Employees Cite Poor Managers as Primary Reason for Quitting

Employees who leave their employer voluntarily cite inept upper-level managers as the top reason for leaving, according to a new survey.

Employees who leave their employer voluntarily cite inept upper-level managers as the top reason for leaving, according to the results of a survey released by the Supplee Group, a human resources consulting firm that provides people-management solutions to enable companies to run their businesses more effectively.

The survey, conducted in 2001, includes more than 2,000 former employees of seven American technology and professional services companies with offices throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Asia. Participants were asked which of 17 factors were most important in the decision to leave their jobs.

Over one-quarter of those interviewed (26 percent) said their perception of managers being inept was the primary motivator for quitting. Managers were cited for poor communication, being overly critical and petty, taking credit for their employees' accomplishments, being unclear in giving direction, rudeness and a general lack of support and performance feedback.

People also said they left because of a lack of career growth potential (13 percent) and little or no recognition of accomplishments (10 percent). Some 7 percent of employees cited inadequate pay, poor training programs or poor-quality performance evaluations as their reason for leaving. Few said they quit because they were afraid of being let go. Only 5 percent left because they said the work was "boring."

"Most of the companies were surprised to find out that unless compensation is really in the stratosphere, money won't keep people in a place they otherwise can't stand," said John Supplee, managing director of The Supplee Group. "In fact, nearly as many people left because of poor upper-level management than because of low salary, inadequate training and meager career growth potential combined."

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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