The Day Everyone Quit

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The Day Everyone Quit

Managing a startup is tough. That's no secret. Most great leaders recognize that they're only as good as their teams. What happens if you lose sight of that or lose the support of your team? What happens if everyone quits?

That's exactly what happened to managers at an entertainment complex earlier this year, according to a report on YesWeekly.com. The complex, a massive three-story building featuring a martini bar, restaurant and nightclub, is a popular nightlife attraction in Greensboro, N.C. 

A month earlier, the head bartender walked off the job along with three other employees, Eric Ginsburg of YesWeekly.com says. But on March 25, the business saw the largest wave of employees to exit the entertainment complex in one day. The manager-in-charge that evening quit the next day, after spending the previous evening begging waitresses to finish their shifts.

In this instance, leadership had changed hands over the course of the past several years, a factor that can contribute to employees feeling less than secure. After the walkout, a number of allegations emerged, YesWeekly.com reports, including accusations that the head manager made crude comments to employees, failed to pay them on time and made rules relating to employee dress codes that some found to be inappropriate. The allegations have been denied by the executive. It's unclear what really happened in this situation, but clearly many employees had strong feelings of dissatisfaction. 

Lessons in management

An article on Forbes.com cites a Business Insider survey, which finds that 41% of respondents feel that disliking a supervisor is often a driving force behind the decision to quit a job. Personality conflicts and poor management can lead to otherwise happy and productive employees leaving a company, when otherwise the pairing was an excellent match. Leaders play an integral role in how happy employees are with a company, and when good employees quit, it often makes management look bad to higher-level executives.

There are thousands of experts who list such traits as open communication, enthusiasm and charisma as essential in the makeup of a good leader. While all of these factors are important, the bottom line is a good leader must connect with his constituents. The makeup of what makes a good leader for Google can be dramatically different than traits necessary to be a good leader for WalMart. In any case, adaptability and the ability to connect with, listen and understand the needs of the people are what m atters most. Those who can't adapt to meet employee needs are destined to fail. 

That doesn't mean a good leader should be a pushover or simply give an employee whatever he wants. But a good leader must be able to derive win-win situations to maintain employee satisfaction while simultaneously meeting the needs of the organization. 

Where do managers go wrong?

Failing to recognize the value of employees can be a big mistake in leadership. When staff feel undervalued, they're more likely to walk off of the job, leaving managers short-staffed, customers unhappy and resulting in a loss of revenue for the business. 

It's not always a cut-and-dry case when every employee walks out of a fledgling business, but it can usually be traced to employees losing faith in their leadership. In the startup world, the only certainty is that the future is uncertain. Leaders who don't respect their people are almost certain to lose their support, and many won't realize the value lost until they're left standing alone, sorting through a disaster in the wake of a mass employee exodus. 


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