How Top Management Affects Employee Turnover – and How to Solve the Problem

Chris Pierce-Cooke

Over 46 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs in 2022 alone.

The so-called Great Resignation has already affected organizations of all industries and sizes – professional services firms are no exception. The struggle to attract and retain top talent has been one of the main challenges towards business growth.

So how can organizations fight this trend and win the battle for talent?

New research shows that the answer comes from the top of the corporate chain.

A study including board members, middle managers, employees and HR professionals of 96 companies points to the cohesion in top management teams as the initial factor to affect employee turnover intentions. The survey amounted to 11,000 people, from small to medium-sized enterprises, where the organizational impact of top management is usually more direct.


Ultimately, it’s a trickle down effect.

The more fractured and disconnected top management teams are, the more employees act on the intention to leave their companies.

There are some on point solutions for the effect of leadership performance on employee turnover levels.

The first step is for companies to embrace the power of culture. And that begins with becoming quickly aware if there is a negative and potentially corrosive organizational environment. Once there is recognition of the problem, a common track is to invest in individual or team coaching. There are many training options to develop both interpersonal skills and group processes.

Leadership mindset is another key aspect to consider. Individualistic leadership styles do not only threaten teamwork as a whole, they also challenge the development of a collaborative posture at the top of the organization.


Keep in mind that employees are increasingly seeking decentralized, team-based, agile organizations.

Finally, being able to communicate openly about the internal dynamics of the top leadership is a way to build trust and pick up on early signs of trouble in the team. When employees perceive cohesion and unity at the top it enhances the desire to truly be a part of the team.

Leadership development and culture-building are pillars of a solid business growth strategy. Our group of trusted advisors has guided many companies to the best custom solutions for their context. Don’t hesitate to reach out for counsel!

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