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How are Management Styles Affecting The Employee Retention Crisis

By Ben, Maximillion,

There has been a lot of talk around how much employee benefits affect employee retention rates. Most people would agree that they are an important part of keeping your employees. The benefits you get for working at a particular organisation will affect how high or low retention rate is.

However, what often isn’t taken into consideration is; you can have the coolest employee perks going – unlimited alcoholic bar, all expenses paid nights out, gaming consoles, pool tables or whatever else might make your business a super cool place to work. But, none of that really matters if an employee doesn’t get along with their manager, if they’re not satisfied with their pay, if they don’t get sick leave, don’t feel supported or don’t feel as though there is enough career growth – they won’t stay.

There had been so much focus around ‘benefits’ but benefits are just extras, if the foundations are broken you can not just fill the cracks in with perks. There are core principles that create a happy employee, all of these perks are just an added benefits, never rely on those to retain your employees.

Millennials are the largest segment in the workplace currently and in two years time, Millennials will contribute towards 50% of the workforce. This will then reach 75% by 2030. The figures speak as to why there has been all of this focus on how to retain the Millennial generation as well as the next.

Still Not Convinced That Managers are Affecting Employee Retention?

A recent survey conducted by Forbes, revealed that when Millennials were asked to describe their idealistic boss, the sample shared sentiments such as ”someone who respects, honours and truly values their employees opinions”. They also said “someone who can create conversations where we can teach one another”. These answers reflect the inclusive and authentic leadership styles that Millennials crave.

They also value their manager being open, transparent, good at keeping up communication and the ability to adapt to different styles of connecting such as both on a personal and professional level. Millennials know what they want  in a manager and they’re not shy to leave their job to find a desirable boss that provides the value that they need.

A new study that was conducted by ultimate Software revealed 56% of employees would rather have a great boss than a 10% pay raise. Competition amongst employers is not only tough for keeping clients and customers but also employees too. If you really want to improve your employee retention rates first take a look at improving your management team before beginning to assess your employee benefits.

So, What Management Styles do Millennials Like?

Millennials will leave jobs much more readily than their predecessors if their boss is not meeting their expectations and needs. This change between generations means that the way people manage has become a highlighted topic and management styles, as well as expectations has needed to be re-assessed in recent years.

Authoritarian Managers

Authoritarian managers are low in agreeableness and can often be industrious, not typically trusting and enjoy sticking to an orderly and structural approach. Authoritarian managers expect employees to obey them no matter what they may say or ask. Millennials want to have the freedom to challenge their managers if they do not believe it is the most effective way or right way to go about things. Millennials see being able to challenge as an opportunity for them and the business to grow. Authoritarian managers may also be known as micromanagers and this is the complete opposite to the management styles that Millennials like. Micromanagers thrive on having power and being further up the hierarchy whereas Millennials thrive on a flat management structure that enables open communication and career development.

Extroverted Managers

Extroverted managers are seen as understanding, compassionate and considerate, this style is something Millennials enjoy. Millennials prefer a give and take relationship where managers and employees provide a support network. Instead of spending time delegating, they spend their time supporting the development of their team, which is also something Millenials love. An extroverted style enables everyone in the company to be a leader because of it’s flat structure. As we discussed earlier Millenials love a flat structure and typically many millennials are happy to embrace leadership responsibilities. It is this empowerment and involvement in the business through being able to lead and become a part of what goes on at the company that will heighten retention for millennials.

Democratic Managers

Let’s get one thing straight here, democratic managers are innovators. They’re open to feedback and ideas from their team, which is great for Millennials needs. They’re focused on growth and this is something that resonates well with Millennials too. Can you see a theme forming? Millennials don’t believe management should be the only people involved in the decision making process of the business, they want to be involved too. Democratic managers are influenced by their employees and their ideas which makes for a nice group decision-making tactic. Together, Millennials and Demoratic managers work together to align goals that everyone is involved in.

Laissez-faire Managers

Laissez-faire managers have a high degree of trust in their team, I’m sure by now you know that this is something that goes down well with Millennials. They know that their employees will perform at a high level without the need of consistent involvement from them (unless they are proved otherwise). This type of hands-off approach is extremely popular with Millenials as they have previously stated that feeling trusted is important to them. This also gives them room to breathe and make decisions for themselves while knowing that they have support and guidance there when need it.

So which management style is best? The real answer is that there isn’t just one style. The Authoritarian management style is definitely not one that Millennials will typically enjoy. Extroverted, democratic and Laissez-faire all have great elements that Millenials love in their styles. The management style you fit into will ultimately have to fit with your personality too.  You could try to adopt one of these great styles that Millennials will love but, if you’re not genuinely showing true qualities of this management style then it will not come off as authentic. The point of this isn’t to stick to just one style but to have fun with it and take things from each of the good to create a management style that works for you and your employees.

There is a saying that nicely sums this piece up “people leave managers, not companies.” Next time you wonder why your employee’s retention levels are increasing, take a look at your management team’s performance and qualities.

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