When Employees Quit, Managers Are the Likely Culprit

March 25, 2021
When Employees Quit, Managers Are the Likely Culprit

You trust your managers to run your business efficiently and with professionalism. You certainly don’t want them to butt heads with your top talent, but it happens. Studies have shown that when your best employees quit, it’s probably not the company they’re leaving. Employees quit managers, not companies.

Tweet: #Employees quit managers, not companies. -@Conrecept #quotes

Managers with poor leadership skills, inadequate job knowledge, or difficult personalities can all be turnoffs to top talent that eventually drive them to search for employment elsewhere.

If your best employees never seem to stick around, your managers may be the culprit.

Over time, we’ve seen managers that engage in the following behaviors seem to drive employees away the most:

  • They don’t recognize achievements
  • They break their promises
  • They make demands
  • They over-delegate
  • They promote the wrong people
  • They don’t focus on employee growth

Overall, these types of managers create a negative and stifling atmosphere for your employees to work in. Some might be able to hack it and do great work anyway, but some of your top performers will simply get frustrated with the wrong leadership and decide to leave.

An additional concern is that when the problem causing an employee to leave involves the manager, the employee may not feel comfortable addressing that concern with you because they assume there is a “bosses club” where you have the manager’s back and vice versa. They might fear that you won’t believe them if it’s their word against the managers. They might worry you’re involved in the policies and unfair treatment they’ve been receiving.

This is what makes it vitally important for you to be involved in your company and let your employees know you’re always open to hearing their concerns and want to support their growth at the company.

Employees quit managers

Good employees put a lot of effort into making sure they complete their duties in the best way possible. When managers don’t recognize that achievement or choose to focus on an employees’ weaknesses instead of strengths, they miss a major opportunity to motivate and inspire their employees. People need to be motivated in order to continue doing a stellar job, and if they don’t receive that motivation from their manager, who will they receive it from?

They’ll simply decide to look for another job–one where they’re appreciated–and chalk it up to experience. They’ll find work in no time with a developed skill set, eager attitude, and industry knowledge, but what happens to your business? If you don’t remove the bad apple (your under-performing manager), you’ll end up spoiling the whole bunch.

Firing a bad manager

If you’ve determined your manager is the problem causing employees to feel dissatisfied with their jobs and eventually leaving to find work elsewhere, it’s time to fire your manager.

Gallup has a great flowchart for the process, depending on your manager’s circumstances:

Don’t let a bad manager drive your top talent away. Keep a close eye on the way your managers are treating your employees and running your business while you’re away. Support your employees, and they’ll be motivated to support you!