Morale and Turnover

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Morale and Turnover

Morale and Turnover

The Role of the Supervisor

Many will say that employees do not leave their jobs; rather, they leave their bosses. This happens because:

  1. Some supervisors lack managerial skills.
  2. The supervisor's own supervisor does not delegate enough authority to manage well.

The lack of skills or authority is evidenced in two ways:

  1. The supervisor is difficult to work with.
  2. The supervisor does not manage other people who are difficult to work with.

The results of a Florida State University study were published in the fall, 2007 issue of Leadership Quarterly (Ray, B. December 4, 2006, Who's afraid of the big bad boss? Accessed January 19, 2012). The results showed that 40% of employees felt they were working for a bad boss.

Other results indicated the following:

  1. 39% of workers said their supervisors failed to keep promises.
  2. 37% indicated their supervisor failed to give credit when due.
  3. 31% said their supervisor gave them the silent treatment during the past year.
  4. 27% report that their supervisor made negative comments about them to other employees or managers.
  5. 24% indicate their boss invaded their privacy.
  6. 23% said their supervisor blamed others to cover up personal mistakes or minimize embarrassment.

If 40% of employees felt they were working for bad bosses, and bosses are supposed to be the example for their employees, one can only wonder how many employees feel they work with bad co-workers.

Whether the problems stem from the behavior of a staff member, a peer, or a supervisor; the behavior can have a major impact on morale and morale is a major cause of attrition.

The Cost of Turnover

IT staffing services company JDA Professional Services studied the cost of turnover and reported the results on their Web site: (Del Monte, J., IT Employer Information - Cost of Hiring/Retention (COH). Accessed January 19, 2012 but as of at least 6/19/13 the link is no longer live; we leave it here to credit the information). Their study found that the costs of replacing a single employee can be very high because of both direct and indirect costs.

The direct costs of turnover can include:

  1. Creating and posting job ads and marketing for the position.
  2. Interviewing costs.
  3. Recruiting fees.
  4. Employment testing.
  5. Reference checks and screenings.
  6. Any salary increases over and above the previous employee.
  7. Sign-up bonuses.
  8. Relocation services.
  9. Training.

Even for a lower-level employee not receiving sign-on bonuses, relocation services, and salary increases; the cost of hiring and training is estimated to be over $10,000. Direct costs can range from 30% to 100% of a person's annual pay.

Moreover, turnover and morale are cyclical. Low morale results in turnover and turnover contributes to low morale. If the source of the low morale is never eradicated, the cycle continues.


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