What Exiting Employees Don’t Say

Gallup has said it time and again, ‘People join an organization but leave the manager’. And however uncomfortable it may be to swallow, the fact is that it is true.

Take a look at what Gallup Strategy Consultant says in his interview. [Quote]

According to a study published by Gallup, only 13% of the German workforce is committed to the job, and 20% is actively disengaged. Strategic consultant Marco Nink does not blame the affected employees for this. He believes that it is a poor corporate culture that discourages personnel, as he discusses in this interview.

MAN Forum: Mr. Nink, over the last eight years [Gallup] research has indicated that a large number of employees in Western industrialized nations have withdrawn into some form of inward resignation. How do highly motivated people become disengaged from their work?
Marco Nink: In that their needs and expectations at work are simply ignored over a longer period of time. The issue is as simple as not asking for their opinions, not offering them feedback, showing no interest in them as human beings or asking them to do a job that does not really suit them.
The immediate supervisor almost always plays the primary role. For our most recent study, we asked employees if they would fire their current supervisor if they could. [Four in 10 (38%) of actively disengaged] employees would do so — and I suspect with the greatest pleasure. Very few employees leave a company just because of compensation or because they are not promoted.

Quitting is almost always a statement against the immediate superior. It is a deadening process: Many employees are highly motivated when joining a company but then become increasingly disillusioned. And when continuously neglected, they will switch off at some point. They will resign inwardly, so to speak. This doesn’t happen overnight, but occurs rather as a process, due to experiences during the routine workday. [Unquote]

In real practice when you question the superior, he is unable to figure out what could have gone wrong. After reflecting on it for a while the superior draws the inevitable conclusion: ‘there are exceptions.’ The problem is not whether there could be exceptions or not but that there is no appreciation of deeper meaning of the statement. Without it every situation appears to be falling in ‘exception’ category.

An employee quits a company for various reasons such as not being assigned interesting project, not having good career prospects, getting bored etc. The problem is that the superior often does not have time enough for a dialogue nor he creates a culture where issues can be spoken openly at the employees’ initiative.

In a case I know, an employee thought her project could be finished in a week and that it was not important. When her superior discussed the project with her and planned it along with her, his expectations became clear to her. She realised it was something important to her superior and that it would have taken two months to finish the way he envisioned it.

The solution therefore lies not in investing in ‘team building’ and similar activities or creating a ‘fun place’ but in acquiring skills of empathetic listening and having meaningful dialogue. It does not come easily to managers. Nor are these skills easy to acquire. It requires practice and patience.

Here is the link to full article [Link]