Great staff are vital to a great MSP

In a recent worldwide survey, employers were interviewed in relation to their most recent staff resignation. They wanted to know what was the primary reason for their staff member leaving their job. The statistics showed that ninety per cent of the time, the employer said that their staff member left their job because they were offered more money elsewhere.

Those same employees that left their job were also interviewed. Amongst a range of questions, they were also asked for their primary reason for leaving their job. Amazingly, the survey reported a similar percentage result. About ninety per cent of the employees interviewed gave the same primary reason for leaving their job. The only problem was that the reason the employees gave was distinctly different to the reason the employers thought was the reason. From the group of employees, ninety per cent of employees said they left the job because their boss was a jerk. Plain and simple. Nothing about money. Nothing about career. The vast majority of employees leave their place of employment simply because they think their boss is a jerk.

Now jerk is a fairly loose word. When quizzed further about what sort of behaviour constituted ‘jerk’ behaviour, the employee group were quit descriptive.

They listed a clear top seven behaviour characteristics that equated to jerk behaviour. The number one grievance was a boss that belittled them – closely followed by a boss who lies with a condescending boss in third place. Those top three were clear leaders but in fourth place was one that I have seen a lot of. A boss who micro-manages his staff is a definite jerk indicator. In position five is a boss who intimidates his staff and at number six is one who likes to humiliate his staff. In last place is a yelling boss. I remember delivering a presentation in South Africa and when I went through these behaviours a large gentleman in the audience shot his hand up. I motioned to him to speak and he jumped to his feet and bellowed, “What about if you have staff members who are so stupid you have to micro-manage them and yell at them to make them listen to you?”

I asked this gentleman what his staff turnover was. Not surprisingly, he had incredibly high staff turnover. The funniest part was that he couldn’t see that he was exhibiting classic ‘jerk’ behaviour.

When most people in a position of management read an article like this, they shake their head and ask how anyone could be such a jerk. The scary part is that many of us exhibit some of these behaviours at different times to varying degrees. The warning here is that if you exhibit too many of these behaviours at too high a level, you will have staff that leave you.

I always take it very personally when a staff member leaves an organisation I am in charge of. Some people have often seen that I take this too personally – but when I explain the statistics and reveal the fact that ninety per cent of the time they are effectively saying I am a jerk, they start to understand why I might feel a little disappointed.

Most importantly for an MSP, those with the best staff will have the best business. As simple as that. If you want the best staff, then you need to ensure you don’t exhibit these jerk behaviours. I even like to allow staff to complete anonymous surveys and quiz them to see if you are exhibiting any of these behaviours. You might be surprised what feedback you hear.

I will talk more next week about the reasons your staff stay with you so you can work on those aspects as well.

Tell me if you think you are a jerk at

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