We have all heard the phrase people leave bosses, not companies. Maybe we have even said it, or left companies ourselves because of an issue we had with out boss.

But how many of us ever think that we could be the boss that they are talking about.

The statistics show that 50% of people leave companies because of their relationship with their boss.

We spend all day talking to people about what makes them want to leave or stay at their current employer," says Rick Kelo, a veteran tax recruiter and CEO of the Chicago recruiting firm TaxScout, Inc. "And the number 1 reason is always because they can't stand working for their boss anymore"

So if you have ever had people leave, there is a very good chance that you are the reason they left.

We often get promoted into leadership positions because of our IQ, but it's our EQ that determines how well we will do in that role.

Part of emotional intelligence is self-awareness, and we need to be aware, in fact, we need to accept that we may be the very reason that people are leaving our teams or our companies.

Why do we need to accept it?

Because when we do that, we then put ourselves in a position to do something about it. Whereas when we remain in denial, we will find a whole host of other reasons as to why they left, and we will never learn what it is that we do, or probably don't do, that is causing people to leave.

Which is a shame, because when you look at the research, there are some pretty simple things that we can do to improve our relationship and increase staff retention.

In a recent study by Appirio they show that when asking people to describe their worst boss these were the findings, 33% never gave credit where credit was due, and 28% rarely gave verbal praise or support.

That's 55% of people who say that their worst boss just never gave credit or praise, which also is corroborated by another statistic, where 55% of people said they would be disappointed if they went above and beyond and their boss didn't thank them.

So that's potentially 55% of people who have left companies, because of their boss, might have left just because they never received credit or verbal praise.

Interestingly when asking people about what they would most care most about prospective employers, 60% said they wanted to know whether their staff felt appreciated.

This is such an easy fix, and it's a zero cost fix too.

I believe that this comes back to poor emotional intelligence again and lack of empathy. That ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others, and see things from their perspective, because if we could do that, then we would understand the importance of praise. We would know how we would feel if we had worked hard and done a great job, only for it to be ignored by our boss.

So if people have left your team, it's time to at least ask yourself if they left because of you.

Doing that is the first step on the road to doing something about it, which could be just as simple as saying thank you, giving praise and making people feel appreciated.

Published on: Aug 1, 2016