Employee’s Leave Manager’s Not Company (A Common Saying) – Let’s Investigate the Truth


I still remember the first exit interview which I took when I was barely three years into my HR career, My manager hurriedly came and said everyone is busy so you take his exit interview and submit your findings, I asked him what to find and how to do, he glanced and smiled don’t do anything just listen to employee and make him to speak.

Six years later after doing many exit interviews and analysis I find employees always say I am leaving because of:

a) Better Career Opportunity
b) Want to relocate
c) Better Salary
d) Better Brand
e) Better Designation
f) Better Role and very rarely people say because of discrimination, or bad boss.

During exit interview interactions with outgoing employees whenever i raised the topic of “How is your relationship with your boss”? I always got answers like very good boss, very helpful but over a period of time I changed my probing style thanks to two days of MDP at XLRI on behavioral interview came handy for me.

I am sharing couple of real examples/cases what employees’ had quoted especially about their manager. There are plenty of reasons why employee leave I had tried to capture Please Note for all Original Names had been changed in the cases not to reveal identity.

Case – 1
Dharmesh Tiwari a Senior Manager says- “My boss’s behavior is very erratic and it’s very difficult to predict or understand what is that he is up to and I have no clue why is that he is behaving so differently”, he adds- when I am with him alone he behaves very nicely but in front of other team members his behavior towards me changes totally, Sometime when his colleague from other function is sitting with him and I happen to entered his cabin to pass some info or to give some urgent papers his behavior changes and starts explaining things in such a way that as if he is explaining to a 5 year old Kid. Many a times I felt he is doing such thing’s just to impress his colleague.
His behavior is not consistent through the day. Sometimes he is ok with minor error’s and some time for the similar error he fires me as if I had done terribly something wrong.

A lady from Sales Team says my boss and my super boss both of them say something and never honor their words, and it becomes sometime very difficult to believe them and work according to their words, I find there is no consistency between words and actual happening.

Case -3
Shantanu is a upcoming Star performer who is about to be promoted to AGM , he says his boss is not sharing the information with him , he wanted to be part of cross functional project meeting but he was never invited and he is not having any clue how to discuss with his boss, Shantanu say’s our department is such that he is second only to the Sr. VP, wherein Sr. VP take’s all Strategic works and Shantanu take all operational work , that’s how the both of their jobs designed but Shantanu feels he is only reduced to a assistant , Shantanu say’s he don’t find any information flow from his boss side, if the information flow is there in time ,he can prepare himself and his team for any eventuality but in most of the cases Shantanu get’s information only when things are out of the hands, Shantanu is no team member is not involved in any decision making from Sr. VP side.

Case- 4
Akshay Diwan a Deputy Manager says his HOD rarely interacts with the team, hardly any monthly meetings happen, he says’ even the VP will not knowing all his team members by name.
He further adds – no explanation is provided by the manager for the decision taken and whatever decisions senior’s make for the department it’s not communicated and Akshay has to work with half baked knowledge.

Case- 5
Sagarika is a first time mother who works as “Projects Coordinator” says “her manager has no genuine concerns or feelings , he is not accommodating type ” Sagarika adds her baby is small and sometimes she had to take unexpected leave or unexpectedly she has to leave office early.

Sagarika adds he is not able to understand and adjust eventhough she can work from home since majority of her work is sending mails and doing follow up calls for which she don’t have to be in office full time, Sagarika further comments that her manager lacks displaying genuine concern to the staff, Consideration or protecting employees’ interests and refraining from exploitation

Amit Dua’s subordinate went for a maternity leave for 4 months and another two months she was given half a day work option on considerate grounds, during appraisal time Amit had rated her “4” rating considering her past 6 months performance, at that time his boss raised the point – “how you can rate her at 4 when she has not worked close to 6 months and later during normalization discussion she got 3 rating and to Amit’s surprise she was promoted to Assistant Manager.

Now Amit is clueless how it happened and being a Manager he was not even informed or part of the decision making process. Amit felt cheated from his boss.

Case -7
Sandesh is a Deputy Manager and works in SCM function with is inputs and analysis we was able to propose a solution wherin the company will be using 15% less warehouse space utilization , Sandesh prepared a report and submitted to his boss KP Singh . Next day a meeting was called by HOD and proposal was presented in front of SCM team for further inputs. HOD appreciated KP Singh like anything. In the entire meeting Sandesh’s name was not taken either by KP Singh or by HOD .

Sandesh felt cheated and resigned in week’s time and entire team was clueless why he resigned.

What I concluded from this seven cases is that employees expect

a) Behavioral Consistency :
Employees expect Managers/Leader should display behavioral consistency –a consistency in behaving in the same manner and in the same way in the entire similar context.

b)Integrity in Behavior
Employees expect Mangers/leader should honor the words what they speak and in action.

c) Involving employees in Decion Making
Manager/ Leader should delegate their work and encourage team members to participate in the decion making process.

d) Display of Genuine Concerns
Employees expect Manager’s and leaders should display genuine concern for their subordinates and they should display it in the right forum and manner.

e)Coach & Mentor
Employees are also looking forward to manager/leader who can play a role of coach and mentor in their professional lives and give them some practical solutions if they encountered with any problem in their work and employees do give full respect to the bottom of their heart to those managers who can air the employees concern to HR or management and get the requisite things done.

f) Communication

Employees expect leaders/managers to communicate freely with employees should give justifiable answers for concerned managerial actions and should focus on accuracy, openness in communicating to their staff.

g)Fairness in Justice
Employees expect leaders/managers to use the same procedures determine a justice, if an employee commits a mistake and reprimanded and similar mistake done by another employee then similar treatment has to meted out.

h)Recognize Employee’s work
Leader’s /Manager’s should recognize employees work and give the due credit to his /her work in front of everyone like what KP Singh should have done in Case -7

Share your thoughts and any incidence which made you to resign ?