People Quit Bosses, Not Companies

This post was originally published on LinkedIn, by Wally Schmader.

All of us have heard this statement at some point, and it turns out to be true. A recent Gallup survey showed that just over 50% of employees who have quit their job have done so to get away from their bosses. Another study, concluded in 2016, put the number right at 75%. That’s a lot.

Still more research shows that the people who quit jobs are often the most valuable employees. They are people who feel like they deserve a certain kind of treatment and engagement at work… people who feel like they have better options.

Here are the top five reasons people quit jobs:

  1. They don’t want to work with their Boss
  2. They want more opportunity for advancement
  3. They want a better work/life balance
  4. They want to earn more money
  5. They were unsatisfied with the work environment

Look closely at this list. You could argue that four of the top five are actually just different ways of saying they need better leadership… and compensation wasn’t even in the top three!

Progressive leaders know that you can’t buy employee engagement or loyalty, they have to be earned. Retaining talented people comes down to leadership. The impact of great managers and leaders on retention and development surpasses any other job attribute.

Let’s review the primary ways that poor leaders can repel great people:

They Lack Humility – Making them unapproachable and less likely to recognize the excellent performance of others.

They Fail to Engage People’s Creative Sides – Making people feel less inspired and underutilized.

They Fail to Develop People’s Skills – Underestimating people’s ability and potential.

They Hire and Promote the Wrong People – Favoring people who are more like them, instead of people more likely to excel.

The Undervalue Diversity and Inclusion – Failing to harness the power of the collective and the value of differences.

They Fail to Share a Compelling Vision – Robbing people of enthusiasm and purpose for their work.

Think about this list, especially if you are a manager of people. If you want fewer great people to quit you in the future… it may be time to make some adjustments to your leadership approach.

-Wally Schmader

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