by: Kelly Feathearingham

Kelly Featheringham

This year we have seen many concerning statistics around employment and unemployment.  A study by Gartner, Inc. indicates that voluntary employee turnover is likely to jump 20% in 2022.  

Many factors play into these statistics, some of which are out of our control while others are very much within the control of organizations and leaders.  This offers a great advantage to those organizations and leaders looking for ways to set themselves apart.  The availability of qualified candidates is highly competitive, and the current workforce environment demands that leaders and organizations evolve in their culture, approach, and thinking.

It has often been said that people quit their manager, not the organization.  Unfortunately, not all organizations recognize the need for people managers to have formalized, or sometimes any, training.   This creates a ripple effect of challenges for employees, teams, and managers. 

While some people are natural managers, most require support in learning to tap into these leadership skills effectively.  Managers struggling with their role overseeing others can create many areas of frustration for their teams, both above and below.  The frustration on all levels can lead to issues with both work performance and personnel interactions.

Three basic leadership behaviors that can be refined at any level but are extremely important to those in people management are assumptions, boundaries, and communication.  Whether managing one person or one hundred, the more skilled at applying these behaviors, the more efficiently and effectively employees work together, which directly impacts the success of the teams and the company.  

Communication is a common topic for employee training.  The challenge with this topic is the breadth of how it is used in the workplace.  Applying our communication skills to minimize assumptions and to create, maintain, and respect boundaries are not common.  I would argue that if we look at most errors, disagreements, delays, and general challenges experienced on any given day, you could tie the root cause back to one or a combination of these behaviors.   

Think about your day at work today. Can any challenges be linked to an inaccurate assumption, an unenforced or unclear boundary, or a lack of clear communication?  Perhaps it was a combination of more than one?  It seems obvious now that the question is asked, but these behaviors impact our success daily. 

The next question is, why are we not training our managers and leaders on these behaviors to reduce frustration, improve collaboration, and maximize efficiency and effectiveness?

This gap in training is one that I have encountered in many organizations, and it quickly became an essential component of my training programs.  While this article focuses on the impact of management on employee attrition rates, it should not be overlooked that developing these behaviors at all levels improves overall performance. 

You can read more about how you can develop these leadership behaviors in yourself and your employees in my new book, “Maximizing Team Performance by Mastering Your ABCs.”  To get a copy, visit and on 

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