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.

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Comment by Jason Monastra on March 29, 2011 at 11:13am
Morgan - as I commented on the other article.  Money is a huge issue if that is their motivator for change.  If you are a perm recruiter, than it has no bearing.  You get your fee and move on.   We are a systems integrator hiring people full time here for us and then delivering long term support contracts for the government and commercial clients.  We need people that are focused, dedicated to work and interested in making an impact.  Money cannot be high on the list.  We pay competitive but the people we hire are ones that stay the long haul on projects or outsourcing contracts that are 2, 3, 5 years in term. I am not interested in people that want more money as their main reason.  I want people that are looknig for a career and a desire to make a better company.
Comment by Al Merrill on March 29, 2011 at 12:04pm


      I don't believe the term career is dead in this country, as I know there are people who want to be a part of something and make a contribution. I do believe a recruiting problem in finding or keeping the right people you need may come down to the story their being told by the recruiters. Selling people a "big picture sell", as I call it, comes down creating a scenario that makes people qualify for your program, instead of the company trying to qualify for their needs. It's tweaking the skill set of the recruiter to do a negative sell, taking the opportunity away from a candidate, and in the process making the candidate come to the job! Nothing new here, not just a skill set everyone been exposed to or used before.  

Comment by Jason Monastra on March 29, 2011 at 3:23pm

Morgan - I understand what you are saying but career being dead I cannot agree with.  Careers are all over the place, and they provide stability for a solid amount of people in this country.  Are they as bloated with all of the benefits they were once before - no.  But if people will learn to live within their means, stop demanding unrealistic pay for average work and understand that their jobs can go offshore, they would live in a more humble state of mind.  One that would be less focused on money, more on performance and long standing stability, and that would translate to career opportunities vs. jumping from job to job.


AL - how true and the "take away" is something I use on all positions we have within the company.  I tell all my team, sell people NOT to take the job.  Even if they are the best technically, I want them to want this job - not a little, but a lot.  When people sell against taking the job, paint a poor picture (within reason), and really explain the true picture vs. fantasy - the right people are hired.  Mostly because they are the ones that really want to work for your company.  Not simply people that just want a job. 

Comment by Jason Monastra on March 29, 2011 at 4:44pm
Loud and clear there, definitions can definately be one of confusion.  And I would agree with your statement.  However the traditional career has gone away not only due to the corporate profit need, but look at union greed.  Why are companies not able to complete globally, look at a union contract and that will spell the doom of the entire US system.  Our major jobs are all outsourced due to the amount of monies union extort not only from the companies, but from the employees they represent.  People need to remember what got us here to start with - hard work, long hours, sweat and tears.  With that came prosperity.  Now everyone just wants it handed to them.
Comment by Jason Monastra on March 29, 2011 at 9:21pm
Thanks Morgan, the same to you.  Very much enjoyed the discussion. 


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