People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their lousy bosses

We’ve all had them. And the chances are, they’re probably the main reason why you quit a job.

Yes, I’m talking about horrible bosses.

Sure, there’s a ton of other reasons why people resign – money, location, personal reasons, maybe a lack of interest.

But you’d be surprised to know that the main reason why employees quit is due to unhappiness with their bosses.

Numerous studies overwhelmingly show that people choose to leave their jobs rather than continue to deal with their bosses. That in fact, they would happily accept a lesser salary if they could work with good people instead.

Right now, more than 2 million (7.8%) of employed Americans voluntarily resign from their jobs.

That’s a staggering number. But it is happening, for all the wrong reasons.

A study by Accenture reports that there are 4 main reasons why people resign from otherwise fulfilling jobs:

  1. They don’t like their boss (31%),
  2. A lack of empowerment (31%),
  3. Internal politics (35%)
  4. Lack of recognition (43%).

If you consider these 4 reasons, you’d realize that these things could be provided by a good boss. It is a manager’s responsibility, after all, to make sure their employees feel valued.

Bad bosses aren’t terrible in the way you think

Culture portrays horrible bosses as villainous and extremely spiteful. However, this is actually not the case.

Most bad bosses don’t engage in such an outright manner. I’m not talking about Miranda-Priestly-type of bosses.

Think of someone more like Michael Scott from The Office – passive-aggressive bosses who are just oblivious to everything they are doing wrong. Sometimes they can even mean well.

The truth is, according to James Manktelow, co-author of popular book Mind Tools for Managersit’s simply the case of poor training.

It takes a lot of emotional intelligence to be a good boss.

“You need to be confident, authentic and positive. You need to be able to cope with pressure and stress without taking it out on members of your team. And you need to be able to inspire people, and deal gracefully with problems when they inevitably arise.

“It takes time, guidance and development to become this sort of person, and many bosses don’t receive this.”

And when bosses don’t learn these things, they become bad tempered and exhibit poor judgment. They end up being controlling and can obsessively focus on the task at the expense of their employees.

Some are overly-absent. They’re rarely there and when things go south, they blame the people under them. A bad boss could also be someone who cares more about self-promotion than anything else.

In short, bad bosses become short-sighted over otherwise trivial matters. They micromanage everything else and yet fail to focus on establishing a good work culture for their people.

Ultimately, it’s this kind of behavior that pushes great employees to the breaking point.

The solution?

Bottom line is, bosses simply need to care. 

Of course, not to an extent that is unprofessional, but just enough to make employees feel appreciated and valued when they do a great job.

You don’t need training to become a decent human being.

A good and effective boss should be able to communicate well with employees from all generations. They should know how to listen well, empathize, direct firmly but thoughtfully and be able to give feedback.

Managers need to know their people well enough to know where their passions lie and give them tasks they will be most productive at. And they need to know when to start and stop pushing.

At the end of the day, a great boss isn’t one who was best trained, highly-educated or even someone with the best credentials. A great boss is someone who takes the time to cultivate each individual under their wing. Someone who nurtures the best in their people and know where and how they could grow.

Only then can they create an “unquittable” work culture.

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