A poor relationship with an immediate supervisor is the No. 1 reason employees leave their jobs. Exiting employees often say, “The money and perks were fine, but my supervisor just didn’t understand me, and I don’t think they cared enough to try.” This can happen because leaders fall into a rote way of rewarding their employees — often the same way they like to be rewarded — instead of asking, “What would you take as a true compliment regarding the project you just completed?” To avoid this problem, leaders should examine their own motivations. Whether one is trying to identify one’s own values, or coach others to find theirs, reflecting on the question, “Why do I care?” can facilitate employee development and support, and aid personal leadership development.
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