what should a leader do?

The article was prepared by OTUS expert – Anastasia Sharikova.

Anastasia Sharikova

COO (ex-QA Lead) in bookmates

Hello! My name is Anastasia Sharikova, I am COO (ex-QA Lead) in bookmates and run a telegram channel Yet another QA.

Almost every manager at some point is faced with a situation where his employee reports a desire to quit. This process can take place naturally, for example, if it is really time for a person to move forward, to new achievements in a new place, and it also happens that a letter of resignation can be taken by surprise. Today – about what to do if a person (or even a group of employees) leaves (and you would not like this), and how to learn a useful lesson from this situation.

What to do to prevent withdrawal:

Any lead understands that the higher the level of an employee, the more difficult and expensive it will be to look for a replacement – and that is why the prevention of “sudden” departures should be started as early as possible. I conducted a survey in several professional QA communities, and according to the results, it turned out that the top reasons for leaving were: low salary, lack of prospects, uninteresting tasks, problematic leadership, and poor processes / onboarding. At the same time, most of the respondents indicated that these problems were solvable, but the management chose not to change anything.

Of course, it would be wrong to say that there is a side that is always right – it also happens that it is really impossible to provide an employee with other tasks, or the manager may not want to change his management strategy. But what should leads do if they want to prevent valuable employees from leaving for such reasons?

  • Feedback: Talk to people. Learn to hear and listen, learn to hold high-quality 1:1 meetings, build healthy communication.

  • Discuss with employees the possibilities of their development and salary increase: many will not come to you first, but simply leave for X2, and you will be left frantically looking for a replacement.

  • Think about whether everything is in order with your processes: if onboarding in your company is “well, in short, look, here is a chair, here is a table, here is a laptop, here is a confluence”, then the percentage of those who pass the trial period will be sad. Yes, of course, there are those who believe that “our team does not need weaklings”, this is their right, but if you are concerned about stability, then it is better to build processes adequately. The situation is similar with ordinary ordinary working situations.

  • Learn to be a good leader. Unfortunately, often people are promoted to lead simply because they are good technicians, and management skills are considered as something that is not worth attention. But this is not so – and if you are a lead, I recommend that you evaluate yourself from the outside. For this you can also use 360and anonymous questionnaires, and hiring an external mentor – there are many options.

  • Keep track of the emotional state and motivation of your team: people can work for a long time, burning out, and in the end they simply disappear.

  • Take seriously the problems that employees talk about.

Everyone is already leaving me, what should I do?

Further – my advice for those who do not like scandals, intrigues and undercover wars.

First, it is worth assessing the situation for each employee and for the work of the department / departments as a whole. Remember, did you promise an employee or team something that you forgot to do or decided not to do at all?

If a person has already come to you informing you that he wants to leave, and you definitely wouldn’t want to, don’t rush to be offended, agree and scatter dramatic phrases: for starters, you should meet one on one and discuss the situation:

  • There are people who simply do not know how to ask for a promotion and salary differently. Discuss opportunities with them, if any, and if you are interested in contributing.

  • Discuss the situation in the team – perhaps a change in department or project can help here.

  • Talk about changing activities if that is the problem.

  • Discuss the employee’s plans – perhaps there will also be something that you can resolve.

If we return to the statistics that I wrote about above, approximately 30% of respondents answered that managers did not even discuss leaving with them. They just signed the statement and that’s it, and another 5% indicated that the meeting took place, and the leadership made a scandal at it.

Accept that it also happens that a person should simply be let go – the fortress system has been canceled, so it’s worth parting on the most neutral note, especially if you want a normal transfer of affairs.

About what to do in order not to repeat the mistakes

  1. Conduct exit interviews. Unfortunately, this practice is not widespread in all companies, but in vain: such a meeting allows you to learn a lot of useful information. You can briefly read about how to hold such meetings and whose task it is. here.

  2. If you manage a large number of departments and employees, study the circumstances of the departure and, if possible, get the opinion of third parties. This can be done in many ways, some examples can be found in given article.

  3. Develop your leadership, communication and market research skills – the principles of management that worked 10 years ago are far from always relevant now. Especially now it is important to be not only a boss, but also a person.

  4. Take care of yourself – if you do not care about your business, your product, you are burnt out and consider the project in which you work dull and sad – your employees will most likely start to adopt your mood.

  5. If you don’t understand what’s the matter, and people stubbornly leave – do not hesitate to hire a person from outside the company to audit and evaluate – often processes that seem ideal to us or that cannot be changed are not.

And for those who are thinking about dismissal, I can give one, the most important recommendation – do not be patient partisans. It’s not worth it.

The article was prepared on the eve of the start of the QA Lead course. You can learn more about the course and register for a free demo lesson. by this link.

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