We all have heard this phrase, “employees don’t leave companies, they leave their managers.” Have you ever wondered or doubted this phrase, most probably not. When you think of the phrase, you always put yourself in the shoes of the employee and not the manager. And the majority of the times, many of us feel that we, as employees are taken for granted. One of the biggest proponents of this hypothesis was Gallup, through their annual studies. Gallup is into management training, and you cannot train managers, if they are all perfect, hence the narrative suited Gallup’s business objective.

Having said that people do leave because of managers but you will agree with me that it’s not the only reason. HR heads would put the percentage of people leaving the organizations because of managers around 20-25%. Some of the other important reasons are – Better role, better growth prospects, money, change, work-life balance (important in the public relations domain) etc. Few also leave because of the management, top leadership, lack of appreciation, overwork, stress, don’t connect with company values or don’t find the company ethical or as silly as seeing their peers leave. Typically it’s a combination of things that weigh on their minds and impact their decision to quit over time.

Instead of pinning that poor manager down for company attrition, it is the job of the management to take the onus and work towards retention. Few thoughts on some easily doable initiatives are:

  1. Appreciate more – Every second employee would feel less appreciated for the work they are doing, appreciating someone for anything does not come naturally to all. People need to be trained to appreciate or create an atmosphere where there are hints/milestones for appreciating your co-worker or subordinate.
  2. Most employees are in the phase of burn-out, COVID19 has amplified it further, create more flexibility, define clear goals, initiate zero hours, and ask your HR they will have 20 more recommendations.
  3. Take care of employee mental health, get counsellors onboard, acknowledge mental health as a priority and increase dialogues and discussions
  4. Define career roadmap for each employee – many employees leave because they are not sure how their career would pan-out, set clear guidelines for growth and set examples in that direction.
  5. Purpose – new age workforce want to work with companies who know why they exist beyond just making profits, they want to work with the company that aligns with their value system.

Of course, there may be many things progressive companies do to retain their workforce, if you are aware of more initiatives than listed above, please do mention in the comments section of the article.