OK, Coke vs. Pepsi, the big war. You are either one or the other, as very few of us don’t have a favorite. I now know that Mike’s favorite isn’t Pepsi. Mike is the brother-in-law of a friend of ours. He works at Pepsi and isn’t happy, so he is looking for a new job. Pepsi had approximately 274,000 employees in 2013, and a 10-percent turnover would mean only 105 people would leave Pepsi per business day, worldwide. Not many. So why is Mike leaving his job?
He is unhappy with his supervisor. He likes his job, has great benefits, makes fairly good wages, but hates to go to work. So now, he uses every excuse in the book not to go—a small injury that he would have worked through in his previous job became a four-week worker’s comp claim, and a cold and runny nose is now a reason to take three days off.
He is unhappy with his supervisor. He has discussed this with a few other employees, and they feel the same way, reinforcing Mikes’s feelings. Mike didn’t discuss this with the employees he could see that were happy with the supervisor. Mike didn’t go to his supervisor and try to work things out.
Good luck, Mike. You didn’t take the one step that could have salvaged a great job with a great company. You didn’t talk to your supervisor and clear the air.
Is this Mike’s fault? No. It is the supervisor’s job to maintain the relationships with his employees. Now, let’s look at your business. Are you doing timely and relevant employee reviews? If you were, you would not have a problem with Mike. Are you training your supervisors on these reviews and making sure the reviews take place? Are you doing the reviews on your direct-report employees yourself?
If you are having a turnover problem in your company, look at the supervisor in that area. Are they communicating? Does their leadership style need tweaking? Maybe you’ve just had some bad hires, and that does happen. But more often than not, people leaving their jobs don’t like their supervision and don’t know how, or are unwilling to try, to fix the problem.
Now you know what to do. On your supervisor’s employee review, work on his/her leadership style, and you may just reduce your employee turnover. Go for it.