One of the primary clues that you have an abrasive boss in residence is a high turnover rate among employees, and long term employees are there because they can’t afford to quit, but are often into what I call the R3 mode – resist, resent and revenge. Productivity is often below standard. (A side note: Abrasiveness can also be a characteristic of staff whose behavior is just not being handled by the boss. This situation can also result in unhappy employees, R3 mode, and increasing turnover.)The problems: the work keeps getting interrupted with resignations, hiring details, orientations for new employees, and sick days for illness or injuries on and off the job among the longer term employees. Doesn’t matter where you are: high turnover = low morale.
The real problems begin to occur as gradually, the ‘soft’ expenses begin to rise and encroach on the profit margin. The cause: reduced teamwork; training time costs as in- house staff are pulled away from their regular duties to train new employees; close to a six month lag time in maximum output as new employees get up to speed; employee payouts as they leave and, increasing sick days and lost work days among those who stay, adding to the tally of decreasing output. Doesn’t matter where you are: low morale = lowered output.
The slide to left side of the ledger is often insidious. Unless someone is paying close attention, it may not be noticed until it is a challenge to financially manage a turnaround. Because the costs are ‘soft’ costs when a part time employee or short-term employee leaves, an organization may not actually cost out the actual expense. This is a mistake. The costs are real in real time. More companies are now paying attention to those costs, but not always diagnosing the right problem.