I recently attended an event where I was told the following story:

One summer, a business owner finds himself in a difficult situation. Within a span of 2 to 3 months, a dozen of his employees voluntarily leave his company. After struggling to get through the next several months with limited resources, the business owner makes a surprising, albeit necessary, move and fires one of his managers. Not because of the employee drought, but because of his poor management skills.

Immediately following the manager’s firing, the same twelve employees who voluntarily quit several months prior reapply to their previous positions.

Every single employee.

The moral of the story: people quit people – not companies.

At Solutions 21, we are constantly discussing this concept. The common misconception is that people leave their job because of pay, flexibility, or day-to-day activities. And while there may be some truth to this theory, the majority of our research concludes that people leave their jobs because of people – more specifically, the ones managing them.

Here’s the research to prove it:

From Gallup’s “Turning Around Employee Turnover”

75% of employees who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses.

From Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace”

“When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision. Not compensation, not benefits – nothing.” –Gallup CEO, Jim Clifton

Sixty percent of respondents had left jobs, or considered leaving, when they didn’t like the direct supervisors.

From Randstad US

58% of workers say that they’d stay at jobs with lower salaries if that meant working for a great boss.

From “Employees don’t leave Companies, they leave Managers”

56% of employees would turn down a 10% raise to stay with a great boss.

From “Performance: Accelerated”

79% of people who quit their job cite “lack of appreciation” as their reason for leaving.

From Gallup’s “What Millennials Want From Work and Life”

62% of millennials who feel they can talk with their manager about non-work-related issues plan to be with their current organization one year from now.

From “2018 State of Workplace Empathy”

92% of employees said that would be more likely to stay with their job if their bosses would show more empathy.

Leadership drastically affects retention within organizations, as evidenced by the story from the beginning of this blog. Why wait to develop your future leaders? Intentionally develop and keep them engaged, and watch your retention, productivity, and morale increase drastically.