Why Employees Quit Managers, Not Jobs

You’ve seen the press about managers leaving companies because of their managers, not their jobs.

I’ve had two conversations this past month with two gentlemen who did this exact thing. The sad part is they both enjoyed their responsibilities and coworkers, but management and leadership were lacking.

A large part of Customer Experience work is focused on the internal customer experience. When coaching company leaders, I often remind them that if staff were to leave, they would likely find jobs very similar to the ones they currently hold. So, the work is to create the best employee possible to retain the best staff.

Why staff leave…

It used to be that folks would leave jobs for better pay. While pay is important, it’s not the most important factor. Being unappreciated, not aligning with company values, no opportunity for growth, poor morale and culture, disengagement, poor work/life balance, are listed as top reasons good employees leave.

The Cause and How to Fix It…

All the reasons cited above have one thing in common… leadership. Leadership must take charge and set the tone for consistency and implementation of a well-designed employee experience.

Engage and connect with staff. Ivory tower leadership will never be successful. Leadership must connect with staff to understand them as individuals and their career priorities.

Make the right hiring decisions. Recruiting the right people sets the stage for success. As with any sports team, bringing the wrong people on is a recipe for failure. Take time and effort to recruit for culture, personality, and customer-centric focus. While it’s tempting to hire quickly to fill positions, intentional hiring practices increase the likelihood of success.

Show everyone their impact. People need a sense of purpose. Studies show job engagement increases when work is perceived as meaningful. Individuals understanding how the work they do benefits the company and the customer also report higher levels of job satisfaction.

Leadership commitment. Dedication to retaining good staff through engagement, empowerment, modeling, vision, and training must be solid.

Conduct quality exit interviews. Get to the real reasons staff are leaving. By creating a sense of trust in the exit interview, staff will likely give you the true reasons they are moving on. The key is to consider the feedback and act on it whenever possible.

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