Improve Your Manager Retention by Addressing These Four Things

It’s often said that people don’t quit companies, they quit managers. But why do managers leave their companies?

As a cleaning or security contract business owner, you know turnover is high in your industry and you’ve come to expect it from your hourly employees. But you may not be expecting it when one of your managers quits. Now more than ever, retaining the people who oversee your distributed workforce is important to the success of your company.

Across all industries and positions, the variety of reasons people give for leaving their jobs often fall under a larger reason: Their employer isn’t meeting their expectations and needs. We’ve put together a list of four employer-specific reasons managers leave their jobs and how you can tackle these issues head-on to improve manager retention.

Insufficient Communication about Goals and Expectations

Just as your managers are expected to have conversations with your guards and cleaners regarding goals and expectations, you also need to have those conversations with your managers. A survey of frontline leaders conducted by DDI showed that 17% of promoted leaders only took a position because it seemed like the next logical step in their career growth, and 18% regretted taking a role. As a business owner, you need to ensure your managers understand what their job entails and what’s expected of them within the role — before they take it.

A good manager will also likely want room for growth within the organization. Talk to your managers and encourage them to be open about their career aspirations and whether or not they’re looking for further promotions down the road. If that’s ultimately something they want, you can use that knowledge to plan for their future within the company and ensure they’re successfully progressing down that path.

Lack of Respect and Recognition

Good cleaning and security managers take pride in their jobs and want to feel like they’re making an impact on the organization they work for. Failure to recognize the importance of a manager’s contribution to the overall success and growth of a company is a surefire way to demotivate them as a key employee within your organization and negatively impact your manager retention. Just as harmful could be the tendency to micromanage them. Your managers are leaders on your behalf. As such, you should trust them to do their jobs, in turn demonstrating that you value and respect them.

Lack of Necessary Resources

Managers are expected to meet certain goals and criteria set out by company leaders. To meet those goals, they need proper resources. According to a report from Deloitte, over half of c-suite respondents surveyed said their managers desired to work with more advanced technologies and quitting was the result of wanting to be a part of a more innovative workplace. It’s no surprise that the right business technology can make your cleaning or security managers’ jobs easier and aide in improving your retention, not just with managers, but across your business.

Of course, resources not only include the tools managers need to do their jobs, but also human resources (skilled and trained cleaners and guards) and financial resources (the budget to properly staff their sites).

Poor Organizational Leadership

Many of the reasons listed above can be traced back to one thing — poor leadership. It’s not intentional, and many times it’s not even realized. But your top-level leadership team needs to have a vested interest in your managers, both in and out of the workplace. Talk to them about things like their personal lives and interests to make a personal connection with them. This empathy and genuine caring can lead to better communication, better morale and more incentive to stick with the company long-term.

While some turnover in the security industry is unavoidable, transparency and empathy are ultimately your keys to success. As a business owner, improving manager retention can make the difference between winning major accounts and plateauing as a business.