No. 1 Reason They Quit: Their Manager

Employees who leave within a year cite a poor relationship with their boss as the main reason, one survey found.


You may expect employees who are quitting to say they have an opportunity they can’t pass up. Or that their commute is just too much. Or that they need different work hours. But in many cases, they quit because they don’t like their boss, concludes the 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey.

The employee-manager relationship was ranked the most likely reason employees who’ve worked with the company less than a year decided to quit. The survey asked 500 HR professionals to rank the likelihood an employee would leave for a particular reason on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “very likely” the reason for their quitting. About 84% of HR professionals ranked the employee-manager relationship as a 3 or higher.

Job performance and lack of career opportunities ranked second and third, consecutively. Compensation and company culture followed.

Nearly 25% of all new employees move on within a year, the survey found, so while many credit unions may be focused on hiring in 2012, they clearly should also invest in retention strategies. And a one key to retention is clearly improving communication and cooperation between managers and employees so that employees feel valued and productive.

Good or bad management can have a significant affect on an employee's attitude. If you think your employees have a bad attitude or are acting aloof, look at how they are being managed. They may not be difficult or lazy – they may simply feel like they are working in a vacuum with no comfortable way to talk to their manager. 

A healthy manager-employee relationship is crucial to helping the employees find their work interesting and work up to their very best. To improve it, encourage managers to put effort into understanding their employees well. They should know what their employees are interested in and what they expect out of their job, according to the Management Style Guide, an online resource for managers.

You may not even know your employees are unhappy until they’re out the door. Only 13% of HR professionals reported conducting a “stay” interview, which is like an exit interview only with the intent to gauge an employees’ satisfaction with their workplace while they’re still employed. Try it – it’s free!


June 7, 2012

More On:

Technology Training


  • An employee doesn't even have to be unhappy to leave. If the employee sees where they can be an asset and they are confident that they can make a difference, but are constantly overlooked, they will go where they can make that happen. And they will leave while they still have the passion and confidence to be an asset to another organization.
  • Amen, Jane. I knew it was time to leave when being in the position you describe left me unmotivated to contribute to my reports' professional development. When the message from the top is that everyone is expendable, it's difficult to make employees feel valued.