Bad bosses: Companies lose employees even before they start their jobs


The leadership style of bosses has a major impact on the success of a company: It is crucial for the climate in the team, plays a role in how motivated and committed the employees are, and decides how loyal the employees are to their company. Good leadership is very important, especially in times of crisis, when there is uncertainty about the personal and entrepreneurial career.

However, the management style can not only influence employees already working in the company: As a graduate of the private business school International School of Management (ISM) demonstrated in her thesis in the field of business psychology, the management style already plays an important role in the recruiting of future employees.

The chance of a new application is 70 percent higher – with good bosses

Laura Schüpphaus interviewed around 80 students who had just completed an internship in a company about how they perceived the leadership quality of their respective bosses. She asked how much pride they had felt during their internship and how committed and satisfied they had been depending on the quality of their boss’s leadership. Schüpphaus also asked whether they would recommend the company, whether they would apply later, and how big their desire was for a permanent entry into the company.

The result: A bad boss had a very negative impact on the entire internship experience and the subsequent view of the company as an employer, as Schüpphaus explained. A good experience with the leadership style within a company is 70 percent more likely to reapply than a bad experience. The desire to join the company later is even 92 percent higher.

Involvement in the company and comparison of personal expectations are important

This is something to think about because interns are far less demanding than permanent employees, says Schüpphaus. Therefore, comprehensive onboarding is always important. Without an understanding of the background and processes in the company, one’s own performance is severely hampered – and thus ultimately the added value for the company. It is also important that the manager takes the time to compare expectations and requirements right from the start.

Overall, it is technically said that at least “average leadership quality” should be guaranteed if an internship is to function successfully as a recruitment tool. Medium-sized companies in particular, which are dependent on new specialists, should therefore invest more in internship programs.

In this context, Schüpphaus advises to use the centering of smaller companies in one place and, for example, to organize an introductory week with various positions in the company in order to give the interns an overview and a feeling of belonging.

Regular management and feedback training courses would also help to ensure good leadership quality and positively influence the experience of interns in the company. Particular attention should be paid to the interpersonal relationship between managers and interns.


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