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8 Reasons Great Employees Quit (Even Though They Like The Job)

8 Reasons Great Employees Quit (Even Though They Like The Job)

There are many reasons why people change jobs. These days, it is uncommon for someone to get a job and stick with it for the rest of their life. There are many opportunities and our lives are filled with diversity and flexibility. However, there are often patterns to why people decide to move on from what seemingly is ideal employment — and it isn’t just about the money or the location.

Here are eight common reasons why someone might quit their job.

1. Disrespected and undervalued staff

When you are treated like just a cog in the wheel and you feel like just another number, you feel dehumanized and worthless. Sometimes, employers are only concerned about profits, output, pleasing stakeholders, and productivity. These factors are certainly important for a successful business venture, but they are impossible to achieve if the people doing the work are being mistreated.

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Staff are human beings. Workers are people and they need to be given dignity and motivation to be productive. The outcome is just as much about them as it is about the consumer or investor. If staff are underpaid, not provided with flexible work practices, and not given adequate benefits or a safe, healthy, and enjoyable working environment, they are likely to quit. Staff retention is underrated, and a lot of expertise is lost when experienced people are pushed out of their jobs through sheer neglect.

2. No career progression

People no longer want to just do the same thing day in and day out for the rest of their lives. They want to feel as though they are learning and progressing in their careers. Staff expect to be trained and educated so they can build their skills and experience. They want to grow with the organization they work for and to have something to show for their years of hard work. They want variety and excitement and they want to be challenged. If a job provides no opportunity for career progression, chances are workers will quit and seek greener pastures with better opportunities elsewhere.

3. Inequality

If a workplace still seems as though it’s in another decade in terms of its employment practices and policies, staff are likely to quit even before their first year is complete. Nobody wants to work in an environment that is sexist, racist, ageist, or discriminatory in any way. Times have changed. The human race has intellectually evolved, and when inequality is rife in a workplace, staff retention is difficult. Workplaces need to adapt to individual needs and allow for diversity and flexibility. People no longer tolerate workplaces that harbor an outdated culture. Even if people choose to stay in these workplaces, or have little other choice, that business or endeavor is guaranteed to fail and will not be able to compete with more progressive and evolved workplaces.

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4. Low morale

When people are generally unhappy in a workplace, it is evident the minute you walk through the door. People are cynical, impolite, and will find any excuse to avoid being productive. There are no consequences for poor productivity or incomplete and incompetent service, and eventually people start looking for an exit strategy.

Team building and union among workers are vital components to the success of any workplace, and individuals on every level need to genuinely care about each other and the common goals of the workplace. When there is a breakdown in communication and a feeling of futility in putting in any effort at work, nobody wants to be there anymore. This is the perfect reason for someone to quit their job before the workplace starts to have an adverse effect on their health.

5. No recognition or reward

Everyone needs a pat on the back every now and then. Sometimes, a kind word of thanks or just being acknowledged for the effort you put in is enough. You don’t need to receive a gold trophy or fat bonus check to feel like you are being appreciated — however, incentives can go a long way towards giving people motivation and a feeling of purpose. If you have never been thanked or noticed in a job, you are likely to feel invisible and worthless. Deciding to quit can be the easiest option.

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6. Discouraging enthusiasm

Innovation and ideas are the heartbeat of an organization, and everyone should be given a chance to show initiative. Some workplaces are incredibly resistant to change, even if those changes will mean a vast improvement in work practices or productivity. People will often start a job with positive energy and idealism, which is quickly thwarted by a management that is stale and lacks vision. When your enthusiasm is constantly diminished, you not only avoid taking risks and trying new things, you become jaded and are further enticed to quit and find something new.

7. Promoting the wrong people

Some workplaces develop a culture of rewarding the wrong people. There’s a saying that good bosses will hire people that are smarter than them. This is never the case when a boss has a big ego and feels threatened by anyone who shows intelligence and ability. What tends to happen is that people are promoted for their ability to be invisible and submissive rather than innovative and competitive. This protects the power structure rather than developing a system that has efficiency, capability, and professionalism as its goal.

8. Hierarchy instead of autonomy

When the hierarchy is more important than the value of each and every person contributing to a pursuit, a workplace not only loses excellent opportunities for wisdom and sound judgement, but also crushes self reliance and vital decision-making skills in its workers.

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Strong leadership in a workplace should empower its staff to be self reliant and conscientious for the greater good of the business. Power struggles and mind games only work against the common goal and contribute to a toxic workplace. Staff will quit by the dozens when they are infantilized and feel that they can’t be trusted to make even the most basic choices by themselves, having to get permission for every move they make. It is lazy and uneducated leadership that forces good workers to quit dysfunctional workplaces.

Featured photo credit: Healthy Society via facebook.com

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on April 9, 2020

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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