Labor Issues & Conflict Management

A manager comes to you with concerns about unusually high turnover in her work unit. You review some of the exit interviews your HR office has conducted with many of her former employees and notice some trends.

First, they have expressed that they don’t really understand why they are doing the tasks that they are doing, and how it fits into the “big picture” of the company and its strategic plan. They claim that she gives a number of orders and demands quick turnaround on assignments, but they don’t really understand the purpose of the work, except that certain tasks have to be accomplished immediately or there will be consequences.

They also express that there is little incentive to do a good job, because they have witnessed many colleagues work incredibly hard without any recognition. And while people know what they are supposed to be doing on a daily basis, they don’t understand why or to what level of performance, and they are confused as to what a high quality, job “well done” really looks like.

1-Based on the information provided in these exit interviews, what feedback can you provide the manager about her leadership styles and the climate she may have created? 2-What recommendations might you make?


Sample Answer

Sample Answer



Feedback on Leadership Styles and Created Climate

Based on the information provided in the exit interviews, it is evident that the manager’s leadership style and the climate she has created are contributing factors to the high turnover in her work unit. The following feedback can be provided:

Lack of Clarity and Communication: Employees expressed confusion about the purpose of their tasks and how they fit into the bigger picture of the company’s strategic plan. This indicates that the manager has not effectively communicated the organization’s goals and objectives to her team. The lack of clarity creates a sense of disconnect, leading to employees feeling demotivated and disengaged.

Authoritarian and Demanding Approach: The interviews reveal that the manager gives numerous orders and demands quick turnaround on assignments without explaining the purpose or providing context. Thissuggests an authoritarian leadership style, where employees are expected to comply with instructions without understanding the rationale behind them. Such an approach can create a negative work environment where employees feel like they are merely following orders without being valued or involved in decision-making processes.

Lack of Recognition and Incentives: Employees have witnessed their colleagues working hard without receiving any recognition. This absence of acknowledgment for hard work and dedication can lead to demotivation and a lack of commitment among employees. The lack of incentives for doing a good job further diminishes employees’ motivation to excel in their work.

Unclear Performance Expectations: Employees expressed confusion regarding the level of performance expected from them and what a high-quality job looks like. This suggests that the manager has not effectively communicated performance standards and expectations to her team. Without clear benchmarks, employees may struggle to meet expectations and feel uncertain about their own progress and development.


To address the issues identified, several recommendations can be made to improve the leadership styles and climate within the manager’s work unit:

Improve Communication: Encourage the manager to enhance communication with her team by providing regular updates on the organization’s goals, objectives, and strategic plan. This will help employees understand how their tasks contribute to the bigger picture and create a sense of purpose in their work.

Foster Collaboration and Involvement: Encourage the manager to involve her team in decision-making processes whenever possible. This will promote a sense of ownership and engagement among employees, as they will feel valued for their input and ideas.

Provide Clear Expectations: Work with the manager to establish clear performance expectations for each role within the team. This should include defining measurable goals, outlining key responsibilities, and providing guidelines on what constitutes high-quality work.

Recognize and Reward Performance: Emphasize the importance of recognizing and rewarding employees for their hard work and achievements. Implement a system that acknowledges outstanding performance through verbal recognition, rewards, or other forms of appreciation.

Offer Development Opportunities: Encourage the manager to provide opportunities for professional growth and development within the team. This can include training programs, mentorship opportunities, or cross-functional projects that allow employees to expand their skills and knowledge.

Foster a Positive Work Environment: Encourage the manager to create a positive work environment by promoting open communication, teamwork, and mutual respect among team members. This can be achieved through team-building activities, fostering a culture of collaboration, and addressing any conflicts or issues promptly.

By implementing these recommendations, the manager can improve her leadership approach, create a more positive work climate, and reduce turnover within her work unit. It is important to provide ongoing support and guidance to ensure that these changes are effectively implemented and sustained over time.



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