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Employees don’t leave Companies, they leave Managers

I came across this article on LinkedIn and after reading it, it was clear to me that a lot of the challenges I faced during my days as an employee may not have been 100 percent my faults. We have difficult employers and supervisors, most of whom make it extremely hard for otherwise productive employees to have the space to make their contributions.

In her classification of the types of bosses in most workplaces, the writer somehow validated some of the views I held in my recently published book, PITCH: Debunking Marketing’s Strongest Myths, except that she focused only on characterizing those bosses that have the tendency to make their employees leave their jobs even when they otherwise would have stayed.


By: Brigette Hyacinth

Employees join companies but leave managers. A Gallup poll of more 1 million employed U.S. workers concluded that the No. 1 reason people quit their jobs is a bad boss or immediate supervisor. 75% of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses and not the position itself. In spite of how good a job be, people will quit if the reporting relationship is not healthy. “People leave managers not companies…in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue.”

Here are the four types of bad bosses that make employees want to quit companies:

1) “Marionette” – In an age of uncertainty, many managers are yielding to this trap of just playing it safe to preserve their position and privileges. They just follow orders. They never stand up for their team or question policies. They are mere puppets and exude no loyalty to employees. A lack of integrity in a manager can make an employee lose passion for the job.

” Respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress.” ~Richard Branson

2) “King Kong” – Some managers when they reach to the top immediately forget where they came from. These types of managers possess a superiority complex and like to draw the distinction between management and staff. It is dreadful to work under a manager who is more worried about pushing their weight around than building relationships. Great leaders don’t talk down to their employees or make them feel inferior. Respect is a must.

3) “Superman” – They think the organization revolves around them. Some start behaving like they are the owners of the company. This trap includes making all of the decisions solo, ignoring feedback and taking the credit. When employees don’t feel appreciated, morale and engagement plummets.

” Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” ~Andy Stanley

4) “Taskmaster” – Their sole focus is on the bottomline. Continuously drilling employees is a sure way make them unhappy at work. Micromanagement suffocates, demoralizes and kills creativity. If you hired someone, it means you believe they are capable of doing the job. A manager’s job is to motivate and provide guidance and support. It’s not constantly monitoring an employee’s every movement.

A bad boss can take a good staff and destroy it, causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation.

A bad boss creates fear and makes work drudgery. Studies show having a bad boss raises a worker’s chance of having a heart attack by as much as 60 per cent. What was it about a bad manager that increased the risk of heart disease? The stress and anxiety caused by unfeasible targets, lack of support, unfair practices and threats of punishment.

When you go beyond the call of duty for your employer, and they respond with inflexibility during your time of need, the relationship at that exact moment is lost.

Bad bosses are the No. 1 cause of unhappiness at work. People see the company only through their immediate boss. Employees know when they are on shaky ground. A manager who keeps throwing employees under the bus will create an atmosphere of anxiety and distrust. A recent study says that 56% of employees would turn down a 10% raise to stay with a great boss.Treat employees fairly, reward them for their hard work and they will give 110%.

There are too many individuals in positions who abuse their power. This is why good employees quit jobs. A culture of blaming, punishment, inflexibility and insensitivity only pushes people away. Employees want managers who are leaders. Managers who will inspire them, who are fair and honest and will stand up for their team.

I have seen too many exceptional employees become disheartened, stop caring, and just go through the motions until they find another job. Managers please use the human-to-human approach when dealing with employees. It’s people you are dealing with and not just a statistic on a graph. Get to know your people, meet them where they are and be flexible. You can’t buy loyalty but you can earn it. If you want loyal employees – Treat your people well!

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Ikem Okuhu is a journalist, a Public Relations professional, brand strategist and teacher. With a career that traversed Print Media, Oil & Gas, Banking and entrepreneurship, Ikem is the author of wave-making book; PITCH: Debunking Marketing’s Strongest Myths, a dispassionate exposition of the dos and don’ts of successful engagement in the marketplace, especially the Nigerian marketplace. He is the founder/publisher of BRANDish, Nigeria’s first nationally circulating Brands and Marketing magazine. He has also handled the PR and reputation management consultancies for a number of brands, businesses and public figures.

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