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A Paycheck is Not Enough

Employee retention and productivity are driven by more than money. Managers assume that because their employees are being paid that they should be thankful or satisfied. The employee should be thankful to have a “good job” with health and life insurance, paid vacation and sick days as well as other fringe benefits. The truth is that retention and productivity are tied to workplace etiquette. How managers treat their employees is sometimes more important than money. According to the State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders conducted by Gallup in 2015, 50% of Americans have left a job to get away from their manager.




If managers want to fulfill mission statements and achieve company goals then the focus should be on good solid leadership. Leadership includes employee engagement and good workplace practices which are behavioral. It is incumbent upon anyone who manages others to model professional behavior. Those of us who are called Generation X, was taught that a certain amount of mistreatment was expected and that we should just suck it up and not complain. Especially if you were a woman. We wrongly believed that there was nothing we could do about it.


Millennials and Generation Z, however, were raised differently, in a different era. The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Study outlines what is known as the Millennial mindset. They expect to be treated well (a good work culture) and have little tolerance for bad managers and organizations that do not offer them what they expect – professional development, mentorship, opportunities for advancement, companies that are socially conscious with a moral compass.


Mistreatment of employees drives them away. Employees leave bad managers in both good and bad organizations. Sarcastic comments, placing guilt for requesting time off, yelling, use of profanity, lack of appreciation, blaming the employee, lack of support or advocacy, and other bad behaviors are often the root cause that prompt good employees to leave their jobs. Often, it is the more valuable employees that leave, because they have the talent and wherewithal to find other options.


If managers want to retain good employees – the high performers with great ideas, the enthusiasts that are eager to succeed and knowledge share, then they should go back to the days of old and remember what Grandma used to say, “mind your manners and treat people like you want to be treated.”


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