Contrary to popular belief, lack of compensation is not the primary reason professionals leave their current job. While compensation is an important factor in deciding to accept a new offer, our experience here at TurningPoint Executive Search, has shown that only 9% of our placements cited compensation as the reason they decided to leave their existing job. Given that the average tenure nationally, across all jobs and sectors, is 4.4 years, what else could be driving employees out the door?

The simple answer: Horrible bosses.

“I’ve really loved working for this company, thanks to my boss’ focus on the team and transparency. Unfortunately, our new CEO has a very different approach to management, and most of the senior leadership team has decided to leave as a result” – SVP Sales, Technology Industry*

5 Reasons Your Employees Hate You

1. You’ve failed to show them a future. It’s no surprise to learn that recent generations of employees are looking for jobs with longevity and meaning, both social and personal. Extrinsic rewards such as retirement packages and compensation are not enough to endure a dead end job. Therefore, management must make clear to their employees how and where they can move forward on their career path. In addition, they must help employees see where their work contributes to and makes a difference in the company and the world at large.

2. You fail to recognize a job well done. According to Dr. Bob Nelson, a leading expert of employee motivation, engagement, recognition, and rewards, “58% of workers report that they seldom if ever receive a ‘thank you’ from their boss.” Not only is this a disservice to the employee, but failing to acknowledge a job well done can be detrimental to the company. While a lack of kudos might not be the deciding factor on whether an employee stays or goes, it is often a direct reflection on the company culture; and THAT is a piece of the job satisfaction puzzle.

3. You have unreasonable expectations. In a time of crisis, employees are willing to shoulder the burden of extra responsibilities and longer hours in order to weather the storm. However, this should not become the new normal. Managers who continue to pile on the work can expect unhappy and resentful employees. Beyond the workload, however, it is also unreasonable for a manager to assume his employees will simply “live with” whatever problems arise. Ideally, there is an open line of communication within the group which allows for concerns to be addressed. Unfortunately, we find that this is not always the case. Employees will only “suck it up” for so long, until eventually the level of expectation is too high and they walk.

“I am not the only one who has issues with the VP Sales, but I am the only one that went to him and his boss to discuss my concerns, in hopes of finding a resolution—I was floored by their response. Basically, they told me it’s my issue, not theirs—even though half of my sales & marketing team agree with me. I’m obviously on my own and that is why I am leaving the company”*

4. Working for you is no fun. Work is work- it’s not meant to be fun. In today’s modern workplace, this is not true. It’s easy to say that the new generation of professionals is lazy or naively expects to get more while doing less and while wearing jeans and flip flops to the office. The truth, however, is that there is a middle ground. Traditional hours and environments are not appealing to millennials and even Gen Y’ers. The office landscape has changed and managers need to get embrace these changes. In his article “Six Reasons Your Best Employees Quit You” Louis Effron states that “[f]or businesses, this means that attracting, engaging and retaining top talent depends on reinventing their work environments, blurring the line between work and play. Companies must embrace a culture of increased autonomy and innovation, and engage employees around a powerful mission and purpose.”

5. Lack of communication. As the face of “the office” has changed drastically over the years, concise and consistent communication has risen in importance. That communication must be driven by management. When goals and decisions are not clarified and work is rejected or micromanaged, an employee’s morale is slowly chipped away. Collaboration and success are impossible in an environment where communication is not fostered, and eventually, employees will seek employment elsewhere.

“Three years ago, our CMO would meet with us monthly, to discuss our upcoming campaigns and the long term strategy. However, this communication has really broken down lately, and we rarely hear from her these days. I want to be part of a company where communication is important.”*

*Previous TurningPoint placements (Names withheld for obvious reasons)