Why people quit

I have worked for the same company since getting out of school. I have seen many of my coworkers who left for other companies. Their reasons were often: “I found a better job with a better pay”, “I do not feel valued here”, “I like it here but the other company pays me better”… Whatever reasons they gave when I first talked to them were only on the surface. When probing further, most of the times they quitted because of someone they did not get along with.

Dr. John C. Maxwell described in details about this in his book Leadership Gold: people quit people, not companies. He said that if a boss is a jerk, it is only a matter of time before an employee knows it.

So who do people quit?

1. People quit people who devalue them – Value.

When leaders devalue someone, they begin to manipulate that person. People become objects to the leaders, which is never appropriate for leaders to do in the first place. It is impossible to add value to someone we devalue.

2. People quit people who are untrustworthy – Integrity.

Nobody likes to work for someone who could not be relied upon. A survey conducted by Manchester Consulting discovered the five quickest ways that leaders lost their people’s trust:

a. Acting inconsistently in what they say and do
b. Seeking personal gain above shared gain
c. Withholding information
d. Lying or telling half-truths
e. Being closed-minded

3. People quit people who are incompetent – Competence.

One of the jobs of leaders is to inspire confidence. They can not do that with charisma, but with competence. A team with an incompetent leader will suffer declines in productivity and declines in morales.

4. People quit people who are insecure – Security.

Insecure leaders are concerned more with maintaining their authority and protecting their positions. They do not focus on developing other leaders nor working themselves out of a job. People will eventually find someone else to work for. Dr. Maxwell suggests that leaders do the following to increase retention:

  1. Take responsibility for making their relationship with others better.
  2. Put a high value on those who work for them.
  3. Put credibility a the top of their leadership list.
  4. Follow golden rule and practice positive thinking.
  5. Keep learning to keep leading
People quit people, not companies. Therefore if you want to keep your best people, then become a better leader.
For more details, please read Leadership Gold by Dr. John C. Maxwell or join one of my mastermind groups.

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