Employers wondering why some of their good
employees are leaving should look at the
behaviour of their managers, a Deakin University
researcher has said.
The departures of many valued employees
could be avoided if companies took the time to
evaluate the relationship between the employee
and their manager and develop the interpersonal
competencies of their senior staff, according to Dr
John McWilliams from Deakin’s Business School.
Williams interviewed 62 technology workers
who had voluntarily left their jobs and examined the events which precipitated the person’s decision
to quit – particularly the final shock or jarring event which had finally led to their resignation.
“The first and largest source of shocks was the behaviour of managers,” McWilliams said. “This
ranged from controlling behaviour to a lack of social awareness.”
Some shock factors included employees not being paid for overtime despite being expected to
do extra hours, and being berated for not having their mobile switched on during personal leave.
Another source of shock was calls from headhunters.
“Many people reported regular ‘testing’ approaches from competitors and customers as a
matter of course,” said McWilliams. “For many, the approach by the headhunter was the final
resolution of an accumulation of dissatisfaction.”
Although estimates vary depending on industry, departures generally cost business 1.5 to 2.5
times the person’s annual salary, he said.