Why Employees Leave Organizations


It’s Monday morning and your team is gathering together for the beginning of the week meeting. Your team is fresh off the weekend and may not be in the most energetic of moods.

So you, as the leader of your team, need to present something during this meeting to pick them up and uplifting them with your inspiring and charismatic attitude to get your team out of the Sunday Funday mentality and back into a goal crushing machine.

The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained. Every Organization normally faces one common problem of high employee turnout ratio. People are leaving the Company for better pay, better profile or simple for just one reason…..?

Early this year, Amith, who is a Senior Software Designer, got an offer from a prestigious International Firm to work in their India operations in developing specialized software. He was thrilled by the offer. He had heard a lot about the CEO of this company, who is very charismatic and down to earth man, often quoted in the business press for his visionary attitude.

The pay was great, the company had all the right systems in place, employee friendly, human resources (HR) policies, a spanking new office and the very best technology, even a canteen that served superb food. Twice Amith was sent abroad for training. My learning curve is the sharpest, it’s even been, he said soon after he joined. It’s a real high working with such cutting edge technology.

Last week, less than eight months after he joined, Amith walked out of the job. He has no other offer in hand but he said; he couldn’t take it anymore. Nor, apparently, could several other people in his department who have also quit recently. The CEO is distressed about the high employee turnover. He’s distress about the money he’s spent in training them. He’s distressed because he can’t figure out what happened.

Why did this talented employee leave despite a top salary?

Amith quit for the same reason that drives many good people away. The answer lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization. The study surveyed over a million employees and 80000 Managers and was published in a book called “First Break All the Rules”.

It came up with this surprising finding; if you’re losing good people, look to their immediate supervisor. More than any other single reason, he is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. And he’s the reason why they quit, taking their knowledge, experience and contacts with them. Often, straight to the competition.

“People leave Managers not companies,” write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. “So much money has been thrown at the challenge of keeping good people, in the form of better pay, better perks and better training, when, in the end, turnover is mostly managers issue. If you have turnover problem, look first to your managers. Are they driving people away?

Beyond a point, an employee’s primary need has less to do with money, and more to do with how he’s treated and how valued he feels. Much of this depends directly on the immediate manager. And yet, bad bosses seem to happen to good people everywhere. A Fortune magazine survey some years ago found that nearly 75 per cent of employees have suffered at the hands of difficult superiors. You can leave one job to find another; you guessed it, another wolf in a pin stripe suit in the next one. Of all the workplace stressors, a bad boss is possibly the worst, directly impacting the emotional health and productivity of employees.

HR experts say that of all the abuses, employees find public humiliation the most intolerable. The first time, an employee may not leave, but a thought has been planted. The second time that thought gets strengthened. The third time, he starts looking for another job. When people cannot retort openly in anger, they do so by passive aggression. By digging their heels in and slowing down. By doing only what they are told to do and no more. By omitting to give the boss crucial information.

Somen says, if you work for a jerk, you basically want to get him into trouble. You don’t have your heart and soul in the job. “Different managers can stress out employees in different ways, but being too controlling, too suspicious, too pushy, too critical, but they forget that workers are not fixed assets, they are free agents. When this goes on too long, an employee will quit. Often over seemingly trivial issue.

It isn’t the 100th blow that knocks a good man down. It’s the 99 that went before. And while, it’s true that people leave jobs for all kinds of reasons for better opportunities or for circumstantial reasons, many who leave would have stayed, had it not been for one man constantly telling them, as in Amith’s case, you are dispensable. I can find dozens like you. While it seems like there are plenty of other fish especially in today’s waters, consider for a moment the cost of losing a talented employee.

There’s the cost of finding a replacement. The cost of training the replacement. The cost of not having someone to do the job in the meantime. The loss of clients and contacts the person had with the industry. The loss of morale in co-works. The loss of trade secrets this person may now share with others.

Plus, of course, the loss of the company’ reputation. Every person who leaves a corporation then becomes its ambassador, for better or for worse.

We all know of large IT companies that people would love to join and large television companies few want to go near. In both cases, former employees have left to tell their tales. Any company trying to compete must figure out a way to engage the mind of every employee, Abhi of DM Ent. says, much of a company’s value lies between the ears of its employees. If it’s bleeding talent, it’s bleeding value.

Unfortunately, many senior executives busy traveling the world, signing new deals and developing a vision for the company, have little idea of what may be going back at home. That deep within an organization that otherwise does all the right things, one man could be driving its best people away.

Employees quit when they don’t feel special. The compensation system, the rewards and recognition passed out must favor your best employees or you’re not spending the money wisely. Nothing deflates the motivation of a good employee more than seeing poor performing employees equivalently rewarded.

Employees seek growth and potential advancement opportunities. Research shows that the opportunity to continue to grow and develop their skills is high on your employees’ list of what they expect to attain at work. From coaching to mentoring to formal training sessions, you need to take care of this need.

In fact, the lack of opportunity is cited in exit interviews as a key reason the employee is leaving. Managers need to work with employees on career development plans so that the employee is looking forward to constant growth and development and can see what the next opportunity brings.

Employees need to feel confident that the senior leaders in their organization know what they are doing. They need to have faith that their senior leaders have a strategic direction and are executing on it.

Employees don’t do well when they feel rudderless and drifting. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to make decisions that have an impact on the organization and to feel as if they understood the context well enough to make effective decisions.

Pay attention to these factors so your best employees don’t feel the need to quit. You also want to track why employees resign so that you can see patterns and deal with the issues before you lose your best employees. An employee resignation allows you to examine your retention processes and gives you the basics to take steps to retain your best employees.

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