Why Workers Quit
13 January, 2023

The Growing Rift Between Workers and Managers in the Restoration Industry

Leighton Healey

KnowHow recently conducted the largest ever survey of the restoration workforce industry. The 400+ workers in the restoration industry we interviewed gave us never-before-seen insight into why workers join a workplace, and very importantly, why workers quit.

What workers told us was clear: one of the most significant reasons good employees leave their company is because of a bad relationship with their management. In fact, almost 60% of field workers who responded to the Restoration Workforce Survey said they did not have a great relationship with their manager.

If you’re a restoration owner, it’s important to note the source of such frustration: field workers. While all staff in a company are critical to daily operations, a restoration company simply cannot operate with consistently disgruntled frontline staff. These are the face of your company, and have the most control over the end-customer experience. The fact that 60% of field workers are not enthusiastic about their relationship with management should be cause for concern.

So, the big question is, why? What’s leading to this conflict between field workers and management that’s ultimately tempting them to walk away to find something better?

Upper management is the absolute worst. They are very knee-jerk reaction based, and don’t think about the repercussions of their actions as it relates to technicians. They don’t train us well and give us too many hours with no work-life balance”.

We asked workers what change they wanted to see in their manager’s approach, and they didn’t hold back. From complaints about their manager’s communication style, to flaws in their personality, workers told us point-blank where their managers were dropping the ball.

Did management agree? When we asked senior leaders why workers quit, they did not point the finger back at themselves, but instead squarely at the worker:

“They quit because of a lack of discipline. They can’t even complete simple tasks and communicate poorly”.

Managers feel that employees quit because they are unmotivated, bad at their job, lazy, not skilled, you name it. Management is failing to realize talented employees are quitting because of them.

This is worrying for many reasons, but it should be of particular concern because it’s the exact opposite of what field workers are saying.

Managers felt that employees quit because they were unmotivated, bad at their job, lazy, not skilled, you name it. Ultimately, many managers failed to realize talented employees are quitting because of them.

So what can be done?

Many respondents to the survey question “What would you change about your manager's approach?” agreed that simple things like regular check-ins, and more transparency from management would go a long way. Additionally, it's imperative that senior leaders invest into their management team, especially when it comes to soft skills Restoration can get stressful at times and tempers can flare, but too many employees are reconsidering working for your company because of the demeanor of their direct supervisor. This are unforced errors that you could eliminate by equipping your managers with conflict resolution and stress management skills.

Improving communication, transparency, and overall respect from management doesn’t happen overnight. It starts with clear, easily accessible processes available to management and employees alike. These processes should be thorough, and outline every detail from the hiring process, down to having a conversation with an unhappy employee. When these processes are in place, restoration business owners will start to see better communication and improved transparency which will ultimately lead to happier employees, better internal relationships, and employees who want to succeed with your company.

Looking for help becoming a process driven company? That’s why we created KnowHow. We help restoration companies all over North-America succeed by equipping them with processes they need to run a well-oiled machine built for success.

Visit our website today to learn more or to book a demo.

If you haven’t already, download the full e-book “Why Workers Quit”  for more great insights and lessons about the restoration workforce directly from the source: restoration workers themselves.

Want to see what KnowHow can do for your workforce? Book a demo.
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