What are your people REALLY resigning from? Could it be the BOSS?

I vividly recall the first time I resigned. My boss banged his head on the table and lay there for 3-5 seconds. After he regained his composure, he only had one question: Why? It was also the first and last time I ever gave an honest answer during resignation. I was following something more meaningful.

Having recruited for small and Fortune-500 companies globally, I have always asked my candidates to share what they are really resigning from. The answers? Usually sugar-coated and vague. Lateron during the induction process, or in my current work at edge when conducting human capital assessments for our clients, I have been lucky to hear the truth.

“I have  reached a point where I am no longer eager to get up to go to work every day. It feels like I am making little or no value add to the organization”,

“My boss is unreasonable” (dug deeper it turns out they are not consulted on decisions that directly relate to their deliverables),

“ My boss is always so quick to criticize, but I don’t recall ever been recognized for my contributions in my projects”,

“I feel overworked”,

and my favourite…

“We are not allowed to explore beyond our JD. Just do what you hired to do. Leave the thinking to the boss”.

These bosses are completely ignoring studies which have shown that people who are allowed to pursue their passions at work experience “flow”, which means they get into a euphoric state of mind that makes them five times more productive than the norm.

It surprises us too when the management asks us, “how comes that our staff tells you these things and not us?” Earlier this year, Gallup released a study that gave a new lens on worker-manager relationships. Per the study, 50% of the 7,200 survey participants left a job “to get away from their boss.”

It is a key need for humans to belong. Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.”

Our businesses are based on a network of relationships – with clients, with employees, with partners, with suppliers etc. For an organization to thrive, to attract and retain the best people, to make people want to work for you, we as leaders must take the ownership to nurture these relationships.

Trying to succeed without prioritizing the people in the organization is like trying to run a car without oil.

It’s all the aspects that fall under leadership; giving relevance, allowing and recognizing contribution, taking decisions, speerheading the work environment, giving support, prioritizing development. Leadership is what staff willingly choose to follow. And sometimes they choose not to.

Take time to reflect on how as a leader you may or may not be contributing to the levels of attrition in your company.

What best practices have you experienced ? We would love to hear from you. This is our platform to learn from each other!

If you are interested to find out what our Human Capital Health Check can do for your company, please get in touch!