Whether driving in city neighborhoods or on country roads, I love looking at the homes and buildings that create the scenery.  The styles, color palettes, and landscapes tell a tale. An immaculately cut lawn or an area of complete disarray begs a story... What is important to these people? Nurture or neglect?

A small amount of neglect over time can lead to ruins; conversely, just small amounts of nurturing can ensure a sustainable dwelling. 

Leadership is similar.  The attention to the relationships between leaders and their staffs, colleagues, and managers also tells a tale, and, again, it’s either nurture or neglect. 

Leader, are you aware that your relationship with your staff impacts your organization’s retention metrics?  In a study conducted by The Work Institute, in 2019, the top three reasons given for job changes were Career Development (19.6%), Work-Life Balance (12.4%), and Manager Behavior (11.8%).[1] 

Look again.  The top three categories for job changes involve employees proactively removing themselves from a specific workplace.  Voluntary turnover

“Employees join companies but leave managers.”[2]  The leader drives others’ career development, influences work-life balance, and fully controls his/her own behavior.

We’d like to blame the current mass exodus on the pandemic, but COVID or not, employees are leaving or considering leaving their organizations at astounding rates.  The Gallup 2021 State of the Global Workplace report states that 85% of employees are not engaged in their work[3]

Engagement directly ties to leaders, their behaviors, and whether they are neglecting or nurturing the relationships in their organizations. 

Neglecting staff is costly.  In 2019, voluntary turnover costs exceeded $630 billion!  Billion – with a “B”. 

Consider what your organization’s 2019 turnover costs were:

  • Number of employees who quit in 2019 =               .
  • That number x $15,000[4] = $ .  

This final number is the Annual turnover cost for that year, which could be used as a baseline for future projections.  This calculation can be done year-over-year.

More than just knowing the cost, what can you do to turn the tide from exodus to retention?

  1. Be aware of your neglecting behaviors. Do you proactively make a connection with everyone on your team? Or just some of them? Do you have favorites? Is your team aware of that (even if you sometimes aren’t)? Consider the reason(s) why and reach out to actively reengage employees who may feel invisible.
  2. Be aware of your nurturing behaviors. Which of your team members come to mind with the phrase “great working relationship?” Why are these relationships strong? Use those skills to nurture weaker relationships.  
  3. Get an accountability partner. An A/P can hold you to agreed-upon expectations and help you step into, e., make measurable progress toward, nurturing relationships in a healthy, professional, and productive manner.
  4. Get a coach. Unlike an accountability partner, a coach can help you see your blind spots and develop an action plan for becoming a nurturing leader and building greater insights, skills, behaviors, and mindsets.

I can help you intentionally identify your neglecting and nurturing behaviors and determine the best path forward to engage, encourage, and retain your top talent.  This is one trait that can help you grow into a truly excellent leader.  Let’s chat!


P.S.  Book a Complimentary Strategy Session so we can get you moving in the right direction; click on my Complimentary Strategy Session calendar link here and let’s book a time together so you can get started today!

P.P.S.  With over three decades of professional experience in corporate operations and executive human resources, I am a proven results-driven leader.  My expertise includes strategy, change management, talent management and organizational development, employee relations, and executive and leadership coaching.  I am a highly effective communicator and team leader with proven ability to build long-term relationships across internal and external customer environments built with integrity, confidence, authenticity, and trust. 


[1] 2020 Retention Report,


[3] State of the Global Workplace Report - Gallup

[4] The median income for a salary worker in the U.S. translates to a yearly income of approximately $48,672. Work Institute recommends (conservatively) costing turnover at 30%, approximately $15,000 per employee departure.