this drama that is the obstacle to creating high-trust, high-performance cultures that get results.

What are you doing to support your first level managers and supervisors in dealing with the workplace drama?

Dennis McIntee is a bestselling author and speaker. He partners with healthcare executives in creating drama free teams that get results. His latest book, The 8 Qualities of Drama Free Teams will help you to stop enduring all the endless meetings re-hashing the same topic over and over again or the excuse-making about why your employees are not getting the results you need. There is a better way!  To learn more about The Drama Free Process™ contact his team at [email protected].