4 Ways to Overcome Employee-Supervisor Dissatisfaction

2 min read
Mar 30, 2015

iStock_000033274000_SmallWhen one of your top employees suddenly hands you their two-weeks notice, what do you do? Panic? Start making up assumptions? Unless you can get your employee to be truly candid with you, it’s difficult to pinpoint their true reason for leaving.

But the reality is, you might be part of the problem. Don’t think so? Check out these findings from Gallup and our Engagement Report:

  • The main factor in workplace discontent is not wages, benefits, or hours, but the boss

  • 49% of employees are dissatisfied with their direct supervisors

And in our New Year Report, we asked employees, “If you could change one thing about your manager, what would it be?” The top answer was that they wanted their boss to become a better, more open communicator. Employees want a boss that’s open with communication. So here are four pointers that will help you improve employee retention:

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  1. Transparent culture: The saying is true, “sharing is caring.” Our Engagement Report found that transparency is the number one factor that contributes to employee happiness. Create an environment that encourages leaders and employees to share information with one another. It’s one of the lowest to no-cost investments you can make, but it does require an ongoing commitment.

  2. One-on-one meetings: Schedule frequent meetings with your employee — weekly or biweekly works best. And don’t forget to keep it informal. Find out what they’re working on, the progress that they’re making on their goals, and if they have any pain points. You’ll be able to keep up-to-date with sentiment and build a relationship of open communication.

  3. Daily check-ins: We understand that it’s not feasible for every organization to have daily huddles. But if you’re a smaller company, consider gathering all of your employees for a brief morning huddle to go over what you’re working on for the day. If you’re a larger organization, split this up by teams. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, and it’s a great way to get a sense of what projects you might be able to help out with.

  4. Listen: The biggest part to being an open communicator is listening to your employees. Yes, you still need to share what’s happening on your end, but also listen to what they say. Provide them with an anonymous feedback system so you can better gauge your management style. You might already be doing some things great, but there’s always something that you could improve on that you’re not even aware of.

Communication needs to be a two-way street. If you’re unwilling to listen to your workers, or if you refuse to share information with them, then it’s only going to hurt your employee retention.



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