People do not leave jobs, they leave their bosses

People leave their bosses, not jobs

Whenever a person leaves a company, it is estimated to cost their employers about 2 years of that person’s salary. This cost comprises rehiring, training, loss of contacts that this person might have, employee benefits, etc. During exit interviews, I don’t think you will actually hear the REAL reasons why they leave. After talking to many professionals including HR practitioners, I have concluded that in most instances, people actually leave their bosses, not their jobs.

I understand that there might be other push/pull factors for a person to leave.

In this article, I will just focus on the reasons why people leave their bosses (or managers).


1. Poor leadership skills of bosses

One of the main reasons is that their immediate bosses tend to have poor leadership skills. Bosses tend to give them unclear job descriptions, make them work hard without proper recognition/rest, are picky, or have poor people skills. Making staff work hard is not the main issue, but not giving them the proper respect and acknowledgment at work is extremely frustrating to their staff. There are some bosses who also tend to be insecure in their role, pushing their staff down while ensuring that they are acknowledged for every level of success their staff brings.


2. They are micro-managed by their bosses

If a staff is constantly asked by his/her superior on the progress of their work and had to intervene in the way they do things, they will tend to be frustrated. Bosses intervene mainly because there is a lack of trust in their staff’s quality of work. It is better for bosses to actually manage based on end results rather than day-to-day monitoring.


3. Bosses with hidden agendas

The lack of trust between staff and boss tend to produce conversations with hidden meanings. When trust is low, people start to guess what their boss actually mean in their conversations. Some bosses speak in meetings to seemingly care for their departments, but often their staff feel that there is a hidden purpose behind every statement. Some people have even commented that their bosses are political and hide behind different meanings in a statement. The way to combat such ill feelings is to be forth-coming, truthful and transparent in the way you relate to staff.


4.    Bosses not delivering promises

Have you heard of the following statements:

“I have plans to promote you in the next few months” or “If you were to achieve these targets, you can expect _____” to only find out that your boss did not fulfill his/her promise.

The thing I am trying to bring across is that sometimes managers don’t deliver on what they say. It only needs to happen only once before people start doubting everything their boss says. The only way to address this issue is to consistently say what you mean and mean what you say.


Do you see a group of people leaving your company?

Whenever people leave, take a good look at the leaders. In most cases, people leave their bosses, not their jobs. In order to stop great people from leaving, always start with working on the way leaders lead their people.

PS: I would love to hear your comments. Do let me know what you think!