The saying goes “People don’t leave their jobs. They leave their bosses.” A survey given by BambooHR affirms that saying—44% of people said their boss was the primary reason for leaving their job. There are more job openings than there are people looking for jobs, and you want to be an employer of choice, rather than one frantically searching for employees to fill empty positions.

Look at the poor leadership and management behaviors you’ll want to avoid—and learn how to fix them.


Micromanagement is a management pattern where there is excessive supervision, control over employees’ work and processes, and limited delegation of tasks. Imagine a helicopter, circling and hovering over the same spot—in this case, micromanagers are the helicopter, and the spots they’re hovering over? Their employees. Micromanagement, in the long run, leads to a lack of trust and slows a business down.

Does the above sound like you? – For your employees to excel, give them the freedom and flexibility to complete their tasks, based on objectives and deadlines you set. Trust your employees to complete their work—and then verify that it’s been done well. “Trust but verify” can be a great way to wean yourself off micromanaging.

One-size-fits-all management style

One-size-fits-all is good for hats, but not for managing a group of employees. The one-size-fits-all employer is stuck in their ways, wants all their employees to be like them, doesn’t want to learn, and won’t invest time in helping their employees improve. Great leadership is flexible and can respond to different needs and personalities in a positive, constructive way.

Does the above sound like you? – Every employee is different, so identify their strengths and put them in the best position to use those strengths. Consider how to remove rigidity around your approach to managing the different people on your team so you can take advantage of the diverse approaches and skills each team member can offer.

Not leading by example

A good leader listens to their employees’ challenges and leads by example because they know actions speak louder than words. Employees who see their leader acting in conflict with what they’re saying will feel confused and frustrated.

Does the above sound like you? – Your employees will have great respect for you if you choose to lead by example. If you want your team to use the database for tracking sales, be the first one to enter your leads. If you want them to hold one on one meetings with their direct reports, you need to hold one on one meetings with your direct reports.

Playing the blame game

Things go wrong—no business operates on 100% perfection all the time. But as a leader, if you choose to play the blame game, you use what goes wrong to deflect blame that might come your way, and you remove the opportunity for growth.

Does the above sound like you? – Instead of playing the blame game, help focus on solutions such as professional development, reviewing/changing strategies and goals, and improving business processes. This way, mistakes result in an improved system.

Taking all the credit

Employees help keep an organization running—and they want to feel valued and appreciated for their work. In fact, lack of appreciation is a top reason why employees leave their jobs, and when you show your employees a lack of appreciation by taking the credit for their work and using them to bolster your own advancement, you will experience turnover.

Does the above sound like you? – Praise your team often, individually and as a whole, for the work that they do. Make the feedback meaningful and intentional; for example, if an employee did a good job on a challenging project, tell them! Give specifics as to what they did well.

Lacking focus

It is good to have strategies, priorities, and goals. They keep everyone on the same page and let everyone know what direction to go in. But changing things up every day, or having a disorganized company vision and goals, will leave employees feeling confused and unmotivated.

Does the above sound like you? – Meet with other leaders in your department to establish a clear vision and clear goals for what you want to accomplish, whether it’s putting new opportunities into your pipeline or adding a certain amount of revenue to your book of business. Plan each day around moving closer to those goals.

Be a strong leader

If you’re in a leadership position, you’ll always have behaviors to improve upon. You have the power to turn around and change course when necessary. When you are open-minded and willing to learn, you’ll perform better, and your employees will perform better and become more engaged at work.

Don’t be the reason your employees leave. Be the reason they want to stay.


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