“Your relationship with your immediate supervisor is the key to your daily morale and how long you stay.”

Regardless of the organization’s reputation, your immediate supervisor is key. They define and create your work environment and longevity. If the relationship is strained, no amount of back slapping, pep talks and perks will persuade you to stay engaged and perform with excellence. It’s better to work for a great servant-leader in an average company than an emotionally immature power broker at a Fortune 500.

Finding and keeping great team members are two sides of the same coin. Some organizations have even set up an Office of Retention reporting directly to the CEO. Others have instituted work-life balance programs designed to relieve stress at home. Casual dress, on-site child care, bring your pet day and a plethora of other efforts are used trying to retain good people.

Why do people stay with great leaders? First, they want to work with well-led and managed organizations. Second, they respect their direct supervisor. Third, they are fairly compensated, not only wages and benefits, but opportunities to grow personally and professionally. Fourth, the chance to work with respected, compatible and motivated team members. Fifth, their work is challenging, satisfying and stimulating.

Why do good people leave? First, the quality of top leaders shifts or declines. Second, unreasonable conflicts arise with immediate supervisors. Third, close friends’ leave taking away a meaningful relationship. Fourth, unfavorable change of responsibilities occur. The work is no longer appealing or their abilities don’t match their responsibilities. Fifth, problems with work-life balance happening beyond their ability to change.

The turnover rate on your team is a key indicator of your leadership effectiveness. Your ability to attract good people, maximize their talent and build them into a motivated team is far more important than your education, intellect and organizational skills. When was the last time you checked your turnover rate?