Employees leave their jobs for a number of reasons. Sometimes people leave for circumstantial reasons, like they’re moving to another state, they’ve decided to be a stay-at-home parent, they’re taking care of a sick relative, etc. Other reasons people leave are directly related to their position. Common reasons employees leave include poor company culture, feeling underutilized, and lack of career growth, amongst other reasons.
“Having a strong and effective working relationship is very important to smooth daily operations. A great employee and a great manager working together can move a mountain with ease. Even good managers can struggle with an employee and the lessons learned are tremendous, but the bad managers can be detrimental to a company and need to stop managing,” says Sharon Tsao, CMO of Contemporary Staffing Solutions.
The Number One Reason Employees Leave Their Jobs
However, the biggest reason people leave their jobs is their boss. According to a survey conducted by TotalJobs in May 2019, 49% of people surveyed admitted they have left a job because of the poor relationship they had with their manager. Not only did employees leave jobs because of their bosses, over 20% of those surveyed experienced so much distress because of their boss, they suffered from nightmares and sought out mental health support.
While this situation is unfortunate, it’s important to remember that there are many jobs available in the marketplace and you don’t have to stay in a position where you are unhappy. At the end of the day, many states offer the legal view of “Employment at Will” and the employer can let you go prior to quitting.
What’s Causing This Issue?
The most common reason for a strained relationship between direct report and manager is the inability to communicate. There are many personality assessments available in the marketplace that can help improve communication before it becomes an issue, with the goal of seeking to better understand someone in order to take the right approach. What is your personality profile? Highly dominant, high influencer, steady or very conscientious? Are you a persuader? Are you a scholar? What is your boss’s personality? Can you identify areas where you work well together and areas that you need to go more cautiously? Bear in mind that many managers are focused on strategy, culture, and tactical issues to keep daily operations running smoothly. They have some employees that perform better than others – how can you be a better performer to bring the most value to the company and team?
On the flipside, while managers may feel like they are approachable and willing to help out their reports with their work and be open to feedback, the data says otherwise: only 34% of those surveyed felt comfortable going to their manager about a work-related issue and only 20% felt comfortable discussing a personal problem. Because employees don’t feel comfortable going to their boss with issues, managers may assume that there are no issues at all—worsening the dissatisfaction of the employee.
How Do We Solve It?
The best way to overcome this issue is twofold. The first thing both the employee and the manager should do is self-evaluate. Do you both make yourself available to the other when they need assistance? Are you holding yourself accountable? Are there clear objectives and proper feedback loops? There may be a gap between the worker you are and the worker you want to be that you didn’t even realize existed.
The other prong to better the relationship between manager and employee is to increase positive interactions. This means that both the employee and the manager could clear the air to level set what isn’t working and/or try to socialize outside of the normal work routine. Even just talking about upcoming plans or hobbies can be beneficial to building a strong relationship.
In conjunction, these two actions can turn a bad relationship into a great relationship. After all, what are employees looking for? According to TotalJobs, “reports aren’t looking for bosses or best friends: they want mentors. Leaders that can help them grow, learn and develop their careers.”
Bosses: if you open up a true line of communication between yourself and your reports and develop a genuine and mutually beneficial relationship with them, you can create a better work environment for yourself and your employees (and put a stop to their workplace nightmares).
Employees: while you can’t control how your boss acts, you can choose how to approach your relationship with them. Do your part to develop a good work ethic and a positive outlook. If you are still unhappy, don’t forget there are many other jobs out there that could be a better fit.
Contemporary Staffing connects job seekers to hiring managers nationally in the following professions: Accounting & Finance, Call Center & Office, Human Resources, IT, Salesforce, and Sales & Marketing.