The management team at the company I work for (in England) are all exceptionally experienced in their own fields. Most have a PhD or greater level of academic qualification and this goes with the territory of the industry.

The problem is that they are so well experienced and qualified, they don't feel the need to listen to their employees. Not about working conditions or on professional matters.

It is the old cliche of not being able to teach old dogs new tricks.

There is a high attrition rate of the more skilled employees and management have noticed this but refuse to believe they are to blame.

How can I convince this management team to listen to their employees?

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    What does management believe the problem to be, i.e. why do they believe they are losing employees? – Matthew Gaiser Feb 17 '20 at 20:57
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    @MatthewGaiser They think that low pay is the reason that they lose the more skilled employees. I think that this is only part of the problem. – stuart stevenson Feb 17 '20 at 21:22
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    What are the other parts? – Matthew Gaiser Feb 17 '20 at 21:27
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    @MatthewGaiser The other part is that management, because they think they are smarter or have seen it all, aren't interested in listening to their employees. An employee coming to them with a suggestion or a problem is a problem to them and not an opportunity to improve. – stuart stevenson Feb 17 '20 at 21:30
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    Old saying: You can lead a horse to the water, but you cannot make it drink. Your management is a bunch of horses that don't want to drink. Is your job paying well, fun, future proof? That's what you need to add up. Of course the horses in your company affect the 2nd and 3rd part of the sum. – gnasher729 Feb 17 '20 at 23:55

You mention in the comment that managment believe the reason is low pay.
So you actually have an unfriendly, deaf work enviroment that is not compensating for the discomfort.

The problem is that managment don't want to change it. They don't want to rise pay, or to make work life easier (for examply by opening bar on tools and work equpiment). If they wanted to they would do it already.

So you would need to diagnose the reason for that. Is it because they have academic background and think that everyone should do the work for the beauty of it? Or they were paid very low during academia and not think the experience is paid by miserable enviroment?

But first - ask them

If you think the high turnover is due to low pay do you want to do something with it?

The answer to this will lead you to other options. If they think they don't need to listen to anyone show them the studies that show what amount of pay peopple need to be happy and at what cap a person would not be compensated by money anymore.

Talk with them about testing. Listetning to somebody else idea and proving (or disproving) it is a part of academia.

  • These are some nice points. Thank you. – stuart stevenson Feb 18 '20 at 16:09

I would suggest exit interviews, but very few people ever tell the truth in those (not wanting to burn bridges).

My current company has an annual anonymous surveys, conducted by an outside, third-paerty, company. We believe them to be truly anonymous because no one has been disciplined for feedback. Would your management accept this?

If not, and you intend to move on, tell them exactly why you are going, and that others who left told you the same thing (but that you won't name names).

That's about all that you can do, given the fact that management refuses to accept that they are to blame.

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