Job dissatisfaction, not bad bosses, may be main reason employees leave
- The IBM Smarter Workforce Institute polled more than 22,000 employees on staying with or leaving a company. The results show that 16% are actively seeking a new job, while 46% would accept another job if the opportunity arose.
- Contrary to reports that bad bosses force most employees to leave their job, IBM's study shows that the main reason for employees leaving is unhappiness with their job (40%), while one in five left because they were unhappy with the organization.
- The poll also revealed that twice as many millennials (19%) as boomers (8%) are looking to exit their company, and half of millennials would consider another job opportunity even if they weren't looking to leave.
While bad bosses can certainly drive employees away, this study shows that they may not be the only reason most workers leave a company. A 2015 Human Resources Online study found that three out of four workers said the boss was the most stressful aspect of a job. But its also possible that structural problems with job duties — hours worked, type of work — could have a larger impact on employee engagement than management alone.
Managers and supervisors might breathe a bit easier finding out about this latest study, but they aren't off the hook. The challenge is to retain valued employees and engage them through fair and respectful treatment, development, training and even mentoring or sponsoring. Leadership also can play a key role in considering whether an employee's work situation is untenable in the long run, and work to stop talent leaks before they occur.