Why People Leave their jobs - #1 Reason!

After combing through countless books, articles, and various online posts - the #1 reason for people leaving a company is their direct boss.  Bosses have the ability to change, enhance or ruin a work environment.  And they can do it quickly.  So if bosses are the number one reason, why do we have so many poor ones?  Training.  Let me put it better, the lack of training.  Bosses, leadership, or management - however you describe the people that oversee your day to day life; are the glowing star in the sky that keep you happy or are the gloomy cloud that hovers over your head and forces you out.  Which one do you have?


For the bosses reading this article, TAKE NOTES.  There are various foundational elements that cross all borders of management.  Whether a factory manager, a shift lead in a fast food company, or an manager at a FORTUNE 100 - the basics remain the same.  So take a quick look at why the people say they leave and then we can discuss how to solve the issue.  Professional staff members leave due to the way they are treated - something that has little to do with their duties.  How the manager looks at them, speaks to them, associates with inside/outside the office, encourages them, etc. all were the largest factors when determining  how an employee evaluates a boss.  If you do not think these factors matter, look at this.  One of the reports written states that 75% of employees site their direct manager as the most stressful part of their day.  So how does a manager truly manage people?


I believe that there is so much more to managing people than simply overseeing them in their tasks.  The question is engagement, how does a boss engage the people he/she oversees is the real factor that makes all the difference.  Engagement covers all the intangible interactions that we mentioned above and weigh the most on how staff assess their leadership.  The old school thoughts are management up here and the rest of the people down here.  If you are looking to keep losing people, remain in that school of thought - they will fall away in droves.  Lack of engagement is the core foundation of the old school way of management.  So why engage?  People are people, one of the forgotten principles of management in today's business world.  To influence people and get the job done, managers need to engage people.  To do so, you must treat people the right way.  Sounds simple enough - does it not?  Why is it so hard then?  In addition to change management, training, and the fear that all of those bring - technology is one of the single largest factors in the inability of managers to be able to engage.  Email, phone, tele-conference, etc all remove the need for engagement and place people in isolated verticals without management training.  All this equals people consistently ranking their bosses low in performance ratings and leaving their positions for "the grass being greener" on the other side. 


Look for future articles addressing how to be better boss.  Check out workfanatic for more information.

Views: 3079

Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on March 28, 2011 at 8:41am

I do not think that is the number one reason it is up there but I had a really really bad boss many years ago.


Loved the job and my coworkers and stayed for a while. When I left it was not because of my boss..

Comment by Jason Monastra on March 28, 2011 at 8:44am

Why did you leave? 


I have just found the more I read, people site their direct manager has being the main reason for their departure and their level of stress at their current role.  What do you believe is the main reason people leave their positions?

Comment by Amber on March 28, 2011 at 10:23am

Direct managers are a big part of job satisfaction, but if they are a "bad" manager due to personality all the training in the world won't help! And no one probably wants more (any) engagement with them, lol.

Comment by Jason Monastra on March 28, 2011 at 10:26am
I would agree there, but do you think that training cannot help....I would think that some training might work.  I have worked with some managers that simply do not realize how they come off and how people see them.  That is trainable especially if the person is willing to learn.  Largest issues are with managers who do not want to change and remain focused on their way only.  Those people no one can assist.
Comment by Amber on March 28, 2011 at 10:37am

If the they just need training in how to communicate better, then yes it would help definitely. But if their core personality is rotten, then that just always comes through. Most people can tell if their boss is a bit shy, or maybe likes to get the point without small talk, or does not give constant praise and adapt to it. It is different when the underlying person is dishonest, unethical, lazy, unfair, sleazy, etc. Those types of supervisors make the situations where employees have to decide if other aspects of the job are worth trying to fix the problem, wait it out, etc.

Comment by Jason Monastra on March 28, 2011 at 10:43am
The type of person you are discussing I could not be involved with.  So in that case - YES I completely agree.  But I find that some people are simply unaware they come off wrong.  They do not understand their audience and no one ever offers candid feedback therefore the issue is rarely if ever resolved.
Comment by Shari Zamarian on March 28, 2011 at 11:40am
I just left my job for this reason and took a contract position.  She needed training; never been a boss until I came along.  She treated me as her administrative assistant and not the position I was hired to perform.  I am much happier and so is my family. 
Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on March 28, 2011 at 11:41am
My wife was transfered....
Comment by Paul Basile on March 28, 2011 at 11:47am
This is an old truth: people leave their bosses not their jobs. Like many old truths it is both correct and misleading. People leave the situation and leaders influence the situation more than most other factors. But there are other factors. And training changes (regrettably) little. I know blogs are the place for opinions but there are serious studies that show what can and should be done to keep people in jobs - get them in the right jobs in the first place - and training doesn't rank high on that list.
Comment by Amber on March 28, 2011 at 11:48am

You are certainly correct about most people being able to know how others perceive you.

The feedback is tough for a few reasons:

1. The person's bosses may not ever, or very infrequently, spend time observing how they interact.

2. People's behavior is different if they are being observed.

3. The person's subordinates feel they might be chastised or anger their boss if they try to offer constructive criticism.


I have had to attend numerous workshops over the years and one was a "Train the Trainer" workshop. Boy, it was eye opening to watch the videos of our presentations! Very valuable to have the chance to see how you look and sound, and the differences you can make after you work on improving.


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